For Immediate Release:
Contact: Emily Porter
Phone: (202) 828-8370
Washington, DC – The Public Affairs Alliance of Iranian Americans (PAAIA), a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization serving the interests of the Iranian American community, today reacted to reports that the Trump administration will impose new sanctions on Iran that will weaken the ability for humanitarian aid to reach the country. While the administration intends to use the new sanctions to collapse Iran’s economy and bring leaders to the negotiating table, European allies warn that the sanctions will harm the channels that Iran uses to bring food and medicine into the country as it continues to fight the coronavirus.
In response to the latest sanctions, PAAIA Executive Director Leila Austin issued the following statement:
“The spread of COVID-19 has been catastrophic for the people of Iran and of great concern for the Iranian American community, many of whom have family and friends still residing in Iran. The ability for humanitarian aid to reach the country continues to be of grave concern as food and medical supplies within the country remain limited. While PAAIA welcomes diplomatic action between the U.S. and Iran, we are deeply troubled by sanctions that will impede the ability of humanitarian organizations to reach the Iranian people. PAAIA asks that the administration explore alternatives that would enhance humanitarian assistance to the people of Iran who are in desperate need of aid.”
Earlier this year, PAAIA established the Humanitarian Relief Coalition alongside allies to encourage aid to Iran in response to the pandemic. In April, PAAIA sent policy recommendations to Congress on how the U.S. government should help the Iranian people in the wake of COVID-19. In May, Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ) and other senators introduced the comprehensive COVID-19 International Response and Recovery Act (CIRRA), S.3669, to help support existing international efforts to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. The bill included specific provisions that send a strong message to the administration that U.S. sanctions should not impede the delivery of humanitarian relief to the people of Iran.
October 8, 2020