NIAC Deplores Trump’s Push to Violate Iran Nuclear Deal




Washington, DC – Dr. Trita Parsi, President of the National Iranian American Council and author of Losing an Enemy: Obama, Iran and the Triumph of Diplomacy, issued the following statement in response to President Trump’s speech withholding certification of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action:

“Trump’s speech was a national disgrace. This isn’t an effort to stiff a contractor over a real estate project, it’s a matter of war and peace. Donald Trump is in way over his head.

“Contrary to the reporting, Donald Trump is killing the deal – not in one move, but in several moves. First, Congress will attempt to kill it through deal-killing legislation from Tom Cotton. If that is blocked, Trump has vowed to kill it himself. Either way, the deal will get killed by this process triggered by Trump.

“Cotton’s legislation would seek to unilaterally rewrite the nuclear deal, an unequivocal violation of the agreement. A vote for that bill would be as significant as a vote for the 2002 war with Iraq.

“Trump is single handedly destroying U.S. credibility and all but guaranteeing that no country in their right mind would agree to a deal with the U.S. again. The U.S. has shredded alliances through go-it-alone approaches before, to disastrous effect. Trump’s has reduced America’s allies on Iran to just Benjamin Netanyahu and the Saudi royal family. Trump’s ‘coalition of the willing’ on Iran makes George W. Bush’s old coalition on Iraq look like a diplomatic masterstroke.

“The most insulting of Trump’s lies was when he sought to pass himself off as a champion of the Iranian people. As we speak, Trump is banning nearly all Iranians from the United States. The majority of people targeted by Trump’s Muslim ban are Iranian. Iranian Americans are being cut off from their family members in Iran thanks to Trump.

“Congress must step in and make it clear that it will restrain this President and that the U.S. is fully committed to upholding its word on the Iran deal.”


Senate Committee Undermines US Diplomacy with Sanctions Vote

Press Release - For Immediate Release



Washington, DC – NIAC Policy Director Jamal Abdi released the following statement after Iran sanctions legislation (S. 269) was advanced out of the Senate Banking Committee:

“This legislation is a trojan horse aimed at killing the negotiations and starting a war with Iran. Many who voted for the bill may not have done so with this scenario in mind, but it is clear from those who are most aggressively driving the process–such as Senator Tom Cotton–that collapsing the talks is very much the intent. In the end, the consequences will be the same regardless of the intent.

“Thankfully, the sanctions bill is unlikely to receive a final vote for at least another two months–but that doesn’t mean damage hasn’t already being done.

“This bill is not a new threat to Iranian officials, it is a threat to our own negotiators. Many in Iran’s government would be delighted if Congress were to pass new sanctions that force the U.S. to violate the interim agreement. This would only help Iran blame the U.S. and unravel the sanctions without having to make a single nuclear concession. Some in Congress are so infatuated with the all stick, no carrot, approach that they are turning the sticks against our own negotiators. They are attacking the home team and undercutting U.S. negotiating leverage.

“It is hard to understand the point of this bill, if taken at face value. The entire world, including Tehran, knows that if Iran violates the deal or no agreement is reached, more sanctions are coming. But they also now know that Congress is going to make it extremely difficult for the U.S. to grant any sanctions relief if there is a deal. Today’s action casts further doubt on whether the U.S. can trade in our sanctions in the face of an obstructionist Congress, and only helps convince Iran not to make the tough concessions necessary for a deal because they may get nothing for it. 

“Some undoubtedly agreed to advance the sanctions out of committee under the assumption that the bill will not receive a full vote until at least the end of March, in line with a letter signed this week by ten Democrats. But while these Democrats can pledge to not vote for a bill until then, they do not control the process. We can only hope that some reckless Senator who does not want to give the President more time does not try to force a sanctions vote before March. Furthermore, even if the Senate delays until March, this is not the deadline for a deal. Any sanctions before June 30 will violate the interim deal and invite significant consequences.

“We commend those who voted against advancing this bill: Ranking Member Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Sen. Jack Reed (D-RI), Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR), and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) deserve tremendous credit for standing with the President, American negotiators, and the international community in support of diplomacy instead of another war of choice.”