December 1, 2011

NIAC Statement on Iran Sanctions Vote in Senate

Contact: Jamal Abdi
Phone: 202-386-6408
Email: [email protected]

Washington, DC – NIAC Policy Director Jamal Abdi issued the following statement regarding the Senate’s passage today of an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act that would impose U.S. sanctions on foreign countries and institutions that conduct transactions with the Central Bank of Iran:
Today’s vote is an extreme setback to any efforts to prevent the U.S.-Iran confrontation from escalating into a disastrous war. 
The Senate ignored warnings of dire economic consequences for America and its allies, and of disastrous humanitarian consequences for the people of Iran.  On all sides, there appears to only be the political will to escalate, with utter disregard for the ramifications. 
This week alone, we saw yet another mysterious explosion in Iran that further suggests a covert war is underway.  We saw the disgraceful storming of Britain’s embassy in Tehran by mobs tied to the Iranian government.  And now, we see the U.S. Senate moving forward with the broadest, most reckless sanctions possible. 
All of these actions only accelerate the vicious cycle of confrontation between the U.S. and Iran that is rapidly spiraling out of control.  Without leadership to forge the politically difficult but essential diplomatic undertaking needed to resolve this conflict, there is no off ramp from the path to war.
These sanctions will further squeeze ordinary Iranians between the repression of the ruling regime and the increasingly brutal punishment of U.S. policies towards Iran. 
That is because the chief supporters of today’s sanctions subscribe to the erroneous notion that we can impose enough collective punishment on ordinary people inside of Iran that they will somehow channel this to overturn their government. 
Thirty years of sanctions demonstrate otherwise.
Sanctions, hostility with the west, outside threats, and isolation are the lifeblood of this regime.  If the Iranian people were able to be a part of the rest of the world, the Iranian government’s repression could not stand the test of time.  Unfortunately, the Senate voted today to further punish the Iranian people, to entrench the regime, to punish the U.S. and its allies, and to pave the pathway to war.




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