Washington, DC – The International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran, Pars Equality Center, Public Affairs Alliance of Iranian Americans (PAAIA), National Iranian American Council (NIAC), and United for Iran sent a letter to Senate leaders today calling for a halt to new Iran sanctions. NIAC commends PAAIA for organizing this effort.
“This letter shows that Iranian Americans are coalescing in support of diplomacy and against broad sanctions that punish ordinary Iranians and pave the path to war,” said NIAC Policy Director Jamal Abdi. “Our community believes diplomacy is the best way to end the U.S.-Iran standoff and work on critical issues like advancing human rights and creating a brighter future for both Iranians and Americans.”
The letter comes at a time when Secretary of State John Kerry has said a first step agreement to freeze Iran’s nuclear program and reduce tensions is “extremely close,” and President Obama has called on Congress to pause new Iran sanctions. Nuclear negotiations between the P5+1 and Iran are set to resume on Wednesday.
In the letter, the coalition of Iranian American organizations “strongly urge the U.S. Senate to hold off on additional punitive measures on the Iranian economy as the negotiations between Iran and the P5+1 continue.” Further, the letter warns that new sanctions would “undermine U.S. credibility, splinter the international coalition cooperating on sanctions, and drive Tehran from the negotiating table,” while also “strengthening hardliners in Iran” and alienating Iranians “who want their country to move in a different direction.”
Additionally, the letter warns that “if the passage of new U.S. sanctions now would cause the breakdown of the diplomatic process, then war – or an Iranian nuclear weapon – would become more, not less likely.”
View the letter in PDF form.
The National Iranian American Council (NIAC) is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing the interests of the Iranian-American community. NIAC’s mission is focused on promoting an active and engaged Iranian-American community, supporting aspirations for human rights and democracy in Iran, opposing war between the US and Iran, and celebrating our community’s deep cultural heritage. NIAC accomplishes its mission by supplying the resources, knowledge and tools to enable greater civic participation by Iranian Americans and informed decision-making by policymakers.
For more information, please visit niacouncil.org