NIAC Action

NIAC Action

Deal-Killing Iran Bill Stalled in Senate

Washington, DC – A critical bill from Sens. Tom Cotton (R-AS) and Bob Corker (R-TN) that would violate the Iran nuclear deal appears to have stalled due to lack of support. Contacts on Capitol Hill have indicated to NIAC Action staff that negotiations on the bill have led nowhere and that few Senate Democrats have been tempted by the Cotton-Corker proposal. This is a key development in the fight to preserve the Iran nuclear deal, as Cotton-Corker appeared to be the most likely legislative vehicle to move following Trump’s October 13th decision to withhold certification of the accord. Yet, a full month later, deal opponents have yet to convince Democrats to back any legislative proposals that would violate the accord.

NIAC Action members have pushed back strongly against the bill, including by calling and writing their Members of Congress and organizing phone banks in key states. These actions have helped to highlight the risks of the U.S. killing the deal, which could put the U.S. and Iran on the fast track to war.

Additionally, a November 9th article in The Jerusalem Post concludes that Corker, the Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, pulled the bill due to insufficient support following pushback from Senate Democrats and European parties to the accord.

Based on a draft summary of the Cotton-Corker bill that was circulated in October, the proposal sought to automatically re-impose nuclear-related sanctions under various scenarios without regard to whether Iran is upholding its nuclear commitments. Under one such scenario, sanctions would be re-imposed if Iran ever moves under a one year “breakout” timeline, which is not prohibited in the out years of the agreement. At a briefing held by NIAC on October 18, former Obama administration official Robert Malley warned “The legislation that the administration is pushing and that some in Congress are supporting… is a violation of the deal.”

While Cotton’s spokesperson indicated the legislators “are very much still working together on a bill that reflects the same framework laid out last month,” Corker’s spokesperson did not dispute assertions that the legislation had been pulled, according to The Jerusalem Post article.

If the Cotton-Corker bill is dead in the water, there are still several legislative threats to overcome to preserve the nuclear accord. An alternative threat would be a watered-down version of the Cotton-Corker legislation that would still seek to alter the agreement’s terms by moving the goalposts on sanctions relief. This could lead to a fracturing of the agreement by undermining the notion that the U.S. intends to uphold its end of the bargain. Additionally, under the sixty-day window triggered by Trump’s October decertification, Congress has roughly one additional month wherein it could snapback nuclear-related sanctions under expedited procedure. However, there appears to be no Congressional appetite to kill the deal in such a direct manner.

Even if Congress gets through the 60-day window without snapping back sanctions or seeking to amend the terms, there may be additional pressure to pass problematic legislation given Trump’s lingering threat to terminate the deal if Congress abstains from action. In January, the administration faces another 90-day certification requirement under the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act, and must act once again to waive existing sanctions in order to uphold the JCPOA.

America Needs a Diplomacy-Centric Approach to Iran

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Trump’s decertification: The Trump administration decertified the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) last month despite Iran’s continued verified compliance and the broad consensus that the accord remains in the U.S. national interest. The decision to decertify gives Congress 60 days – until December 12th – to introduce legislation under an expedited, filibuster-proof process that would reimpose the sanctions lifted under the nuclear deal – effectively ending U.S. compliance with the 7-party agreement.

What happens now: Under the expedited process Trump triggered, Republicans in Congress can kill the Iran deal with a simple majority vote – meaning no Democrats would need to be brought along. However, while every Republican in Congress publicly opposed the Iran deal, few of them have been willing to kill the agreement outright now that they have the opportunity. Instead, Trump has called has called for Congress to unilaterally alter the accord by passing legislation that ties sanctions relief to Iran’s missile program and makes “all restrictions on Iran’s nuclear activity permanent under U.S. law.” Such efforts would be a violation of the agreement.

Will Congress pass legislation: Senator Tom Cotton (who authored the infamous letter behind Obama’s back to Ayatollah Khamenei during the nuclear talks) and Bob Corker have been circulating draft legislation to enact Trump’s vision. The legislation is not subject to the expedited process – meaning all Senate Republicans and at least 8 Democrats would need to support such a bill. So far, Cotton and Corker have failed to convince any Democrats to get on board.

History has proven that the United States’ only successes in changing Iranian behavior have been the result of a diplomacy-centric approach. Eschewing this strategy threatens to weaken and isolate the United States, spark a renewed nuclear crisis, and lead to eventual war.

Trump’s Twitter Diplomacy is Making International Engagement Impossible – Particularly with Countries Like Iran

  • The Trump Administration has not engaged in serious diplomatic efforts with Iran. Tweets and outrageous public speeches are not how sensitive diplomacy works. The Trump administration reportedly decided to attempt to meet with President Rouhani following Trump’s  provocative speech attacking Iran and North Korea at the United Nations. There did not appear to be any serious plan in place for such an effort.
  • Instead of working with allies and pursuing further diplomacy, Trump has antagonized our partners in Europe by decertifying the deal and undermined moderates in Iran who have supported engagement.
  • Trump’s careless diplomatic freelancing is only doing damage and preventing real diplomatic engagement. It took the U.S. and Iran 30+ years to engage in real diplomacy and produce an agreement. This is not a Manhattan real estate deal, this is sensitive international diplomacy and Trump is in over his head.

America Needs a Diplomacy-Centric Approach to Iran

  • There is only one approach that has enhanced U.S. and regional security with Iran: the serious, multilateral negotiations that produced the JCPOA.The Iran nuclear deal was negotiated with our allies in Europe as well as Russia and China – none support Trump reopening the agreement or Congress unilaterally altering it, let alone Iran.
  • The JCPOA could be a foundation to build upon, but only if the U.S. maintains its credibility by fulfilling its commitments under the accord; undermining and decertifying the accord will close off diplomatic opportunities – with Iran as well as the EU.

The Iran Deal is Working

  • Just like Obamacare, Trump and Republicans claimed they wanted to kill the Iran deal but have no real plan to replace it. Trump accidentally called the bluff of Iran deal opponents. After years of Republicans claiming the JCPOA was a bad deal and promising on the campaign trail that they would “tear it up”, now that they have the opportunity they are balking because the Iran deal is working and killing it would be devastating to U.S. interests.
  • Secretary of Defense James Mattis recently affirmed that staying in the JCPOA is in the national security interest of the United States.
  • The JCPOA has rolled back Iran’s nuclear program and subjected it to the “world’s most robust nuclear verification regime,” according to IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano.
  • IAEA Director Amano visited Tehran on October 29, 2017 and again publicly stated that Iran is in compliance with the JCPOA.
  • The IAEA gained access to the Parchin military facility as a result of the JCPOA in 2015, and can gain access to any facility in Iran in short order under the JCPOA. No credible evidence of any malfeasance at Iranian military facilities has emerged to date.
  • Although some lawmakers are concerned about certain sunset provisions, if the U.S. leaves the JCPOA and it disintegrates then everything sunsets immediately.

No, Iran’s “Malign Activities” in the Region Have Not Gotten Worse After the Deal

  • According to Lt. Gen. Vincent Stewart, Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, Iran has directed the preponderance of the money gained from sanctions relief to “economic development and infrastructure.
  • Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Joseph Dunford indicated in September that “Iran has not changed its malign activity in the region since JCPOA was signed.
  • Iran has continued to undertake ballistic missile testing at a rate that is consistent with past practices. However, thanks to the JCPOA, those missiles cannot be fitted with a nuclear warhead.
  • Unfortunately, the Trump Administration is politicizing the intelligence on this issue. CIA Director Mike Pompeo has cast Iran as “dramatically” increasing its malign activities since the JCPOA was signed. Pompeo, who has a history of skewing the facts on Iran and is a close political ally of Trump, has been criticized for politicizing his position at the CIA. According to one official, “It’s almost as if he can’t resist the impulse to be political.”

Trump is Taking the U.S. Towards a War Path with Iran

  • There are numerous tripwires for conflict across the region, including in Syria, Yemen and the Persian Gulf. Yet, there is no existing de-confliction channel and no diplomatic relationship with Iran to prevent a conflict from quickly spiraling out of control.
  • A comprehensive American approach towards Iran must:
    • Re-establish U.S. credibility with our international partners and Iran by making it clear that the U.S. will not abrogate the JCPOA.
    • Establish a high-level bilateral channel with Iran to avoid an escalatory spiral and engage Iran on remaining issues of concern, including regional security and detained dual nationals in Iran.
    • Launch comprehensive, multilateral diplomatic efforts with Iran aimed at resolving tensions. Such an approach should be based on a “more for more” approach, meaning the U.S. should propose lifting its remaining sanctions and embargo against Iran.

NIAC Action Statement on House Passage of Iran Sanctions Bill

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Jamal Abdi
Phone: 206.369.2069

Washington, D.C. – NIAC Action Executive Director Jamal Abdi issued the following statement ahead of the expected passage of new Iran sanctions legislation in the House of Representatives:

“As Donald Trump is recklessly working to kill the Iran deal, Congress is whistling past the graveyard. The sanctions being passed by the House are nothing new, they are largely duplicative of counterproductive Iran sanctions already passed into law by Congress earlier this year. But even if passing this new bill is symbolism over substance, it is a risky provocation at the worst possible time. Donald Trump just refused to certify the Iran deal and called on Congress to unilaterally change the terms of the agreement, which would be a blatant violation of the accord. If they refuse, Trump said he would kill the deal himself.

“At best, the passage of these sanctions are an attempt by cooler heads on the Hill to pull the President back from the ledge without killing the deal. The reality is that many lawmakers who have publicly opposed the Iran deal privately recognize that it must be kept in place and that it serves U.S. interests. The President accidentally called their bluff by decertifying the agreement and now they want to dangle a shiny object in front of him to distract him, yet that can only work for so long.

“The stakes on Iran policy could not be higher. If the Iran nuclear deal is unraveled by Trump or Congress, the U.S. would face a second nuclear crisis and the very real threat of a new war of choice in the Middle East. Instead of passing more sanctions to try to placate Trump, Congress needs to put its foot down and reassure the rest of the world that the U.S. will abide by its word, it will not let Donald Trump kill the deal, and it will put the interests of the country above our current domestic political situation.”

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Memo: The Iran Ballistic Missiles and International Sanctions Enforcement Act (H.R. 1698)

On October 25, 2017, the House of Representatives is set to vote on the Iran Ballistic Missiles and International Sanctions Enforcement Act (H.R. 1698). The bill amends the Iran Sanctions Act to mandate the President to impose sanctions on parties providing support to Iran’s ballistic missile and conventional weapons programs.

President Trump’s refusal to certify the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) has already begun to isolate the U.S. from its allies, weakening America’s hand on Iran policy and raising serious doubts that the U.S. will adhere to its obligations under the agreement. Congress must restore U.S. credibility and international unity by making it absolutely clear that America will uphold its commitments in spite of the President’s rhetoric and actions. The passage of new sanctions risks doing the opposite: sending a message to the world that the U.S. may indeed be hedging on its JCPOA commitments and that domestic politics trump international obligations.

If Congress and the Administration are serious about addressing Iran’s ballistic missile program and other issues of concern, there is a clear and obvious way: direct multilateral negotiations — the same kind that produced sustained and verifiable limits on Iran’s nuclear program for the first time in decades. The Administration’s recent actions significantly undermine any prospect of serious multilateral negotiations on remaining issues of concern with Iran, and Congressional sanctions will do further damage to prospects for a diplomatic solution. There has been no effort by this Administration to engage their Iranian counterparts, and claims of seeking to “bring Iran back to the table” in lieu of any serious attempt at dialogue ring hollow. Passage of sanctions within this diplomatic vacuum risks undermining the nuclear deal and damaging U.S. alliances. Instead of pursuing new sanctions, Congress should focus on restoring confidence that the U.S. will uphold its obligations under the JCPOA and remain committed to working with its international partners.

Sanctions and Reporting Requirements

The original bill had two main components:

(1) reporting requirements that mandate the President to detail Iran’s domestic and foreign supply chain in support of its ballistic missile program, as well as to submit tri-annual reports on Iran’s involvement in sanctionable activities related to its ballistic missile and conventional weapons programs; and

(2) amendments to the Iran Sanctions Act that mandate the imposition of sanctions on parties involved in or otherwise supporting Iran’s ballistic missile and conventional weapons programs.

Certain amendments inserted in committee include additional reporting requirements that would push the administration to re-impose sanctions on Iranian airlines in contravention of the JCPOA and revoke the licensed sale of aircraft to Iran. Moreover, these amendments mandate the President to impose sanctions on foreign States, such as Russia, that are engaged in the transfer of conventional military systems to Iran, such as the S-300 and S-400.

New Sanctions

The bill would amend § 5(b) of the Iran Sanctions Act by mandating the President to impose sanctions with respect to:

(1) an agency or instrumentality of the Iranian government that seeks to develop, procure, or acquire goods, services, or technology that materially contributes to efforts by the Iranian government with respect to ballistic missile-related goods, services, and technologies in violation of United Nations Security Council Resolution 2231 (UNSCR 2231);

(2) a foreign person or State if the foreign person or State knowingly provides material support to the Iranian government that materially contributes to Iranian government efforts with respect to ballistic missile-related goods, services, or technologies in violation of UNSCR 2231;

(3) a foreign person that the President determines knowingly engages in a significant transaction with, or provides significant financial services for, a foreign person or State described above with respect to proscribed ballistic missile-related activities;

(4) a foreign person or State if the President determines that the person or State knowingly imports, exports, or re-exports to, into, or from Iran, directly or indirectly, any significant arms or related materiel prohibited by UNSCR 2231; or

(5) persons that knowingly export or transfer, or permit or otherwise facilitate the transshipment or re-export of, goods, services, technology, or other items to Iran that materially contribute to Iran’s ability to (1) acquire or develop ballistic missiles or related launch technologies; or (2) acquire or develop destabilizing numbers and types of advanced conventional weapons.

Reporting Requirements

The bill requires the President to submit several reports to Congress that are aimed at pressuring the administration to designate additional Iranian entities for sanctions violations, including by:

  • Detailing the foreign and domestic supply chain in Iran that directly or indirectly significantly facilitates, supports, or otherwise aids Iran’s ballistic missile program, as well as an assessment of the Government of Iran’s ability to indigenously manufacture or otherwise produce the goods, services, or technology meant to support its ballistic missile program;

  • Mandating the President to submit a report to Congress that details:

    • Iran’s efforts to develop, procure, or acquire goods, services, or technology for which sanctions may be imposed under the Iran Sanctions Act;

    • Iran’s acquisition or attempted acquisition of significant arms and related materiel in violation of UNSCR 2231;

    • Iran’s export or attempted export of significant arms or related materiel in violation of UNSCR 2231; and

    • Any UN Security Council approval for the export to Iran of significant arms or related material pursuant to UNSCR 2231.

  • Requiring the President to submit a report to Congress upon receipt of credible information that Iran has conducted a test of a ballistic missile fails to comply with, violates, or is in defiance of UNSCR 2231, detailing:

    • Iranian persons responsible for ordering, controlling, or otherwise directing the missile test and determining whether such persons are subject to U.S. sanctions as of the date of the report; and

    • Available information on the ballistic missile or the generic class of ballistic missile or space rocket that was launched, in addition to technical information including the trajectory, duration, range, and altitude of the missile flight, launch location and impact point, and payloads.

Reporting requirements inserted in committee could pose additional complications for the implementation of the JCPOA. An amendment from Rep. Brad Sherman, now included as Section 5, requires the President to determine every 180 days whether the Government of Iran has used any commercial aircraft for military or other illicit activities:

  • Pursuant to the JCPOA, the U.S. is permitted to revoke licenses for the sale of aircraft to Iran only if the licensed aircraft are transferred to or otherwise used by parties identified on the SDN list or if the aircraft are used for purposes other than civil aviation. Hence, the reporting requirement is broader than what is covered by the JCPOA by examining Iran’s entire aviation sector rather than simply licensed aircraft;

  • By requiring the President to report on the extent to which Iran’s entire commercial aviation sector is involved in sanctionable conduct, the amendment seeks to establish a factual basis to support the ultimate designation of Iran Air – or, more broadly, Iran’s commercial aviation sector – regardless of how licensed aircraft have been used;

  • Any such re-imposition of sanctions, absent evidence that Iran has used or is using licensed aircraft for non-commercial purposes, would be a violation of U.S. commitments under the JCPOA and would render a fatal blow to the licensed sale of U.S. aircraft to Iran.

An amendment from Rep. Steve Chabot, now included as Section 4, also poses complications for Iran policy. Upon receipt of credible information that destabilizing numbers and types of conventional weapons have been sold or transferred to Iran, the President shall notify Congress of the sale or transfer and determine whether various sanctions laws are applicable to the sale:

  • This reporting requirement would include the sale of the S-300 missile defense system to Iran, which Russia has already provided and is not prohibited by any UN Security Council Resolution, in addition to the S-400 system that has not been sold;

  • As a result, the provision could push the administration to sanction Russia for providing conventional defensive weaponry to Iran, in addition to other states, despite the lack of clear prohibitions on such transfers;

  • Such a stance could complicate efforts to present a united front toward Iran and lead toward a fracturing of international unity in implementing existing sanctions on Iran.

Memo: H.R. 3329, the Hizballah International Financing Prevention Amendments Act of 2017

On October 25, 2017, the House is set to vote on H.R. 3329, the ‘Hizballah International Financing Prevention Amendments Act of 2017.’ The bill, as drafted, imposes new sanctions that appear to be targeted at Iran’s support for Hizballah, including any Iranian financial institutions and government agencies or instrumentalities that provide material support to Hizballah. As such, the bill could pose potential issues for future U.S. compliance with the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (“JCPOA”) — the nuclear accord between the U.S., other major world powers, and Iran.

Lawmakers should clarify that the intent of H.R. 3329 is not to violate the JCPOA and that passage of the legislation is not an invitation for the White House to utilize the authorities to violate or otherwise undermine the JCPOA. Furthermore, lawmakers should utilize debate over the bill as an opportunity to urge the Trump administration to restore U.S. credibility and international unity by recommitting to uphold U.S. obligations under the JCPOA in full.

U.S.’s JCPOA Commitments

Under the JCPOA, the United States is committed to refrain from re-imposing the sanctions lifted under the nuclear accord and specified in Annex II to the JCPOA. This includes, but is not limited to, a commitment to remove certain Iranian individuals and entities from U.S. sanctions lists, effectuating the end of sanctions as applied to such parties. Moreover, the United States is obligated to “prevent interference with the realization of the full benefit by Iran of the sanctions lifting specified [under the JCPOA],” and to “refrain from any action…that would undermine its successful implementation.” Finally, for purposes relevant herein, the United States is required to “refrain from any policy specifically intended to directly and adversely affect the normalization of trade and economic relations with Iran inconsistent with [its] commitments not to undermine the successful implementation of the JCPOA.” Indeed, the United States has the positive obligation under the JCPOA to “agree on steps to ensure Iran’s access in areas of trade, technology, finance and energy.”

Bill Poses a Threat to U.S.’s JCPOA Commitments

H.R. 3329 poses potential threats to U.S. commitments under the JCPOA, particularly the commitments to refrain from re-imposing sanctions lifted under the nuclear accord and to prevent interference with Iran’s realization of the full benefit of the JCPOA’s sanctions lifting. Lawmakers should clarify that the legislation is not intended to violate or enable the administration to utilize the authorities to act inconsistent with U.S. obligations under the JCPOA.

Mandatory Sanctions on Foreign Parties Engaged in Sanctionable Activities

The bill imposes mandatory sanctions on foreign parties that provide material support to groups, organizations, media outlets, and foreign persons that are related to or acting for or on behalf of Hizballah. Section 101 of the bill mandates the President to impose blocking sanctions on any foreign person that is determined to knowingly assist, sponsor, or provide significant financial, material, or technological support to certain Hizballah-related entities and media outlets, as well as to any other parties engaged in fundraising or recruitment activities on behalf of Hizballah. While the bill does provide for the President to exercise waivers if doing so is vital to the U.S. national security interest, the bill nonetheless forces the President to brief Congress before effecting any such waiver as to its justification. As a result, Congress intends to exercise intense scrutiny and oversight on the President’s use of waivers.

Setting the Stage for the Re-Designation of Iranian Banks?

The bill also requires the President to submit a report to Congress as to whether Iranian banks are engaged in sanctionable activities related to Hizballah, including, but not limited to, the provision of support to entities designated for acting for or on behalf of Hizballah (e.g., Bank Saderat). For instance, the bill amends Section 102 of the Hizballah International Financing Prevention Act of 2015 by mandating the President to submit to Congress an annual report identifying each foreign bank that engages in activities sanctionable under that earlier legislation, including, but not limited to, knowingly facilitating a significant transaction for Hizballah or for parties placed on OFAC’s SDN List for acting for or on behalf of Hizballah. The President’s report is limited to those foreign banks that operate in or are organized under the laws of a U.S.-designated state sponsor of terrorism (e.g., Iran). As a result, this specific provision appears intended to set the stage for the President to designate additional Iranian banks under Executive Order 13224, which could effectuate the re-designation of and re-imposition of U.S. sanctions on Iranian banks and seriously impede Iran’s access to the global financial system in violation of U.S. commitments under the JCPOA.

Mandatory Sanctions on Government Agencies or Instrumentalities

Furthermore, the bill mandates the President to impose sanctions on agencies or instrumentalities of a foreign State, if such agencies or instrumentalities are engaged in the provision of significant financial or material support for, or arms or related material to, Hizballah or entities owned or controlled by Hizballah. Moreover, if the foreign State for which an agency or instrumentality has been so sanctioned under this bill is a U.S.-designated state sponsor of terrorism, then the President shall require a license under the Export Administration Regulations (“EAR”), 15 C.F.R. Parts 734-770, to export or re-export to that foreign State (e.g., Iran) any item designated as EAR99, other than food, medicine, medical devices, or similarly licensed items. It is unclear whether this requirement would derail licensed activities such as the Personal Communications General Licenses to facilitate the provision of information and free expression in Iran. Currently, under existing U.S. sanctions regulations, OFAC exercises full and complete control over the export of U.S. items to Iran.

CISADA Amendment

Finally, the bill amends Section 104(c)(2) of the Comprehensive Iran Sanctions Accountability and Divestment Act (CISADA) of 2010 by effectively adding an interpretive note explaining that if a foreign bank facilitates efforts of the Iranian government to provide support for Hizballah or its affiliates, then that foreign financial institution could be the subject of correspondent and payable-through account sanctions, which would effectively terminate its access to the U.S. financial system.

NIAC Seeking Fundraising Professional

NIAC is seeking a fundraising professional for immediate hire.

NIAC is accepting applications from candidates with 6-10+ years of fundraising experience at the Development Director level. Candidates with less experience but a passion for fundraising and NIAC’s mission will be considered at the Development Manager level if they have 3-5 years of fundraising experience or at the Associate level with 1-3 years of fundraising experience.

The position will work with NIAC’s president in spearheading fundraising activities as NIAC continues to grow. A successful candidate must be prepared to grow NIAC’s $1.5M budget through the management of fundraising events, cultivation of donors, and solicitation of major gifts, grassroots contributions, and foundation support.  S/he will also support NIAC’s President and board members as they take on an active fundraising role.

The Development professional will also work with NIAC’s sister advocacy organization, NIAC Action.  In this capacity, s/he will raise dedicated funds for NIAC Action and oversee member events with political candidates.

Responsibilities

  • Develop and execute NIAC’s annual fundraising plan, collaborating with NIAC’s President and COO to establish annual budget revenue targets by source type
  • Secure financial support from major donors, grassroots supporters, foundations and corporate sponsors
  • Work with the Events Manager to develop and promote successful fundraising events
  • Support and partner with the President and board members on all major fundraising initiatives
  • Prepare donor reports and analysis to board and senior leaders
  • Develop and maintain ongoing relationships with major donors and current or potential foundation partners
  • Create and execute a strategy for increasing NIAC’s base of individual donors
  • Track grant deadlines and work with the relevant colleagues to prepare and submit grant proposals and reports
  • Manage and develop NIAC’s stewardship efforts aimed at cultivating deeper ties with donors

Qualifications

  • 6-10+ years of fundraising experience at Director level. Candidates with less experience but a passion for fundraising and NIAC’s mission will be considered at the Development Manager level if they have 3-5 years of fundraising experience or at the Associate level with 1-2 years of fundraising experience.
  • Bachelor’s degree required
  • Demonstrated success in a development function (managing and forging relationships with multiple donor sources) required
  • Persian (Farsi) language ability and familiarity with the Iranian-American community strongly preferred
  • Excellent communication skills, both written and oral; ability to influence and engage a wide range of donors and build long-term relationships
  • Flexible and adaptable style; a leader who can positively impact both strategic and tactical fundraising initiatives in a rapidly evolving environment
  • Must be able to work independently and as a team player, to take initiative, and to manage multiple tasks and projects at a time
  • Knowledge and passion for NIAC’s mission is essential
  • Ability to develop and implement annual strategic development plan required
  • Strong organizational and time management skills with close attention to detail required
  • Political campaign fundraising experience a plus
  • Knowledge of Salesforce a plus
  • Some travel required
  • Position may be carried out from NIAC’s Washington, DC headquarters or Iranian-American population centers like Los Angeles or San Francisco.

To Apply: Interested candidates should send a cover letter with salary requirements and resume to David Elliott at david@niacaction.org with the subject line “Development Director”, ”Development Manager” or “Development Associate”.

Salary & Benefits

Salary depends on experience. Fortune 100-style benefits include:

  • Generous health, dental, vision, long-term disability, and life insurance plans
  • 15 days of annual paid leave and 12 paid holidays
  • 401k with 2% company match
  • Tax-advantaged commuter benefits program
  • Additional benefits through TotalSource benefits partner include: training opportunities, corporate discounts, and Employee Assistance Program

About NIAC Action:

NIAC Action is the grassroots, civic action organization committed to advancing peace and championing the priorities of the Iranian-American community. We are a nonpartisan nonprofit and the 501(c)4 sister organization of the National Iranian American Council, which works to strengthen the Iranian-American community and promote greater understanding between the American and Iranian people.

Tell Congress to Stop Trump’s Muslim Bans

 

Senators Chris Murphy and Dianne Feinstein have introduced legislation to block any taxpayer dollars from being used to enforce Donald Trump’s Muslim bans.

If Congress passes this bill – the Muslim Ban will be blocked for good.

Thankfully, 29 Senators have already signed onto the bill. Unfortunately, Republican leadership has blocked any votes on the ban. In order to change that, we need to get more Senators on board – and encourage those who support the bill to aggressively push for a vote.

Send a message now – our system will prep a message to each of your two Senators based on whether or not they are supporting this bill. If they have signed onto the legislation, it will send a thank you note with encouragement that the Senator press for a vote. If they have not signed onto the bill, it will urge them to support it. In either case – you will have the option to edit or add your own message.


DONATE to help us stop Trump’s ban!

Help us mobilize the Iranian-American community and American public against Trump’s ban! Donate today >>

Call Congress to Save the Iran Deal!

 

Trump is calling on Congress to kill the Iran Deal and set the stage for military action.

This is not a drill. This is really happening. Trump’s friend Senator Tom Cotton is introducing legislation next week to turn his plan for war into action. We can stop this, but only if everyone is all in.

Tom Cotton wants the U.S. to unilaterally rewrite the terms of the deal – threatening sanctions if Iran, Europe, and the other parties to the deal don’t agree to new terms. If Iran then exits the deal, Cotton says the U.S. will impose a blockade to destabilize Iran and launch military strikes to destroy Iranian nuclear facilities.

We have teamed up with groups like Indivisible, MoveOn, and J Street to call on Congress to do everything in its power to stop Trump from killing the deal.

Now we need you to add your voice.

*Select the checkbox to become a NIAC Action member and receive updates on our efforts to continue diplomacy with Iran.


DONATE to help us save the Iran Deal and keep diplomacy alive!

Help us mobilize the Iranian-American community and American public to save the Iran Deal! Donate today >>

National Grassroots Organizations to Congress: Stop Trump From Killing Iran Deal

September 13, 2017

Senators and Members of the House of Representatives:

Click to view original PDF of letter sent to Congress

We are organizations that represent tens of millions of Americans writing to express our profound concern that recent moves by the White House risk putting the United States on the path to another costly and disastrous war of choice in the Middle East. We respectfully urge that you, as our elected representatives in a co-equal branch of government, do everything in Congress’ power to prevent Donald Trump from dismantling the Iran nuclear deal and from escalating towards a disastrous war with Iran. Americans are all too familiar with the consequences of a war of choice in the Middle East following the war in Iraq. Thousands of our brave men and women in uniform were killed, tens of thousands more were wounded, hundreds of thousands of innocent Iraqi lives were lost and taxpaying families have shouldered trillions of dollars of debt. And still today, the fallout from the invasion is undermining U.S. national security. A war against Iran, with more than twice Iraq’s population and nearly four times its size, would likely be more devastating. Abandoning a diplomatic success and launching another costly war of choice would be rightly seen as one of

We are organizations that represent tens of millions of Americans writing to express our profound concern that recent moves by the White House risk putting the United States on the path to another costly and disastrous war of choice in the Middle East. We respectfully urge that you, as our elected representatives in a co-equal branch of government, do everything in Congress’ power to prevent Donald Trump from dismantling the Iran nuclear deal and from escalating towards a disastrous war with Iran. Americans are all too familiar with the consequences of a war of choice in the Middle East following the war in Iraq. Thousands of our brave men and women in uniform were killed, tens of thousands more were wounded, hundreds of thousands of innocent Iraqi lives were lost and taxpaying families have shouldered trillions of dollars of debt. And still today, the fallout from the invasion is undermining U.S. national security. A war against Iran, with more than twice Iraq’s population and nearly four times its size, would likely be more devastating. Abandoning a diplomatic success and launching another costly war of choice would be rightly seen as one of

Americans are all too familiar with the consequences of a war of choice in the Middle East following the war in Iraq. Thousands of our brave men and women in uniform were killed, tens of thousands more were wounded, hundreds of thousands of innocent Iraqi lives were lost and taxpaying families have shouldered trillions of dollars of debt. And still today, the fallout from the invasion is undermining U.S. national security. A war against Iran, with more than twice Iraq’s population and nearly four times its size, would likely be more devastating. Abandoning a diplomatic success and launching another costly war of choice would be rightly seen as one of

A war against Iran, with more than twice Iraq’s population and nearly four times its size, would likely be more devastating. Abandoning a diplomatic success and launching another costly war of choice would be rightly seen as one of history’s great blunders, devastating America’s standing and security while destroying countless lives.

Iran engages in harmful non-nuclear behavior that poses challenges to the United States and the region. Yet the most successful effort to resolve challenges with Iran has been through diplomatic engagement, which produced the historic Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

The JCPOA is successfully blocking Iran’s pathways to a nuclear weapon, re-obligating the Iranian government in perpetuity to never acquire a nuclear weapon and to permit intrusive inspections. Iran’s compliance has been repeatedly and consistently certified by the International Atomic Energy Agency and supported by the assessment of the U.S. intelligence community.

Unfortunately, Donald Trump and his administration have cast doubt on continued American compliance with the JCPOA in a series of concerning statements and reports. Trump has publicly contemplated withholding certification of the JCPOA in mid-October regardless of Iranian actions, which would almost certainly upend the nuclear accord by triggering the reinstatement of nuclear sanctions. Additionally, in a repeat of the effort to build the case for the Iraq war under a newly created ‘Office of Special Plans’ in 2002, the Trump White House has assigned a team of ideological advisers to lay the groundwork to terminate the JCPOA.

The Trump White House’s threats to dismantle the JCPOA are tremendously dangerous for the U.S. and the entire world. As dozens of retired Generals and Admirals wrote in a letter to Trump in July, the administration must “recognize the national security benefits of the nuclear agreement and appropriately weigh the risks to our troops of escalating tensions with Iran.”

The implementation of the JCPOA and the administration’s handling of U.S. policy toward Iran is a life-or-death matter for countless Americans, Iranians and others in the region. We ask you to do all that is in your power to sustain the JCPOA and help prevent a senseless slide to war.

Sincerely,

Americans for Peace Now
Council for a Livable World
CREDO
Daily Action
Daily Kos
Demand Progress
Friends Committee on National Legislation
Indivisible
J Street
Just Foreign Policy
MoveOn.org
NIAC Action
Peace Action
VoteVets
Women’s Action for New Directions
Win Without War

Sec. Mattis: Staying in the JCPOA is in the U.S. National Interest

Secretary of Defense James Mattis affirmed during a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing today that staying in the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) is in the U.S. national interest. This statement is significant for several reasons, but perhaps most importantly because it undercuts the likely justification the Trump administration could use to withhold certification of the accord to Congress in advance of the upcoming Oct. 15th deadline mandated by the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act.
 
Senator Angus King (I-ME) asked Mattis whether “it’s in our national security interest at the present time to remain in the JCPOA,” prompting a response of “Yes, Senator, I do,” from Mattis.
 
The Trump administration must affirm every 90 days that Iran is abiding by the terms of the JCPOA and has not committed a material breach, that Iran has not made any significant advances toward a nuclear weapon and that continuing sanctions relief – and thus staying in the JCPOA – is in the U.S. national interest. If the administration fails to certify, as Trump has strongly hinted is his preference, Congress would have sixty days to snap back nuclear sanctions under expedited procedure and effectively kill the JCPOA. Trump has no solid basis to withhold certification under any of those justifications.
 
International Atomic Energy Agency Director General Yukiya Amano has clarified that Iran is abiding by the terms of the JCPOA and that verification under the nuclear accord is strong. In mid-September, Amano stated “The nuclear-related commitments undertaken by Iran under the JCPOA are being implemented” and that “Iran is now subject to the world’s most robust nuclear verification regime.” 
 
Top military brass and U.S. intelligence have also affirmed Iran’s compliance with the JCPOA. At the same hearing today, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Joseph Dunford affirmed that “Iran is not in material breach of the agreement and I do believe that the agreement to date has delayed the development of a nuclear capability by Iran.” In September, Gen. Dunford asserted “The briefings I have received indicate that Iran is adhering to its JCPOA obligations.” In mid-July, General Paul Selva, Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff also stated “Based on the evidence that’s been presented by the intelligence community, it appears that Iran is in compliance with the rules that were laid out in the JCPOA.” 
 
Further, seven ranking members in the Senate wrote in a letter to the administration that “the President himself has twice certified that Iran is complying, and that continuing to abide by the agreement is in the vital national security interests of the United States…We are unaware of any information in the interim that would argue for a change in those determinations in October. “
 
Mattis did indicate that the certification mandated by the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act is separate from walking away from the agreement, noting that the administration is considering “how we deal with both the legal requirement from the Congress as well as the international agreement.” That is technically true, though a Presidential decertification would place the onus on Congress to refrain from snapping back nuclear sanctions under the expedited procedure triggered by decertification in order to stay in the agreement. It would also open a Pandora’s box as to how Iran, and the international community, might react to such a move. Mattis also asserted that “if we can confirm that Iran is living by the agreement, if we can determine that this is in our best interest, then clearly we should stay with it.” He elaborated, “I believe at this point in time, absent indications to the contrary, it is something that the President should consider staying with.”
 
To recap: there is no credible indication Iran is violating the agreement, nor that Iran is making progress toward a nuclear weapon. Secretary of Defense James Mattis has asserted that it remains in the U.S. interest to stay in the JCPOA. Yet still, by all indications Trump may jeopardize U.S. interests by decertifying the accord and threatening to enable Congress to scuttle the deal for him. If the President follows through on his decertification threat, Congress must protect U.S. interests by abstaining from snapping back sanctions or any additional steps that threaten the accord.

NIAC Action, AAAJ, and CAIR Condemn Attempted “Backdoor Muslim Ban,” Mobilize Community to Oppose Proposal, Groups Facilitate Submission of Approximately 1,900 Comments

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The public comment period for the proposal to make the Trump Administration’s Backdoor Muslim Ban permanent ends today. NIAC Action (sister organization to the National Iranian American Council), Asian Americans Advancing Justice (“Advancing Justice”), and the Council on American-Islamic Relations (“CAIR”) are announcing that their coordinated campaign against this discriminatory policy during the public comment period was successful.  Since launching in early September, the three organizations helped facilitate approximately 1,900 comments against this policy by organizing the community to use their web portals.

If approved, this policy would allow the Trump Administration to continue to gather huge amounts of personal data about visa applicants, including social media history from the past five years and travel history for the past fifteen years, simply to justify rejecting Muslim applicants.  

“Our community wants what any other community would want: the freedom to proudly express our identities freely and without fear of discrimination,” said Shayan Modarres, Legal Counsel for NIAC Action. “This policy of extreme vetting based on national origin and religious belief is discriminatory, unconstitutional and not the country we should be.”

“This administration has shown time and again that enacting a Muslim Ban by any possible means is their flagship policy,” said Christina Sinha, a National Security Staff Attorney with Advancing Justice. “Changing the policy’s packaging does not change what is inside –and what is inside is a backdoor attempt to institute yet another unconstitutional Muslim Ban.”

“For decades, our communities have witnessed a continual erosion of our civil and human rights,” said CAIR Director of Government Affairs Department Robert McCaw. “From registries and profiling to regular harassment, we have endured these attacks on our rights and our humanity. This comment period was an opportunity to stand up to all anti-Muslim policies that have tried to silence us and to speak up for our values as a community, and as a country.”

The web portals were set up in order to assist affected communities, and the general public, in submitting their comments about this proposal by providing a platform to make their voices heard.  The groups conducted community outreach to alert the community about the plan; created a video in several different languages to help explain the government’s proposal; encouraged people to comment; joined a Coalition of civil and human rights organizations in opposing the policy; and filed their own organization comments.  

Advancing Justice, CAIR, and NIAC Action are committed to combating the Backdoor Muslim Ban and every attempt by the Trump Administration to target the Muslim community.  No matter its iteration, our communities will rise up to demand #NoMuslimBanEver.

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NIAC Action is the grassroots, civic action organization advancing peace and championing the priorities of the Iranian-American community.

Asian Americans Advancing Justice is a national affiliation of five leading organizations advocating for the civil and human rights of Asian Americans and other underserved communities to promote a fair and equitable society for all.  Its members are: Advancing Justice-Asian Law Caucus, Advancing Justice-Los Angeles, Advancing Justice-Atlanta, Advancing Justice-AAJC, and Advancing Justice-Chicago.

CAIR is America’s largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization.  Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.