Press Releases by NIAC Action
by Hadi Heidari
NIAC Action Executive Director Jamal Abdi issued the following statement after the House of Representatives passed H.R. 3457, the "Justice for Victims of Iranian Terrorism Act," a bill that would threaten to kill the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action:
"This bill is just the latest cynical attempt by House Republicans to score partisan political points off of the Iran nuclear deal. By threatening to block sanctions relief until Iran pays tens of billions of dollars in claims in U.S. courts, the bill would effectively kill the nuclear deal and guarantee Iran never pays a dime toward any of the claims that have been brought against it. As a result, the consideration of the bill undermines U.S. national security interests and the perception that the U.S. can abide by its international commitments. It also risks opening the door to reciprocal action in Iran, which could threaten to link its concessions to the U.S. to outstanding claims in Iranian courts.
"Fortunately, this bill is going nowhere. Even Democratic opponents of the nuclear deal, including the ranking member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee Eliot Engel (D-NY), have voted against it. Sarah Shourd, one of the American hikers imprisoned in Iran in 2009, has warned that the bill will not lead to justice for the victims of terrorism or the release of Americans currently imprisoned in Iran. While the nuclear deal is on the path to resolution and the rest of the world prepares to engage Iran on a host of issues outside of the nuclear sphere, the Republican Congress appears determined to force countless ill-advised votes that would threaten the multilateral deal and risk returning the U.S. and Iran to a path of confrontation that ends in war."
NIAC Action Opposes Unhelpful Iran Legislation
NIAC Action Executive Director Jamal Abdi issued the following statement after Sen. Ben Cardin (D-MD) and eight other Democrats introduced the Iran Policy Oversight Act of 2015:
“This bill, while an improvement over earlier drafts of the legislation, appears aimed at providing political cover to legislators so that they can assert their hawkish bona fides on Iran. At best, the wrongheaded measures included in the bill are empty symbolic gestures aimed at reasserting a more confrontational posture in the region. At worst, they are an actionable policy agenda that would undermine the gains secured by diplomacy and set us on a path to unraveling the nuclear deal. This is the wrong bill at the wrong time, and could become the second act for nuclear deal opponents.
“Problematic elements of the bill include doubling down on rhetoric in support of a military option, requiring the President to detail a regional strategy specifically aimed at countering Iran, authorizing the President to provide additional offensive weaponry to Israel to counter Iran, and a mechanism providing for the expedited consideration of additional sanctions legislation on Iran due to issues outside the nuclear sphere. NIAC Action will issue a detailed analysis of the bill in the days ahead.
“The President and our negotiating partners among the P5+1 have secured a major diplomatic victory and as a result have significantly moved U.S.-Iran relations in a positive direction for the first time in decades. The deal boosts U.S. national security and that of our allies including Israel, and was achieved despite significant obstruction from Congress. The deal does not need strengthening or reinterpretation from Congress now that it is sealed. In fact, moving forward with the bill threatens to return the U.S. and Iran to a negative tit for tat that could undermine implementation of the nuclear deal. As a result, legislators should withhold support for this unhelpful bill and instead urge the administration to pursue diplomacy to address remaining issues of concern with Iran, including the crisis in Syria, Iranian human rights and imprisoned Americans in Iran.”
NIAC Action 1411 K St NW, Ste 250 Washington, DC 20005 USA
Helping to advance peace and the Iranian-American community.
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