Experts on the Reimposition of Sanctions on Iran in Violation of the Nuclear Deal

For Immediate Release: November 2, 2018
Contact:
 Brett Abrams | brett@unbendablemedia.com

WASHINGTON, DC — At midnight on Monday, President Trump’s snapback of nuclear-related sanctions on Iran will be finalized. While a portion of the sanctions previously waived under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) came back into force on August 7, the November 5 tranche of Iran sanctions includes many of the most impactful sanctions to be levied on Iran, including those targeting Iran’s energy and financial sectors.

The decision by the United States to violate the Iran nuclear deal and reinstate sanctions has already caused economic pain for Iran’s population of 80 million. However, Iran has ruled out negotiations with the Trump administration for the foreseeable future.

Jamal Abdi, President of the National Iranian American Council, a leading voice for the Iranian-American community and expert on US-Iranian relations, issued the following statement reacting to the implementation of snapback sanctions against Iran:  

“These sanctions are a slap in the face to the Iranian people who have been squeezed between the repression of their government and the pressure of international sanctions for decades. Impoverishing ordinary Iranians will not hurt the regime or achieve any of America’s security interests, but it will set back the Iranian people’s aspirations for years to come.

“The Obama administration left a playbook for how to secure concessions from Iran through patient, multilateral diplomacy. Unfortunately, Trump and his team have ripped the diplomatic playbook to shreds, opting for policies that echo the drumbeat for war that led up to the 2003 invasion of Iraq.

“Trump, his war cabinet and regional cheerleaders in Benjamin Netanyahu and Mohammed bin Salman do not have the Iranian or American people’s best interests at heart. Instead, they are blowing up an agreement that supports U.S. interests and the aspirations of the Iranian people while planting the seeds for a disastrous war. The U.S. must reverse course before irreparable harm is done to the Iranian people, regional security and America’s international standing.”

In a memo to U.S. lawmakers, the National Iranian American Council warns that the snapback of sanctions on Iran has precipitated a crisis in slow motion, threatening a range of U.S. national interests and tying America closer to the destabilizing campaigns of Saudi Arabia. In the memo, NIAC warns that the blowback from sanctions reimposition will:

Increase the Risks of an Iranian Nuclear Weapon

  • Trump’s snapback of nuclear-related sanctions has eviscerated Iran’s benefit for complying with the JCPOA, increasing the risk of Iran halting its compliance with the accord and moving closer to a nuclear weapon.
  • The re-designation of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) threatens to disrupt international work to reduce proliferation risks at the Arak heavy water reactor and deeply buried Fordow facility.

Raise the Risk of War

  • Trump’s advisors John Bolton and Mike Pompeo have pushed for war with Iran as an alternative to negotiations, as have Iran’s regional rivals who have increased sway with the Trump administration.
  • A spark for a military confrontation could come from several directions in the absence of diplomacy with Iran – whether over Iran’s nuclear program, regional tensions or a naval confrontation in the Persian Gulf.

Isolate the United States

  • The U.S. is in material breach of the UN Security Council-endorsed JCPOA, which all other parties to the accord – including our allies in Britain, France and the European Union (EU) – are seeking to keep alive.
  • JCPOA participants and Iran are seeking to establish independent payment channels, with ramifications that could undercut U.S. dominance of the global financial system and the power of U.S. secondary sanctions far into the future.

Raise Oil Prices

  • President Trump has repeatedly called on Saudi Arabia and Russia to pump more oil to offset Iranian oil that has been taken off the market, reducing spare capacity that could be key to respond to any emergency.
  • Iranian oil cannot be offset forever, and a crisis risks soaring oil prices and substantial harm for American consumers.

Increase U.S. reliance on Saudi Arabia

  • At a time when Saudi Arabia appears to be an increasingly unsavory partner for the U.S. after the brutal murder of Jamal Khashoggi, the Trump administration has pigeonholed itself into an approach to the Middle East that relies on Saudi Arabia.
  • Overlooking Saudi Arabia’s crimes to pressure Iran bears eerie resemblance to America’s early backing of Saddam Hussein throughout the Iran-Iraq war. A more balanced approach to the region is needed.

Undercut Moderate Forces in Iran

  • Trump’s Iran sanctions are likely to crush the Iranian middle class and private sector, unleashing economic desperation in the country and limiting prospects for internal moderation.
  • Iran’s hardliners have been vindicated by Trump’s decision to violate the JCPOA and snap back sanctions, and will benefit from sanctions that crush forces for moderation while leaving them relatively unscathed.

Trigger a Humanitarian Crisis in Iran

  • Sanctions on Iran under the Obama administration triggered shortages of key life-saving medicines and contributed to the impoverishment of ordinary Iranians by depressing the economy and increasing the cost of basic goods. Similar effects are already being felt from Trump’s snapback.
  • The Trump administration has already targeted private Iranian financial institutions that facilitated humanitarian transactions, raising the risk of further humanitarian crises in the months ahead and more damage to American credibility.

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The National Iranian American Council is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to strengthening the voice of Iranian Americans and promoting greater understanding between the American and Iranian people.

Responding to Omar Navarro’s Slanderous Attack on NIAC and Rep. Maxine Waters

Jamal Abdi, President of the National Iranian American Council, responds to Omar Navarro’s slanderous attacks on the National Iranian American Council and Rep. Maxine Waters:

“Omar Navarro’s accusation is an outrageous and slanderous attack, which is all the more deranged at a time when Rep. Maxine Waters and her office have been targeted by political violence. Our event was a fundraiser for NIAC to build our community’s power, not for Rep. Waters. We call on Navarro to immediately delete his tweet, issue a formal apology to both Rep. Waters and our organization, and withdraw from the race. The Republican Party should also make it clear that they find Navarro’s tweet completely unacceptable.”

“This proves that Omar Navarro is not fit to even run for office. If it wasn’t clear when he posted a fake letter on Twitter, prompting queries by the FBI and Capitol Police, it is certainly clear now that he is engaging in outright demagoguery in a desperate bid to gain attention.”

“NIAC is a voice for Iranian Americans who support peace and diplomacy, civil rights, and equitable immigration policies. Attacks like this seek to deprive our community and other immigrant communities a voice in the political process and we will not tolerate them.”

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Response to Lindsey Graham’s Racist Remark on Fox & Friends

Jamal Abdi, President of the National Iranian American Council, released the following statement in response to Lindsey Graham’s racist remark on Fox and Friends this morning:

“It is absolutely disgusting for Senator Graham to state on Fox and Friends that it would be ‘terrible’ to discover that he had Iranian ancestry from a DNA test. This is not the first time that Graham has made bigoted remarks about Iranians. In 2015, he said ‘I know Iranians are liars’ based on his experience in his dad’s pool hall.

“If you dread the notion of Iranian ancestry and believe all Iranians are liars, you are hopelessly bigoted and unfit to serve in the U.S. Senate where votes affect tens of millions of Iranians and millions more of Iranian ancestry in the diaspora.

“Graham must apologize for his remarks in 2015 and recant his atrocious attempt at a joke on Fox and Friends this morning. The Iranian-American community will not forget such casual racism, nor will it forget which party has enacted policy on the basis of such racism by banning our family members from Iran.”

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NIAC Statement on Trump’s Muslim Ban Tweets

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Shayan Modarres
Phone: 202 379-1638
Email: smodarres@niacouncil.org

Washington, DC – The National Iranian American Council issued the following statement following President Donald Trump’s tweets resurrecting his calls for “EXTREME VETTING” and a “TRAVEL BAN!” this morning:

“In today’s episode of daily misinformation, blame-shifting, and overall erosion of our democracy, the President of the United States revealed the categorical duality in his approach to combatting terrorism and his desire to persist with his nonsensical Muslim ban.

“The President has once again made clear that he is more interested in fulfilling a campaign promise to ban Muslims rather than defend our national security. The Saudi government – not the Iranian nationals and others Trump wishes to ban – inspire and fund terror attacks throughout the West.

“Underlying the farcical nature of the ban, 94 percent of deaths caused by terror attacks by Islamists between 2001 and 2015 were inspired by radical Wahhabist and Salafist thought – the very same ideology spread by Saudi Arabia. That ideology has no roots in Iran, where nationals are deeply opposed to ISIS and Iran has fought ISIS on the battlefield. Yet, Iran is targeted by the ban while those fanning the flames of extremism get a Presidential visit by Trump.

“Trump’s embrace of Saudi Arabia underscores that he is not serious about confronting terrorism. If he was, he would strengthen our alliances and form broad coalitions to halt the Saudi effort to spread Wahhabism and Salafism. Banning Iranian nationals who have historically presented no threat to American national security while selling arms to the Saudis defies basic logic.

“Not one to be beholden to facts or truth, a defiant President Trump continues to ignore these realities and persists with his effort to ban Muslims to score political points while undermining US national security.  

“Trump’s tweets today removed all doubt that the revised Muslim ban is a watered down version of the first blatantly discriminatory Muslim ban, which he prefers. But despite the victories against the ban in U.S. courts, Trump has managed to continue to implement the unconstitutional ban through administrative measures. The backdoor Muslim ban – which Trump confirmed in his tweets – has already driven down the number of Iranians and nationals of Muslim-majority countries wholesale.

“Trump is concerned about scoring political points, not keeping Americans safe. It took him three days to even acknowledge the stabbing attack in Portland where two young men were killed and a third was seriously injured for standing up to Islamophobia and hate. But it took him less than six hours to exploit the terrorist attack in London to try to advance his discriminatory and unconstitutional Muslim ban. America has never been less safe than it is under the nonsensical Trump doctrine.”

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