June 9, 2010

U.N. Sanctions, U.S. Fuel Swap Response are a Setback to Resolving Iran Issues

For Immediate Release

Washington, D.C. – The National Iranian American Council is concerned that today’s passage of United Nations Security Council sanctions may indicate the Obama Administration has abandoned its commitment to diplomacy with Iran. NIAC believes that engagement must be pursued in order to resolve the many issues of concern between the U.S. and Iran, including the nuclear issue and Iran’s human rights abuses.

Just prior to the U.N. vote, the U.S. sent a negative response to the IAEA regarding the nuclear swap deal brokered by Brazil and Turkey and agreed to by Iran. The response was confidential but was believed to have led Brazil and Turkey each to vote against the resolution.

“Today’s events are likely a setback for resolving the nuclear issue,” said Jamal Abdi, Policy Director for the National Iranian American Council. “There are fears that this may mark the United States’ return to the Bush paradigm in which we apply pressure for pressure’s sake and squander opportunities for engagement in favor of talking tough, while making no progress in actually resolving the nuclear issue.”

NIAC strongly urges the Administration to work to ensure that today’s events do not permanently derail engagement efforts.

“The Administration must invest as much in reinvigorating diplomacy as it has in getting sanctions passed,” said Abdi. “There are plenty of areas of concern, including human rights and the suffering of the Iranian people, that have remained in limbo because of the Administration’s singular focus on getting sanctions.”

In light of today’s events, NIAC urges that Congress reconsider its pending unilateral sanctions that would punish the Iranian people instead of targeting Iran’s government. NIAC urges Congress to ensure its bill does not impose pain on innocent Iranians.




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