NIAC Welcomes New Staff Members to the Team!

NIAC is excited to welcome new members to our team!

Arzo Wardak joins NIAC and NIAC Action as the organization’s new Political Director. Arzo comes from working as a campaign director for a U.S. Congressional primary campaign, is the founder of several initiatives aimed at empowering Afghans and Afghan Americans, and has previously worked in development and field positions. Welcome Arzo!

Mana Mostatabi is NIAC’s new Communications Director. With considerable experience in communications, human rights, foreign policy, and nuclear non-proliferation policy, she brings an exciting new perspective to NIAC! Originally hailing from the Bay Area, she’s come to D.C. to make an impact by lifting the voices of Iranian-Americans across the country. We’re excited to have her on board.

Assal Rad joins the NIAC team as Policy Analyst and Regional Organizer of the Western U.S. She recently completed her PhD at the University of Irvine, studying under Touraj Daryaee, where her dissertation focused on Iranian national identity. After volunteering with NIAC over the past year, we’re excited to see her lead volunteer teams to empower Iranian-American communities. She will also work with the NIAC Policy team to contribute valuable research and writing.

Finally, we’re excited to welcome Nooshin Sadegh-Samimi as Field Organizer in Pennsylvania, where she works to empower the Iranian-American community. Nooshin, a PhD candidate in the anthropology department at the University of Pennsylvania, has extensively researched race, immigration, and political representation. She is collaborating with NIAC as part of her dissertation field research.

An Update on Slack

We thank Slack for working to restore service to those erroneously cut off and for apologizing for their mistake. User access and data must be restored and we hope that Slack will look closely at whether such compliance efforts were necessary in the first place.

While we acknowledge their explanation that users we’re not barred based on ethnicity or national origin, the fact is that, time and time again, the over-enforcement of Iran sanctions manifests itself in actions that discriminate against Iranians and Iranian Americans.

Companies must not err on the side of discrimination.

Unfortunately, Slack and many other companies have been forced to try to comply with a web of sanctions that are neither narrowly crafted nor clear in their targets. The impact of such a policy cannot be narrowly confined within Iran’s borders – spillover effects have and will continue as long as it is in place.

Critically, it makes zero sense for a communication program like Slack to be barred from Iranians in the first place – the Trump administration must take a look at its sanctions and determine how to ensure they do not harm ordinary Iranians both outside and inside Iran’s borders.