Washington, DC – The National Iranian American Council welcomes the Obama administration’s decision to pursue targeted sanctions on Iran’s leaders rather than indiscriminate sanctions that would contribute to the suffering of the Iranian people.
“As the Iranian people continue to bravely stand up for their rights, NIAC has been calling on the Administration not to punish the Iranian people for the activities of their government,” said Dokhi Fassihian, member of NIAC’s Board of Directors. “We are pleased that the Obama administration is committed to pressuring Tehran in a way that spares innocent people unnecessary suffering.”
In Congressional testimony submitted before the House Oversight Committee’s National Security Subcommittee in December, NIAC President Trita Parsi said that “after the groundbreaking developments of this past summer, continuing to ignore the impact additional broad sanctions will have on the Iranian people’s struggle for democracy will only come at our own peril.”
A noticeable shift has occurred in Washington’s plans for Iran sanctions in the new year. The White House has told leading lawmakers that the Administration does not support untargeted sanctions legislation aimed broadly at the Iranian economy that would punish innocent Iranians. Senior US officials have told journalists that they prefer more targeted measures over so-called “crippling” sanctions because of the desire not to have the Iranian people blame the United States for their isolation. “We have to be deft at this, because it matters how the Iranian people interpret their isolation — whether they fault the regime or are fooled into thinking we are to blame,” stated a senior official.
NIAC has supported legislation that is designed to target Iranian officials responsible for human rights violations, while at the same time taking steps to remove harmful restrictions on the Iranian people’s access to information, basic rights and freedoms.
NIAC reiterates its call for lawmakers to support measures that stand with the Iranian people, and calls on Congress to support the President’s strategy for dealing with Iran.