NIAC ACTION CALLS ON CONGRESS AND 2020 PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATES TO REPEAL TRUMP’S MUSLIM BAN AMID NEWS OF THE POTENTIAL ADDITION OF IMPACTED COUNTRIES

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Friday, November 1, 2019
CONTACT: Ryan Costello | 202.386.6319 | ryan@niacaction.org  

Washington, D.C. – Jamal Abdi, Executive Director of NIAC Action, issued the following statement regarding the recent news that the Trump Administration is considering adding additional countries to the Muslim ban:

“At a time when thousands of families are being torn apart by Donald Trump’s bigoted Muslim ban, the last thing this administration should be doing is expanding the suffering by adding more impacted countries. Make no mistake – this Administration has a clear policy directive of family separation and yesterday’s news continues to exemplify that. No person should be banned from this country because of their religion or national origin. That is why Congress must take action now to pass the NO BAN Act, which would repeal the Muslim ban and amend the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) to block future bans like this from ever happening again.

The Muslim ban is the original sin of the Trump Administration – one of the first executive orders he signed. While Democrats in the House push for impeachment, they must also push to undo the harm that this president has inflicted on tens of thousands of American families. So far, 199 House Democrats have cosponsored the NO BAN Act. Now the remaining 39 members should take yesterday’s news as their opportunity to add their names and stand up to this xenophobic ban.

Additionally, 2020 Democratic presidential hopefuls should now take a firm stand to repeal Trump’s Muslim ban. Trump’s original sin should be the first action that is repealed in a new Democratic administration. So we call on these presidential candidates to make a public pledge to repeal the Muslim ban on Day 1 of their new administration.

While we have yet to know the full impact of this administration’s decision to expand the scope of the Muslim ban, NIAC Action remains committed to continue fighting for equitable immigration and the full repeal of this ban once and for all.”

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Take Action today to call on Congress to pass the NO BAN Act!

Organizational Letter Supporting Sen. Durbin’s (D-IL) RELIEF Act

October 16, 2019
To: Members of the U.S. Senate

Dear Honorable Senators,

As organizations representing immigrant communities who would be harmed by H.R. 1044/S. 386, the so-called Fairness for High Skilled Immigrants Act, we write to express our support for the compromise offered by Sen. Dick Durbin in the Resolving Extended Limbo for Immigrant Employees and Families (RELIEF) Act.

Many of our groups warned in September that H.R. 1044/S. 386 would not actually fix the green card backlog, and instead would reduce the diversity of the green card process and pit one group of immigrants against others to fight over a broken and inherently unequal system. 

Today, we encourage the Senate to instead support and pass the RELIEF Act to address the green card backlog. The bill recognizes that the backlog stems from too few green cards to meet the actual demand, which can only be sufficiently addressed by expanding the overall number of green cards available, which the bill would do. Moreover, it includes key provisions to protect the diversity of the green card process and minimize the negative repercussions of only removing the country caps. The RELIEF Act does not offer a zero-sum approach that prioritizes one group of immigrants to the exclusion of all others. Moreover, we know that such a formulation can pass, as it is based on the bipartisan, comprehensive immigration reform bill that passed the Senate in 2013.

The green card backlog is a long-standing, complex problem. The RELIEF Act offers a balanced approach that can fix it faster for everyone in the backlog, unlike H.R. 1044/S. 386. We encourage you to cosponsor the RELIEF Act today and oppose H.R. 1044/S. 386 moving forward.

Sincerely,

18 Million Rising
All of Us
Council on American-Islamic Relations
Justice for Muslims Collective
MPower Change Action Fund
National Iranian American Council Action
Project South
South Asian Americans Leading Together (SAALT)
United Chinese Americans
United Macedonian Diaspora
United We Dream

A major victory on our work to protect green card diversity

Last week, we scored a major victory on our work to protect the green card process for Iranians and other communities. Recently NIAC Action assembled a coalition of immigrant-advocacy organizations to send a letter to the Senate urging them to oppose H.R.1044/S.386, the so-called “Fairness for High Skilled Immigrants Act.” This bill, if passed, would effectively block many immigrant communities’ paths to a green card⁠—and Iranians would be particularly impacted. 

This bill was on a path to sail through Congress under the radar until NIAC Action and our allies stepped up to stop it.

Last week, Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) drew a firm red line against passing this bill in a private letter to the bill’s lead, Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT). In the letter, Sen. Durbin cited the coalition’s concerns that this bill exasperates the green card backlog and pits one group of immigrants against others to fight over a broken immigration system. Durbin’s letter could prove decisive in winning the battle against this unfair bill.

Now Durbin plans on introducing his own bill that would clear the current backlog by increasing the number of green cards authorized each year; the solution we proposed in our coalition letter.

Unfortunately, proponents of this bill have attacked Sen. Durbin and employed tactics to intimidate Iranians from voicing their concerns—one group has even encouraged their members to report Iranians who publicly oppose the bill to ICE. We will not allow anyone to silence our voices and we will not allow special interests to turn immigrant groups against one another. And now, we are winning.

However, the fight to protect green card diversity is just revving up. We need everyone to support  Durbin’s efforts by make it abundantly clear  that we will not yield, so please call your Senator today and support our campaign to protect green card diversity.
 

📞 Call your Senator

➡️ Donate directly in support of our campaign to protect fair immigration
 

Sen. Durbin cannot be the only senator stepping up and fighting back. Take action today and help us secure the additional Senate allies we need to ensure the immigration system is fair for all.

Coalition Letter to U.S. Senate Opposing Green Card Bill that Exacerbates the Problem

Today, NIAC Action organized and sent a letter to U.S Senators concerning our opposition to  H.R. 1044/ S. 386. Signatories of the letter included the Arab American Institute, Council on American-Islamic Relations, SAALT, as well as 11 other organizations that represent immigrant communities that would be affected by the bill. 

Why We Oppose the Green Card Bill

This legislation, disingenuously named the Fairness for High Skilled Immigrants Act (H.R. 1044 & S. 386), would effectively close the path to green cards for Iranian nationals as well as for virtually every other nationality. It would add years of delay to the green card process for Iranians already subject to single-entry visas and the Muslim Ban. At a time when this administration has demonized immigrants from numerous countries, we believe that none of these ineffective, harmful policies, including H.R. 1044, occur in a vacuum. The best remedy for the green card backlog is to increase the number of green cards available, not pit groups of immigrants against each other, forcing them to fight for the meager amount of green cards currently available. 

What We Are Doing to Fight Back

Iranian nationals and Iranian Americans are currently being attacked from all sides. Accompanying the U.S. failed maximum pressure in Iran is the maximum restrictions on Iranians and Iranian Americans in the United States–as seen through extreme vetting and the Muslim Ban. 

NIAC Action has secured commitments from multiple U.S. Senators to block passage of H.R.1044 by unanimous consent. In addition to organizing this coalition letter, we will continue to work tirelessly with our allies in the House and Senate to ensure the bill does not become law and to explore every possible avenue to ensure only a solution that is truly fair to all immigrants can move forward. 

Take Action!

This work requires resources and our community faces political challenges that we need YOUR help to overcome. Help keep the path to green cards open for Iranians. You can contribute to this effort by contacting your lawmakers and by making a donation to ensure we continue to have the resources to stop this bill.

September 25, 2019

To: Members of the U.S. Senate

Dear Honorable Senators,

As organizations representing immigrant communities who would be harmed by H.R. 1044/S. 386, the so-called Fairness for High Skilled Immigrants Act, we write to express our opposition to this legislation. Given that this proposal would remove a pillar of our immigration system and have significant repercussions, we urge Senators to block the bill from moving forward for unanimous consent.

We do so for the following reasons:

  1. The bill would not fix the green card backlog faced by visa applicants. Instead, it would merely shift the backlog onto other nationals, reducing the diversity of the green card process.
  2. The bill offers a zero-sum approach that pits one group of immigrants against others to fight over a broken immigration system.
  3. A true solution would protect diversity by expanding the number of green cards available.

We agree that the substantial backlog of visa applicants is unfortunate and needs to be addressed. But H.R. 1044/S. 386 is not a fair solution and risks further problems, such as creating what the State Department has referred to as a “monopoly” of the green card process for one group of nationals and eliminate any diversity from the process. We urge Senators to object to the bill moving forward by unanimous consent and reject what would be a counterproductive attempt at fixing a long-standing, complex problem.

Sincerely,

18 Million Rising
Adhikaar
Albuquerque Center for Peace and Justice
All of Us
Arab American Institute
Asian Pacific Islander American Public Affairs (APAPA)
Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance, AFL-CIO
Council on American-Islamic Relations
Emgage Action
Federal Asian Pacific American Council (FAPAC)
Italian American Democratic Leadership Council
Justice for Muslims Collective
MPower Change
National Iranian American Council Action
National Korean American Service and Education Consortium (NAKASEC)
OCA – Asian Pacific American Advocates
Pakistani American Political Action Committee (PAKPAC Membership)
Project South
South Asian Americans Leading Together (SAALT)
UndocuBlack Network
United Chinese Americans
United Macedonian Diaspora
United We Dream

 

NIAC Statement on First Congressional Hearing on the Muslim Ban

WASHINGTON DC – Today, the Subcommittee on Immigration and Citizenship held the first ever Congressional hearing on the Trump Administration’s discriminatory Muslim Ban. The hearing, which included witness testimony from impacted individuals, enabled Congress and the public to glean insight into the implementation of the nearly three-year-old Muslim Ban. 

In response to today’s hearing, NIAC Policy Director Ryan Costello issued the following statement:

“The Muslim ban has been impacting Iranian Americans since Donald Trump’s first week in office, but had to wait until today for a full hearing examining this fundamentally unjust policy. Thankfully, Reps. Zoe Lofgren and Ami Beraas well as the many Democrats on the subcommitteedelivered, pressing administration officials directly and allowing representatives of impacted communities the chance to explain the harm caused by this ban, which has separated families based on nothing more than bigotry.

“As the hearing made clear, the waiver process that enabled the ban to survive its challenge in the Supreme Court is nothing but a sham. Knowing that they were going to be held to account, the administration actually sped up processing of waivers under the ban over the last ten days in a bid to make the ban and waiver rate more defensible. Fortunately, legislators saw through this charade and rightfully pointed out the irrationality of the policy and the administration’s shameful efforts to shield scrutiny of its actions.

“Unfortunately, those Republican legislators in attendance continued their long track record of defending the ban and Trump, spending more time nitpicking Democrats for using the phrase ‘Muslim ban’ than examining the impact of the ban on impacted communities. History will recall their cowardice and partisanship in the face of Trump’s assault on our nation’s values and Constitutional safeguards.

“Ultimately, there is only one way to uphold America’s higher ideals and defend both Iranian Americans and all impacted communities: by repealing the ban. Until this ban is fully repealed, the shadow of near-insitutionalized discrimination will only continue to degrade the tolerance and values upon which the U.S. was built. Now that the hearing has laid bare the empty rhetoric and justifications underpinning the ban, we urge the House to pass legislation to end the ban once and for all.”

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A number of individuals impacted by the Muslim ban are available to speak to the press and media about their experiences. A summary of their stories can be found in PDF format here.

 

MEDIA ADVISORY: Experts Available to Discuss First Congressional Hearing on Muslim Ban

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Monday, September 23, 2019
CONTACT: Mana Mostatabi, Communications Director – 202.386.6325 x103, mana@niacaction.org
Jamal Abdi, President – 202.386.6408, jamal@niacaction.org 
Ryan Costello, Policy Director – 202.386.6319, ryan@niacaction.org
Shervin Ghaffari, Policy Associate – (202) 386-6325, shervin@niacaction.org

WASHINGTON DC – Experts from the National Iranian American Council (NIAC) will be available to the media to offer commentary on the first ever Congressional hearing on the Trump Administration’s Muslim Ban. The hearing will be held by the Subcommittee on Immigration and Citizenship and will include witness testimonies from individuals impacted by the ban.

The Muslim Ban has for nearly three years succeeded in preventing persons from pre-dominantly Muslim countries from coming to the United States. Iranian nationals have been hit particularly hard by the ban. The September 24 hearing will provide Congress and the public long overdue information on and oversight over the implementation of the Muslim Ban. 

The hearing will take place on September 24, 2019 at 10:00am in 2141 RHOB (Rayburn House Office Building).

NIAC analysts available in Washington DC:

Jamal Abdi is President of the National Iranian American Council (NIAC) and the Executive Director of NIAC Action. He leads NIAC’s advocacy and education on civil rights and immigration issues, as well as diplomacy with Iran. He formerly served as a Policy Advisor on foreign affairs, immigration, and defense issues in the U.S. Congress. Abdi has written for The New York Times, CNN, Foreign Policy, and blogs at The Huffington Post.  He is a frequent guest contributor in print, radio, and television, including appearances on Al Jazeera, NPR, and BBC News. Follow Jamal on Twitter: @jabdi

Ryan Costello joined NIAC in April 2013 as a Policy Fellow and now serves as Policy Director. In this role, Ryan monitors legislation, conducts research and writing, and coordinates advocacy efforts on civil rights and U.S.-Iran policy. Ryan previously served as a Program Associate at the Connect U.S. Fund, where he focused on nuclear non-proliferation policy. He has published in American Foreign Policy Interests, the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, CNN GPS, Foreign Policy, The Hill, Huffington Post and Roll Call. Ryan graduated from American University’s School of International Service with a Master of Arts in U.S. Foreign Policy, and from Ursinus College where he majored in history and international relations. Follow Ryan on Twitter: @RN_Costello

Shervin Ghaffari joined NIAC as a Policy Associate in August 2019. Shervin conducts research and writing on the Middle East, analyzes and monitors legislation, and supports advocacy efforts on Capitol Hill. His expertise includes Iran, U.S. national security issues, and immigration.
He graduated from Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) with a concentration in Middle East Studies and International Economics. Shervin was also an organizer during the 2016 Presidential campaign. He has also spent time with the California Governor’s D.C. office and at the Council on Foreign Relations. Shervin received his B.A. from the University of California, Santa Barbara with a major in Philosophy in Ethics and Government.

Recent NIAC press hits:

Jamal Abdi in The New York TimesIranian Students Set to Start at U.S. Universities Are Barred From Country – September 20, 2019
https://www.nytimes.com/2019/09/20/us/iranian-students-visas.html

Ryan Costello in The Davis EnterpriseIranian students barred from boarding U.S.-bound flights – September 19, 2019
https://www.davisenterprise.com/local-news/iranian-ucd-student-among-those-barred-from-entering-u-s/

Celebrating #TeamZahra on Women’s Equality Day

August 26 marks Women’s Equality Day, a day to celebrate those brave women who fought for, and achieved, much deserved gains in equality since ratifying the 19th Constitutional Amendment. We have gotten as far as we have on gender equality because their courage paved the way for the generations that followed. Their resolve, leadership, and undeniable determination undoubtedly changed for the better America and its future leaders.  

And the momentum hasn’t faltered since. 

On this day, NIAC Action would like to honor another trailblazing woman, Zahra Karinshak. In 2018, Zahra made history on her first day as a State Senator when she was sworn in as Georgia’s first Iranian-American legislator. Soon after her first legislative session began, Zahra became the leading opponent of anti-abortion legislation and co-sponsored legislation to require schools to support young students with dyslexia. 

Zahra, who was endorsed by President Obama and Planned Parenthood in the last cycle, is also a proud U.S. Air Force veteran and federal prosecutor. Making history once again, she is taking her fight for equality to Capitol Hill as the first Iranian-American woman to run for Congress in Georgia’s 7th district. 

Zahra’s commitment to public service knows no bounds as she joins the many women leaders before her whose hard-fought accomplishments have shaped and strengthened our communities and democracy. NIAC Action is proud to have endorsed Zahra Karinshak in her Congressional raceand we can’t wait to see what more she has in store not only for the state of Georgia, but for the entire nation.

Learn more about and support Zahra here.

NIAC Applauds House for Pulling U.S. Back from the Brink of War with Iran via Khanna-Gaetz Amendment

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Friday July 12, 2019
CONTACT: Mana Mostatabi | 202.386.6325 x103 | mana@niacaction.org

WASHINGTON DC – Moments ago, the U.S. House of Representatives voted to pass a bipartisan amendment from Reps. Ro Khanna (D-CA) and Matt Gaetz (R-FL) to bar funding for an unauthorized war with Iran. The amendment passed with a final vote count of 251-170. The Khanna-Gaetz amendment was offered as part of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) and builds on the momentum from last month’s Senate vote on the Kaine-Udall amendment, which also would have also blocked the Trump administration from launching an unauthorized war with Iran.

In response to the passage of the Khanna-Gaetz amendment, NIAC Action President Jamal Abdi issued the following statement:

“The House of Representatives should be applauded for its vote today to stop an unauthorized war with Iran before it starts, and we call on the Senate to follow suit. With the passage of the amendment from Representatives Ro Khanna and Matt Gaetz, legislators moved one step closer to pulling the U.S. back from the edge of a war that the American people do not want and that Congress has never authorized. With nearly all of the 2020 presidential candidates calling for the U.S. to return to the Iran nuclear deal, and now with the House passing the Khanna-Gaetz amendment, a bipartisan consensus against the Bolton-Pompeo approach to Iran has clearly emerged.

“Such safeguards would not be necessary if the Trump administration were not recklessly endangering American security with its incoherent maximum pressure approach toward Iran. Last month, the President took us ten minutes from war, which would have been certain to trigger Iranian reprisals and a long trail of consequences not confined within Iran’s borders. Both the President and his Secretary of State have intimated that they do not need Congressional approval to launch a war, with many Members of Congress alarmed by the administration’s transparent attempts to justify a war with Iran under the 2001 authorization to use military force.

“The Iranian-American community and the broader American public know that war with Iran would be a disaster. That’s why a majority in the House and Senate now are on the record voting for provisions to rule out an unauthorized war with Iran. It is imperative that legislators ensure that the final defense authorization bill includes the Khanna-Gaetz amendment.

“We applaud Reps. Khanna and Gaetz for their leadership. Without the help of Chairmen Eliot Engel, Adam Smith and Jim McGovern as well as Reps. Anna Eshoo, Seth Moulton, Anthony Brown, Barbara Lee and countless Americans who spoke out against war with Iran, this vote would not have been possible.”

NIAC Statement on Senate Vote on Udall-Kaine Amendment

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Friday, June 28, 2019
CONTACT: Mana Mostatabi | 202.386.6325 x103 | mana@niacaction.org

WASHINGTON DC – Today, the Senate voted on a bipartisan amendment spearheaded by Senators Tom Udall (D-NM) and Tim Kaine (D-VA) that would block President Donald Trump from using funds from the defense bill to launch a war with Iran without Congressional authorization. The amendment received 50 votes in favor to just 40 opposed, but fell short of the 60 vote threshold set by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who opposed the amendment. 

In response, NIAC Action Executive Director, Jamal Abdi, issued the following statement:

“We applaud the majority of the Senate that supported today’s amendment to shut down an unauthorized war with Iran. Senators Udall and Kaine deserve particular credit for forcing a vote and convincing a majority of the Senate to go on record against a march to war with Iran. 

“The depths to which McConnell and his allies like Tom Cotton went to oppose this amendment and vote against Congress’ own Constitutional power to declare war is deeply concerning. Voters did not elect Trump king so that he could send our troops into harm’s way whenever he felt like it. Yet, the vast majority of Republicans are either so cowed by Trump or eager for war that they decided to play defense for him. Critically, if not for Mitch McConnell, there could have been a straight up and down vote that inserted this amendment into the defense authorization bill ahead of the House. 

“It is a dereliction of duty for those Senators to have looked at the past several weeks and done nothing. Trump and his deputy Bolton have routinely threatened Iran, taken major provocative steps designed to trigger Iranian reprisals, and barely stepped back from the edge of starting a major war with Iran. 

“Every single Democrat who cast a vote supported the amendment, and four Republicans – Mike Lee, Rand Paul, Susan Collins, and Jerry Moran – made clear through their votes that President Trump does not have authorization for war against Iran. The Iranian-American community, our allies, and all pro-peace and diplomacy advocates should take heart that there is a strong, bipartisan group of lawmakers determined to block an unauthorized Trump war on Iran. Yet, far more is needed.

“Critically, by securing majority support, this has now built momentum for the House of Representatives to pass its own bipartisan Khanna-Gaetz amendment to restrict Trump’s ability to start a war with Iran when Congress returns from the July 4th recess and resumes consideration of its defense authorization bill.”

NIAC Applauds NDAA Amendment Aimed at Blocking Trump’s Path to War

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Tuesday, June 25, 2019  
CONTACT: Mana Mostatabi | 202.386.6325 x103 | mana@niacaction.org

WASHINGTON D.C. – Today, an amendment was offered to the FY20 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that would block an unauthorized war against Iran. The amendment, introduced by Representatives Ro Khanna (D-CA) and Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL), has wide support including from the Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee Adam Smith, the Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee Eliot Engel and the Chairman of the House Rules Committee Jim McGovern. Many other legislators – including Reps. Anna Eshoo, Andy Levin, Barbara Lee, Seth Moulton and Anthony Brown – who have been champions in the effort to ensure Trump doesn’t lead us into an unauthorized war are already signed on as original cosponsors of the amendment.

In response to the amendment’s introduction, NIAC President Jamal Abdi issued the following statement:  

“Congress may be all that is standing between Donald Trump and war with Iran. It is crucial that lawmakers summon the wherewithal to act as a co-equal branch of government to stand up against a disastrous war with Iran. 

“The Khanna-Gaetz amendment is a strong response to the growing risks of war with Iran that stem directly from President Trump’s disastrous maximum pressure approach. 

“After nearly two decades of endless war, the American people do not want another reckless war of choice with Iran. Congress must ensure that the defense authorization rules out war with Iran by passing the Khanna-Gaetz amendment in the House, the Udall-Kaine amendment in the Senate and protecting the provisions from pro-war legislators.

“Recent events have only underscored the importance of ruling out an unauthorized war with Iran. Our thin-skinned President lashed out on Twitter this morning in response to a mistranslation of an Iranian statement, and maintains that he does not need Congressional authorization to start a war. Other Members of Congress – including Mitch McConnell and Tom Cotton  – have shamefully played defense for Trump’s reckless actions in an attempt to keep the path to war with Iran open.”

NIAC Action Endorsee Unseats Incumbent in Virginia Primary Elections

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 11, 2019
CONTACT: Mana Mostatabi | 202.386.6325 x 103 | mana@niacaction.org

VIRGINIA— Moments ago, the Virginia Department of Elections polling results indicated that NIAC Action endorsee, Parisa Dehghani-Tafti, has unseated incumbent Theo Stamos to become the state’s new Commonwealth Attorney of Arlington County and the City of Falls Church, by a margin of 58.5% to 41.5%. Separately, NIAC Action is continuing to monitor the election results for NIAC Action endorsee and DNC delegate Yasmine Taeb in her race for Virginia’s 35th Senate District.

In response to Dehghani-Tafti’s win, NIAC Action Political Director Arzo Wardak said:

“Rarely are prosecutors unseated, and many find themselves in their seats for a lifetime. But that trend is changing–beginning with Parisa. Parisa is an extraordinary woman who now holds the honor of being the first Iranian-American ever elected to this position. Parisa’s influence was felt long before the election results came in. She is among a fresh wave of progressive Iranian-American leaders inspiring a new generation and nurturing civic engagement among a community that has historically shied away it.

“Her candidacy marks an important step forward for the Iranian-American community, and for all communities looking to secure a seat at the table. And her victory illuminates the growing trend of Iranian Americans not only casting off previously ingrained hesitation about civic engagement, but actually wholly leaning into the idea of building political power.

“Parisa is poised to reform the criminal justice system to the benefit of all Virginians–including for minority and immigrant communities who have traditionally found themselves disenfranchised by the system. With Parisa now steering the state toward the path to progressive politics, Virginia voters can now rest assured that there is a candidate in office who is driven by only one thing: the best interests of her constituents.”

Pro-Peace Coalition Delivers Petition Urging Congress to Block Trump’s Path to War with Iran

For Immediate Release: Tuesday, June 11, 2019
Contact: Mana Mostatabi | 202-386-6325 x103 | mana@niacaction.org

Washington D.C. – Today, NIAC Action, Win Without War, MoveOn, J Street, Daily Kos, and CODEPINK delivered 249,000 petition signatures to the House Armed Services Committee members ahead of tomorrow’s National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) markup. The organizations called for the addition of an amendment to the NDAA that would prevent funding for a war with Iran without Congressional approval.

[View photos of the petition drop here: http://bit.ly/NoIranWarJun11]

“Make no mistake, the Trump administration’s decision to exit the Iran deal and re-impose sanctions has brought the U.S. closer to war with Iran,” said Donna Farvard, NIAC Action Organizing Director. “Congress must set up legal barriers to block Trump’s ability to start another disastrous war in the Middle East.”

“Donald Trump and his War Cabinet led by John Bolton have taken us closer to war with Iran than we’ve ever been. After nearly two decades of disastrous military misadventures in the Middle East, only a fool would think a war with Iran would be anything but catastrophic. The Trump administration’s march to war is a five-alarm fire that Congress needs to put out as soon as possible,” said Stephen Miles, Director at Win Without War.

“Before we wake up to find that Trump has declared war on a sovereign nation via Twitter, it is time for Congress to go on the record and act to prevent a war with Iran,” explained Iram Ali, Campaign Director at MoveOn. “It was Congress, after all, that passed the hard-fought multilateral Iran Deal—a historic, bipartisan win for diplomacy between Iran and the United States. By walking away from the Iran Deal, increasing sanctions, and being belligerent in their rhetoric and actions, Trump and his administration are intentionally manufacturing a military confrontation with Iran that we can not afford.”

“Pro-Israel, pro-peace Americans want to see Congress do everything in its power to make clear that the president has no authorization to use military force against Iran,” said J Street President Jeremy Ben-Ami. “If the Trump administration does launch a new war of choice with Iran it will have disastrous consequences for the region, for US interests and for the American people.”

“The last thing this country needs is to enter yet another costly war that will lead to thousands more senseless deaths. Daily Kos calls on Congress to speak up and push back against Trump’s violent and dangerous rhetoric concerning Iran,” said Daily Kos Communications Director Carolyn Fiddler.

“While the Trump administration is building a case for war with Iran, the international community is desperately trying to save the JCPOA and dial down the conflict. It’s time for the Trump administration to listen to American people, the Iranians and the world community. All want to find a peaceful resolution and prevent another disastrous war in the Middle East,” said Lily Tajaddini, Iran Campaign Coordinator at CODEPINK.

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