June 23, 2011

NIAC Deeply Concerned by Civilian Airline Sanctions

For Immediate Release
Contact: 202-386-6408

NIAC Policy Director Jamal Abdi issued the following statement regarding today’s announcement that the U.S. is imposing new sanctions on Iran Air:

NIAC is deeply concerned about today’s announcement of United States sanctions against Iran Air.  These sanctions fail to target the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps, and instead will punish and further isolate ordinary Iranians.  

No one has suffered more under the IRGC than the people of Iran.  The IRGC has only expanded its economic and political influence under untargeted sanctions that isolate the Iranian people and undermine their aspirations for democracy and rule of law.  Yet today, the U.S. took measures that will only make life more difficult for ordinary Iranians and punish them for the behavior of their undemocratic government. 

Ultimately, these measures hurt U.S. interests.  We should seek to build goodwill with the Iranian people and ensure that our policies are smart enough to distinguish between illegitimate activities by the IRGC and legitimate activities of ordinary Iranians.

Instead of indiscriminate sanctions, NIAC has consistently supported targeted restrictions aimed at Iranian government officials and members of the IRGC that have committed human rights violations against the Iranian people.  NIAC also continues to call on the U.S. to take humanitarian measures to help ensure that sanctions do not contribute to Iranian deaths in civilian aircraft accidents.  Tragically, over 1,000 Iranians have died in plane crashes over the past decade.




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