Mr. William Jefferson Clinton
The President of the United States of America
The White House
CC: Secretary Madeleine Albright
Dear President Clinton:
We at Iranians for International Cooperation (IIC) wish to register our displeasure with both your administration's policy to actively lobby against the granting of two World Bank Loans to Iran, and the sanctions policy in general.
Iran has applied for financial assistance from the world bank for two projects, one valued at US$86 million for primary health care and the second project valued at US$145 million for sewage management. These projects are purely meant to improve the quality of life for ordinary Iranian citizens. Major United States allies have approved the issuance of these loans with the understanding that the only purpose of these soft loans is to improve the living standards of Iranian citizens.
IIC understands that due to US sanctions legislation, your administration is required to oppose any World Bank agreements with Iran. There is however a difference between voting against such deals, and actively lobbying other nations to adopt a policy similar to that of the US government. The law does not require the latter, and it is hard to understand how a functioning sewer system for example would be a national security threat to the US.
It is also very difficult to comprehend how the United States wishes to develop a relationship with Iran while impeding improvements in the quality of life of Iranians. It is time to gain the trust of the Iranian public as well as support the forces of change within the Iranian regime.
Mr. President, on February 13 you stated that, "one of the best things we could do for the long term peace and health of the Middle East and, indeed, much of the rest of the world, is to have a constructive partnership with Iran". IIC applauds this statement and we believe that such a partnership can materialize when the US adopts a constructive and a consistent policy vis-a-vis Iran.
The extra-judicial interpretation of the sanctions law undermines the sincerity in the US policy to seek a "constructive partnership" with Iran.
To actively lobby against a World Bank loan, a measure that is not required by US law, is not consistent with the policy to open a dialogue with Tehran, and should not be continued.
Mr. President, we urge you and your administration not to actively lobby against the World Bank loans to Iran.
As we enter the new millennium, we are more confident than ever that under your leadership Mr. President, we will be able to instill hope through the promotion of democratic ideals and economic progress throughout the world, especially in the Middle East where Iran, with her rich historical heritage and contributions, will be able to play a constructive role and help to promote democratic reforms in other parts of the world.
President, Iranians for International Cooperation
For more information, please contact:
Babak Talebi, President:
Trita Parsi, Executive Director:
Fareed Saeed, PR Director: