DNC Adopts Resolution to Save the Iran Deal

The Democratic National Committee has just adopted a resolution calling on the U.S. to re-enter the Iran nuclear accord, formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). 

This will ensure that re-entering the JCPOA is a key priority for the Democratic Party going forward, especially as the Party prepares its platform for the 2020 presidential election. We commend the DNC’s decision and would like to especially thank DNC Committeewoman Yasmine Taeb—who submitted this resolution and who NIAC Action has endorsed in her race for the Virginia Senate.

Why is this so significant?  

Sustaining the Iran nuclear agreement is crucial to preventing war with Iran, which is central to our mission at NIAC and has consistently been ranked as the top issue area of concern by our members. It is clear that many inside and outside the Trump Administration who have long called for attacking Iran are hoping to trigger a crisis by provoking Iran to abandon the accord. 

NIAC has worked to preserve the nuclear agreement by encouraging lawmakers and 2020 candidates to signal that the U.S. will return to the deal under a new administration. Our first step in this effort was publishing a report last fall which outlined why Congress and 2020 Presidential candidates should commit to returning the U.S. to the Iran deal. Since then, presidential candidates Elizabeth Warren and Amy Klobuchar have both signaled that they favor returning the U.S. to the deal. And in addition to today’s passage of a DNC resolution, we will have promising news from Congress on this front to announce soon.

We know saving the deal will not be easy— in fact, the Trump administration’s drive to destabilize Iran and trigger military action is already accelerating. Just this past week, the Trump Administration called on Europe to kill the nuclear agreement and Benjamin Netanyahu suggested Israel and Arab states are working towards a war with Iran. 

NIAC will continue working overtime to prevent war with Iran, including working with 2020 candidates and Congress. 

Donate to Contribute to Our Efforts >>

BREAKING: Trump Administration Forced to Turn Over Information on Muslim Ban

We have a positive update on the effort to scale back and ultimately overturn Donald Trump’s Muslim Ban. As part of the spending bill that will become law today, the Trump administration will be forced to turn over important information on the ban that will enable Congress to finally have oversight of this policy.

The Trump Administration must now report on the implementation of the sham waiver process that continues to deny spouses, sick family members, and others who are supposedly exempt from the ban. It must also explain to Congress its justification for continuing what was supposed to be a temporary policy.

This will help enable Congress to hold hearings, press the Administration to issue more waivers, and reduce the negative impact of the ban until it can be repealed.

This small victory is the culmination of efforts we coordinated last year with over fifty organizations—including the ACLU, Brennan Center, J Street, and Iranian-American organizations like PAAIA and IABA—to urge Congress to demand this information. We then worked closely with Sens. Van Hollen (D-MD) and Leahy (D-VT) to pass an amendment to turn those demands into law. While the effort was delayed over the disputes that led to the government shutdown, the amendment will become law later today. We are tremendously thankful to Sens. Van Hollen and Leahy for ensuring that these reporting requirements passed.

Even as Americans brace themselves for Trump’s pending declaration of a “national emergency” to try to build his border wall, we must also relish today’s small but significant step forward for everyone impacted by the Muslim Ban. Now, we must take the next step by passing new legislation supported by NIAC Action and over 100 organizations to hold hearings and block funding for the ban.

>> Tell Congress: Repeal the Ban

We’re Proud to Endorse Shireen Ghorbani as Mayor of Salt Lake County

NIAC Action is thrilled to announce our endorsement of Shireen Ghorbani for Mayor of Salt Lake County!

Last year, NIAC Action proudly endorsed Shireen Ghorbani for Congress in Utah’s 2nd Congressional District. After a well-fought congressional campaign, Shireen has embarked on another challenge of making local government more representative and accountable to voters – running for Mayor of Salt Lake County! Determined to serve her community, Shireen is once again showing us what true public service is supposed to look like. And having already spent a year building a strong grassroots campaign, engaging voters and tackling critical issues head-on, there is no other candidate more suited for Mayor than Shireen!

But as with any campaign, Shireen’s success will be determined by the support and resources she can build. And with the special election on January 26th, we only have a couple of days to help her come out on top!

A win for Shireen would represent another historic breakthrough! So we are asking, will you make a contribution to support Shireen before her critical January 26th deadline?

>> Donate to Shireen’s campaign

For those that live in the county, you can also help secure a win for Shireen by submitting your name to become a Central Committee Member. Depending on your precinct, you can submit your name for consideration to the Precinct Chair responsible for appointing new committee members. If you are selected, you will be able to vote for Shireen alongside 1,000 other Central Committee Members.

We’re Proud to Endorse Parshan Khosravi for CADEM Assembly District 73 Delegate

NIAC Action is proud to endorse Parshan Khosravi’s campaign to represent the 73rd Assembly District as a District Delegate for the California Democratic Party. If elected, Khosravi will strive to advocate for the Iranian-American community within the California Democratic Party.

A Zoroastrian, Khosravi came to the United States as a religious refugee in 2009. This experience has pushed him to empower his community. Since then, he has been a political advocate on a number of issues, from refugee advocacy, food insecurity, affordable education, and mental health advocacy, to fighting against Trump’s Muslim ban. He channeled his advocacy work through organizations like HIAS and NIAC and by taking on leadership roles in student government. As an undergrad at the University of California, Irvine, Khosravi was actively involved in the Associated Students of UCI, becoming the student body president from 2015-16. After moving along to his Master’s program at UCLA, Khosravi spent two years in the Executive committee of the UC Student Association and worked as the External Vice President for the UCLA Graduate Student Association. He not only used that role to raise student voices, but also the Westwood Iranian community, successfully advocating for what is now the North Westwood Neighborhood Council.

When recalling why Khosravi decided to get involved with the Democratic Party, he cited his desire to fight for the Iranian-American community: “While pursuing my graduate degree at UCLA, I shifted a lot of my advocacy towards protecting our Iranian refugees, many of whom were affected by the Trump ban. I remember looking at the footage of all of my fellow Iranians stuck at the airports across the country and realizing that there is no place for such hate and bigotry in our country, and decided I need to do something about it. That was the moment I started getting involved with the Democratic Party.” Since then, Khosravi was elected as the Chair of the Labor Caucus for the California Young Democrats and is now running with the Unity in the Community Slate to continue fighting for “equity-driven policies that serve to empower our communities”.

If elected, Khosravi will not only focus on policies affecting the Iranian-American community, like fighting the Muslim ban and promoting peace, but also fight for issues like infrastructure, climate change, after-school programs, senior services, and more.

If you are in CA Assembly District 73, please vote for Parshan Khosravi for CADEM Delegate on January 26. Details on where and when to vote can be found here.

You must be a registered Democrat to vote. If you are not a registered Democrat or registered to vote, but live in the district and wish to vote for Parshan, you can register or change your party affiliation on site.

We’re Proud to Endorse Reza Seena Soltanzad as CADEM Assembly District 24 Delegate

NIAC Action is proud to endorse Reza Seena Soltanzad as CADEM District Delegate for California Assembly District 24. Soltanzad is a young but thoughtful progressive candidate committed to Medicare-For-All, vigorous action on climate change, public housing, and grassroots politics instead of corporate interests.

Soltanzad majored in Political Science and communications at Santa Clara University and is a recent graduate. During college he gained experience as a refugee resettlement intern with the International Rescue Committee in San Jose and as an intern for the National Iranian American Council in Washington D.C. Progressive candidates such as Bernie Sanders inspired Soltanzad to enter grassroots politics. He believes the Democratic party must adopt a progressive platform to truly represent the working and middle classes. “I would like to see the Democratic Party adopt and endorse Medicare-For-All as a part of the domestic healthcare reform platform, endorse the Green New Deal as the strategy to combat climate change, and call for tuition-free public colleges and universities,” said Soltanzad. That’s why he decided to run with the ‘Grassroots Progressive’ slate.

Soltanzad is also deeply committed to issues that directly impact the Iranian-American community. He supports the JCPOA and opposes military conflict with Iran. He also stands firmly against the Muslim Ban which he views as unconstitutional and unethical.

If you are in CA Assembly District 24, please vote for Reza Seena Soltanzad for CADEM Delegate on January 26. Details on where and when to vote can be found here.

You must be a registered Democrat to vote. If you are not a registered Democrat or registered to vote, but live in the district and wish to vote for Soltanzad, you can register or change your party affiliation on site.

Memo: H.R. 31, Caesar Syria Civilian Protection Act of 2019

The Trump administration’s re-imposition of nuclear-related sanctions on Iran has placed the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA)—the nuclear deal between the U.S., other major world powers, and Iran—on the brink of collapse. Not only has the President’s National Security Advisor John Bolton sought war options against Iran, but the Trump administration has also utilized existing Iran sanctions authorities in unprecedented ways by targeting entities involved with humanitarian trade that are far removed from sanctionable conduct. It is imperative that Congress demonstrate leadership by working to protect the JCPOA and avoid providing the Trump administration with new ammunition to escalate tensions with Iran.

In this context, we are concerned that the sanctions mandated by H.R. 31, the Caesar Syria Civilian Protection Act of 2019, can be utilized by this administration to redouble its efforts to unravel the JCPOA by targeting Iranian parties far removed from Syria. Because the Trump administration has not shied from using its sanctions authorities toward Iran, H.R. 31 could – however unintentionally – (1) further empower the Trump Administration to undermine Iran’s continued compliance with the JCPOA, increasing the risk of collapsing the nuclear agreement entirely and leading Iran to ramp up its nuclear activities; and (2) complicate any efforts by a successor administration to bring the United States back into compliance with the JCPOA, particularly if the Trump administration uses H.R. 31’s authorities to impose sanctions on those Iranian parties whose designations were formerly rescinded pursuant to the JCPOA.

We recognize the desire to pressure Assad and that this bill has been under consideration for some time; however, we believe that the first foreign policy action by the new Congress should advance priorities like salvaging international agreements that this administration has so callously imperiled and encourage the pursuit of diplomatic solutions the challenges within the region. It would be more appropriate to move H.R. 31 through regular order and ensure that the legislation does not in any way jeopardize the JCPOA. Moreover, we would strongly encourage proactive steps to ensure that the window to return to the JCPOA remains open throughout the 116th Congress and to safeguard the prospect of diplomatic solutions to resolve regional challenges.

Congress Must Rein in Trump’s War Cabinet

Trump has stacked his cabinet with Iran warhawks, withdrawn from the Iran nuclear deal that is successfully guarding against Iranian nuclear weapons and – according to recent reports – Trump’s National Security Advisor John Bolton and the President himself sought plans from the Pentagon to attack Iran.

These developments are dire and, barring Congressional intervention, the U.S. may launch yet another ill-advised war of choice that could haunt the U.S. and Middle East for generations.

The 116th Congress must investigate the Trump administration’s war plans for Iran, impose legal and political restraints to block an unconstitutional war with Iran and take steps to salvage the nuclear accord.

Bolton Asked for War Options Against Iran

  • John Bolton asked the Pentagon to prepare options to strike Iran in September – an act of war that has not been authorized by Congress.
  • The options considered reportedly included “a cross-border airstrike on an Iranian military facility” as well as “options to respond with strikes in Iraq and Syria as well.”
  • The response rattled national security officials, with one former official warning that it was “mind-boggling how cavalier they were about hitting Iran.”
  • voicing deepening fears” that Bolton “could precipitate a conflict with Iran.”

Mattis Scuttled Bolton’s War Push

  • The strikes were contemplated after two attacks in Iraq attributed to Shia militias tied to Iran – neither of which led to damage or casualties. It is unclear if Iran knew of the attack or to what extent it is tied to the militias involved.
  • In one attack, “mortar bombs landed inside Baghdad’s heavily fortified Green Zone, where the U.S. Embassy is located.” A second involved a rocket attack on the airport near Basra, near to where the U.S. consulate was located. That incident followed raucous protests in Basra that led to the torching of the Iranian consulate.
  • U.S. officials warned it would hold Iran accountable, saying “Iran did not act to stop these attacks by its proxies in Iraq, which it has supported with funding, training, and weapons.”
  • The push to strike Iran directly over this murky affair was strongly opposed by former Defense Secretary James Mattis and other Pentagon officials, who argued successfully that the attacks were “insignificant.”

The President Reportedly Pushed Mattis to Sink Iranian Ships

  • In 2017, “Trump repeatedly asked his national security team for plans to blow up Iranian fast boats” patrolling the Persian Gulf.
  • Following a promise on the campaign trail to shoot Iranian ships “out of the water,” Trump was “incredulous” that the U.S. hadn’t sunk Iranian boats that have often had close run ins with U.S. ships, which he thought was a “humiliation and sign of weakness.”
  • Fortunately, 2017 saw fewer run ins between Iranian and U.S. vessels in the Persian Gulf, as the sinking of an Iranian ship could spark a major regional conflagration.

Trump Is Seeking to Kill the Iran Nuclear Deal

  • Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal and snap back sanctions – which was finalized in November – puts at risk severe limitations and comprehensive inspections over Iran’s nuclear program.
  • Iran has warned that it could respond to the provocation by expanding its nuclear program or limiting the access of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
  • By killing Iran’s benefit from the deal, the Trump administration appears to be baiting Iran to escalate its nuclear program – which Bolton could use to put his war plans in motion.
  • By targeting our allies with sanctions for seeking to uphold a UN Security Council-endorsed agreement that the U.S. negotiated, Trump has undermined U.S. leadership and sapped America’s diplomatic power.
  • In order to forestall a push to war, re-secure vital nonproliferation safeguards and restore U.S. diplomatic credibility, Congress should push for the U.S. to return to compliance with the deal.

Trump Has Assembled A War Cabinet

  • Bolton previously published an op-ed entitled “To Stop Iran’s Bomb, Bomb Iran” and promised a cult-like group that was designated as a terrorist organization until 2011 that they would celebrate regime change in Iran by the end of 2018.
  • Mike Pompeo pushed 2,000 bombing sorties on Iran as an alternative to nuclear negotiations in 2014, suggested that the U.S. pursue regime change in Iran, and  encouraged Trump to first decertify and then kill the nuclear accord.
  • James Mattis, the so-called “adult in the room,” is no longer there to push back on ill-advised military strikes in Iran.
  • Trump himself has tweeted in all caps against Iran, warning “YOU WILL SUFFER CONSEQUENCES THE LIKES OF WHICH FEW THROUGHOUT HISTORY HAVE EVER SUFFERED BEFORE.”

Trump Has an Expansive View of War Powers

  • The Trump administration did not seek Congressional authorization prior to launching strikes on the Assad regime in Syria both in 2017 and 2018.
  • In later justifying its strikes, the Trump administration stated that the action did not risk rising up to the level of a “war” and that the administration could conduct strikes in the national interest, thus the administration did not seek approval from Congress.

Congress Must Rein in Trump on Iran

  • Failure to rein in Trump and his war cabinet could lead to a military confrontation with a nation of 80 million that is nearly four times the size of Iraq.
  • Congress should investigate Bolton’s request for war options against Iran as well as the murky events in Iraq that precipitated the request. Sec. Mattis is no longer in a position to scuttle Bolton’s half-baked plans for war.
  • Congress should impose political and legal restraints on the administration’s ability to start a war with Iran. Last year, legislation was introduced (the Prevention of Unconstitutional War with Iran Act – S. 3517/H.R. 7277) to prohibit the Trump administration from using funds to launch a war against Iran without Congressional approval.
  • Congress should push for a return to compliance with the Iran nuclear deal in order to shore up vital nonproliferation safeguards and restore American diplomatic credibility.
  • The American people do not want another war under a reckless administration – the 116th Congress must act without delay to rein in Trump on Iran.

We’re Proud to Endorse Nima Rahimi for 17th Assembly District Delegate

NIAC Action is proud to endorse Nima Rahimi’s re-election campaign to represent the 17th Assembly District as a District Delegate for the California Democratic Party. Rahimi triumphed in his 2017 election by a paper-thin margin of only two votes, and could once again greatly use the support of Iranian Americans in San Francisco and others eager to support leaders of the community.

Rahimi has a strong track record in defending the Iranian-American community and pushing back on Trump’s Muslim ban. When the first iteration of Trump’s ban was announced in January 2017 shortly after his electoral win, Rahimi helped organize protests at San Francisco International Airport. He also helped create an organizing tool to connect families left in limbo by Trump’s ban with lawyers on the ground. A board member of the Iranian American Bar Association and Pars Equality Center Generation Plus, Rahimi also joined a coalition of Iranian-American organizations including NIAC in meeting with then Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi in 2018, which emphasized the importance of repealing the ban.

As Rahimi told the San Francisco Examiner when the Supreme Court upheld the ban last year, “It’s demoralizing and it hurts on a deep level…That decision is not what America is supposed to be about. Every American comes from immigrants. I wouldn’t be here if there was a travel ban when my parents immigrated.”

Rahimi is the son of Iranian immigrants who met while studying in the U.S. and he grew up speaking Persian at home. His family has dealt with numerous waves of discrimination, including after the 1979 Iran hostage crisis and September 11th attacks, and Rahimi’s own interest in politics was sparked after Iran was included in George W. Bush’s axis of evil speech.

Rahimi completed his B.A. in Political Science and German from UC Berkeley and also holds a Masters in Global Politics from the London School of Economics and a law degree from UC Davis. He serves as the co-chair of the Policy Committee for San Francisco’s Immigrant Rights Commission.

Speaking at a press conference hosted by the Immigrant Rights Commission, he emphasized that “We are proud to be part of a City and State and Nation that respect the rule of law and cherish core values of dignity, freedom and inclusion. In this vein, we continue to stand against any attack on sanctuary cities, we support DACA, a Clean Dream Act, and an end to deportations. We urge our local, state and national leaders to continue to speak up for what is right and just. No Muslim Ban Ever.”

He is no stranger to San Francisco’s politics where he worked as a lawyer and served as an elected delegate to the state Democratic Party. He told the San Francisco Examiner, “Moderate and progressive distinctions in San Francisco don’t make sense to me. I’m super pro-housing. I’m also very pro-labor. And I’m passionate about being united against Trump.” He opposes what he calls a “zero sum approach” to politics.

Rahimi credited his last win to grassroots organizing and a commitment to working with the community and pledges to do the same again.

If you are in SF Assembly District 17 and a registered Democrat, vote for Nima Rahimi on January 12! Find out more about his campaign and where to vote here. If you are not a registered Democrat or registered to vote, but live in the district and wish to vote for Nima, you can register or change your party affiliation on site.

Saving Zainab

Zainab Mughal, a 2-year-old girl in Florida who needs rare blood and bone marrow to survive her fight against cancer, needs our community’s help. 

We’re partnering with Vitalant and Project Marrow to find the rare blood that could save Zainab’s life. We’re looking for members of the Iranian-American community to donate blood. Vitalant will draw and test your blood. If you are a donor match, they will send your blood to help Zainab. Regardless of whether or not you are a match, your blood will help someone in need. 

Find a Blood Donation Center by Clicking Here!

 

Because Zainab is missing the “Indian B” antigen in her blood cells, so donor blood must also be missing this antigen for her body to not reject it. This is extremely rare and, according to OneBlood, is most likely found from people with Iranian, Pakistani, or Indian descent. The family needs to find more donors for little Zainab to survive.

Before donating, make sure to:
  • Bring your photo ID
  • Eat a healthy meal and hydrate
  • Tell the staff that you’re there for Zainab
    Note that the staff will ask you a few questions and give you a health screening before you donate.

The more people that go to give blood, the better chance we have at saving Zainab’s life

برای خواندن این متن به فارسی اینجا کلیک کنی

NIAC Action’s 2018 Midterm Endorsements

Meet the eight exceptional candidates that NIAC Action is proud to endorse for the 2018 elections

 

 

Harley Rouda, CA- 48

Rouda is running against Dana Rohrabacher, who represents more than 8,000 Iranian Americans yet has celebrated ISIS terror attacks in Iran, authored legislation to prop up ethnic separatist groups to foment civil war in Iran, and publicly supports the MEK. Rouda would put an end to Rohrabacher’s dangerous pro-war agenda.

> Read more about Harley Rouda

> Donate to Rouda’s Campaign

 

 

Katie Porter, CA- 45

Centered in Irvine, this district is home to the second-largest population of Iranian Americans yet is represented by a Tea Party Republican who supports the Muslim Ban. Porter will be a critical vote to help overturn the Muslim Ban and defend the rights of the 20,000 Iranian Americans in this district.

> Read more about Katie Porter

> Donate to Porter’s Campaign

 

 

Jennifer Wexton, VA- 10

The incumbent, Barbara Comstock, is a close ally of Trump’s National Security Advisor John “Bomb Iran” Bolton – whose Super PAC endorsed and fundraised for her. Wexton would stand up for the 7,000 Iranian Americans in this district and stand against Trump’s war cabinet. 

> Read more about Jennifer Wexton

> Donate to Wexton’s Campaign

 

 

Mike Levin, CA- 49

Levin is running in this open seat vacated by Darrell Issa. He is strong on priorities like preventing war, opposing the Muslim Ban, and fighting for our community. He would represent a huge improvement for the 4,500 Iranian Americans in this district.

> Read more about Mike Levin

> Donate to Levin’s Campaign

 

 

Shireen Ghorbani, UT- 02

Ghorbani is leading an impressive grassroots campaign that could turn this red district blue and make her the first Iranian American elected to Congress. The incumbent, Chris Stewart, is a hawk who opposed the Iran deal and argues the U.S. should focus on confronting Iran rather than groups like Al Qaeda.

> Read more about Shireen Ghorbani

> Donate to Ghorbani’s Campaign

 

 

Anna Eskamani, FL-HD47

Anna Eskamani is running for Florida House District 47 in Orlando and would become the first Iranian-American woman ever elected to a state legislature. She has been attacked for her Iranian heritage by her opponent and refused to back down.

> Read more about Anna Eskamani

> Donate to Eskamani’s Campaign

 

 

Zahra Karinshak, GA-SD48

Zahra Karinshak is an Iranian-American Georgia native running for State Senate District 48. She’s in one of the most diverse districts in the country, but it is a red district that has been unchallenged for 14 years. She can change that.

> Read more about Zahra Karinshak

> Donate to Karinshak’s Campaign

 

 

Iman Novin, Walnut Creek City Council

Iman Novin is running for City Council in Walnut Creek, CA. Iman’s campaign is not just about a local election, but a broader movement to get more Iranian-Americans elected to public office.

> Read more about Iman Novin

> Donate to Novin’s Campaign

 

 

Support NIAC Action

Iranian Americans Back New Senate Legislation Blocking Trump from Launching War with Iran Without Congressional Approval

Senator Tom Udall (D-NM) along with seven other Senators last night introduced legislation to prevent President Trump from launching a preemptive military strike against Iran without Congressional approval.

Jamal Abdi, President of NIAC Action, a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to giving a voice to the Iranian-American community, issued the following statement in support of Udall’s legislation:

“President Trump has assembled a war cabinet that promised ‘hell to pay’ for Iran and sabotaged diplomatic channels to de-escalate tensions. Now more than ever, it seems the administration is on the warpath with Iran, which makes the Udall legislation a must-pass piece of legislation for all lawmakers who refuse to repeat the Iraq war playbook again in the Middle East.

“The American people do not want another war of choice, particularly against a nation nearly four times the size of Iraq. The Udall bill mandates that if Trump wants to start a war with Iran, he has to come to Congress for debate and approval. Our elected representatives in Washington are sworn to uphold the Constitution, so this should be an easy bill for every member of Congress to support.”

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