• 31 December 2009
  • Posted By NIAC
  • Diplomacy, Sanctions

NIAC Applauds Shift Toward Targeted Sanctions

Contact: Phil Elwood

For Immediate Release

Washington, DC – The National Iranian American Council welcomes the Obama administration’s decision to pursue targeted sanctions on Iran’s leaders rather than indiscriminate sanctions that would contribute to the suffering of the Iranian people.

“As the Iranian people continue to bravely stand up for their rights, NIAC has been calling on the Administration not to punish the Iranian people for the activities of their government,” said Dokhi Fassihian, member of NIAC’s Board of Directors.  “We are pleased that the Obama administration is committed to pressuring Tehran in a way that spares innocent people unnecessary suffering.”

In Congressional testimony submitted before the House Oversight Committee’s National Security Subcommittee in December, NIAC President Trita Parsi said that “after the groundbreaking developments of this past summer, continuing to ignore the impact additional broad sanctions will have on the Iranian people’s struggle for democracy will only come at our own peril.”

A noticeable shift has occurred in Washington’s plans for Iran sanctions in the new year.  The White House has told leading lawmakers that the Administration does not support untargeted sanctions legislation aimed broadly at the Iranian economy that would punish innocent Iranians. Senior US officials have told journalists that they prefer more targeted measures over so-called “crippling” sanctions because of the desire not to have the Iranian people blame the United States for their isolation.  “We have to be deft at this, because it matters how the Iranian people interpret their isolation — whether they fault the regime or are fooled into thinking we are to blame,” stated a senior official.

NIAC has supported legislation that is designed to target Iranian officials responsible for human rights violations, while at the same time taking steps to remove harmful restrictions on the Iranian people’s access to information, basic rights and freedoms.

NIAC reiterates its call for lawmakers to support measures that stand with the Iranian people, and calls on Congress to support the President’s strategy for dealing with Iran

Posted By NIAC

    2 Responses to “NIAC Applauds Shift Toward Targeted Sanctions”

  1. Pirouz says:

    Well, it appears Obama is choosing a path that isn’t going to seriously escalate an economic war that’s in no one’s interest. (The protesters conveniently affording the rationale.)

    I’d have much preferred more meaningful diplomacy, but we’ll take what we can get.

    Still, how in the world will “targeted” sanctions enable an outcome in our best interest? Wouldn’t some form of compromise (the Iranians have provided a multitude of such) offer a way forward toward solution? Why the insistence on take-it-or-leave-it?

  2. Iranian-American says:

    It is refreshing to see this administration’s policy decisions with regard to the current crisis in Iran, and it is impressive to see the role NIAC is playing. While defining “targeted sanctions” will without a doubt be difficult, the US administration is making it increasingly clear that it stands with those in Iran that support human rights and basic freedoms. If in fact the administration sticks to this policy, and does not surrender to those who would like to see crippling sanctions against the Iranian people, I am confident it will be clear to the Iranian people that it is the Iranian government that shoulders all the blame for any direct or indirect suffering resulting from targeted sanctions.

    Unfortunately, it is very difficult for the US administration to support the Iranian people as they bravely stand up to what is clearly becoming one of the most repressive governments in the world. There have been mistakes along the way. E.g. Obama waited far too long to condemn the Iranian government’s brutality against innocent Iranians. But, as and American citizen, this is perhaps the first time I have been proud of my governments efforts towards my other country of citizenship, Iran. Furthermore, the current events in Iran have really made me appreciate the opportunity to live in a country where there are free and fair elections.

    There is no doubt that those that openly support the Iranian regime along with those that cowardly hide behind a disguise will argue against any sanctions. Their intentions are nothing less than to help the government suffocate any hope for a better, free and prosperous Iran.

    Thanks NIAC.

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