January 27, 2017

MEDIA AVAILABILITY: Experts Available to Discuss Trump’s Muslim Ban


Contact: Jamal Abdi, Policy Director – 202.386.6408[email protected]

Trita Parsi, President – 202.386.6325[email protected]

Reza Marashi, Research Director, 202.379.1639, [email protected]

Elham Khatami, Outreach Director – 202.888.5939[email protected]

Ryan Costello, Policy Fellow, [email protected]

Experts from the National Iranian American Council are available to discuss President Trump’s expected signing of an Executive Order banning travel to the United States for individuals from Iran, Syria, Sudan, Somalia, Yemen and Libya.

The new Muslim Ban is still an unconstitutional ban that targets individuals based on their religion and nationality. And it is still a ban that undermines rather than enhances America’s security. As a Department of Homeland Security (DHS) report found, citizens from the countries included in the ban are “rarely implicated in U.S.-based terrorism,” and citizenship itself is an “unreliable indicator of terrorist threat to the United States.”

Iranians and their Iranian-American families in the U.S. will be the group most impacted by the ban. Unless it is stopped it will likely mean Iranian Americans will be barred from seeing their families permanently. DHS Secretary Kelly has made clear that, for countries like Iran, the ban is not temporary but will in fact be indefinite.

The following experts are available to discuss this outrageous and blatantly discriminatory action:

The following experts are available to discuss this outrageous and blatantly discriminatory action:

Jamal Abdi is the Policy Director for the National Iranian American Council (NIAC) and the Executive Director of NIAC Action. He leads NIAC’s advocacy and education on civil rights and immigration issues, as well as diplomacy with Iran. He formerly served as Policy Advisor on foreign affairs, immigration, and defense issues in the U.S. Congress. Abdi has written for The New York Times, CNN, Foreign Policy, and blogs at The Huffington Post.  He is a frequent guest contributor in print, radio, and television, including appearances on Al Jazeera, NPR, and BBC News. Follow Jamal on Twitter: @jabdi

Trita Parsi, is the 2010 recipient of the Grawemeyer Award for Ideas Improving World Order. He is the founder and president of the National Iranian American Council and an expert on civil rights and US-Iranian relations. He is the author of Treacherous Alliance: The Secret Dealings of Iran, Israel and the United States (Yale University Press 2007) and A Single Roll of the Dice – Obama’s Diplomacy with Iran (Yale University Press 2012).

Parsi’s articles have been published in the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Financial Times, Jane’s Intelligence Review, the Nation,The American Conservative, the Jerusalem Post, The Forward, and others. He is a frequent guest on CNN, PBS’s Newshour with Jim Lehrer, NPR, the BBC, and Al Jazeera. Follow Trita on Twitter: @tparsi

Reza Marshi joined NIAC in 2010 as the organization’s first Research Director. He came to NIAC after four years in the Office of Iranian Affairs at the U.S. Department of State. Prior to his tenure at the State Department, he was an analyst at the Institute for National Strategic Studies (INSS) covering China-Middle East issues, and a Tehran-based private strategic consultant on Iranian political and economic risk. Marashi is frequently consulted by Western governments on Iran-related matters. His articles have appeared in The New York Times, Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, and The Atlantic, among other publications. He has been a guest contributor to CNN, NPR, the BBC, TIME Magazine, The Washington Post, and the Financial Times, among other broadcast outlets.

Elham Khatami serves as NIAC’s National Outreach Director, overseeing the organization’s grassroots and field operations. Prior to NIAC, Elham served as a research manager, editor, and reporter during her five-year career at the prestigious Capitol Hill news organization CQ Roll Call. She has also worked for the Sunlight Foundation, a nonprofit organization advocating for government transparency, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and CNN. Elham is a former NIAC volunteer. Elham earned her Masters in Global Communication from George Washington University’s Elliott School of International Affairs. She graduated Magna Cum Laude from the University of Pittsburgh, where she received her BA in political science and writing. She has published in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, CNN.com, Roll Call, The Huffington Post, and appeared on BBC Persian and VOA Persian. Follow Elham on Twitter: @ekhatami

Ryan Costello joined NIAC in April 2013 as a Policy Fellow. In this role, Ryan monitors legislation, conducts research and writing, and coordinates advocacy efforts on civil rights and U.S.-Iran policy. 

Ryan previously served as a Program Associate at the Connect U.S. Fund, where he focused on nuclear non-proliferation policy. He has published in American Foreign Policy Interests, the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, CNN GPS, Foreign Policy, The Hill, Huffington Post and Roll Call. Ryan graduated from American University’s School of International Service with a Master of Arts in U.S. Foreign Policy, and from Ursinus College where he majored in history and international relations. Follow Ryan on Twitter: @RN_Costello


About NIAC: The National Iranian American Council is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to strengthening the voice of Iranian Americans and promoting greater understanding between the American and Iranian people. We accomplish our mission through expert research and analysis, civic and policy education, and community building.

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