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Published on March 19th, 2013 | by Jasmin Ramsey

Is President Obama listening to Iranian-Americans, too?

It’s the Iranian New Year (Nowruz) and on this day I’m missing my family, as well as thinking of the millions of Iranians who are dealing with the allegedly unintended consequences of the US-led sanctions regime on Iran.

Iranian expatriates don’t agree on much, but there’s a growing consensus that broad and sweeping sanctions, which are supposed to be aimed at the Iranian government, are impacting ordinary Iranians the most — and in destructive ways. The National Iranian American Council has accordingly produced a campaign video, featuring 12 well-known Iranian-Americans, explaining why they’re against broad sanctions on Iran.

President Obama has sent a Nowruz message to Iranians, and perhaps most notably, to Iran’s leaders. But the US position remains  unchanged, with more sanctions announced earlier this month and Congress preparing for a potential conflict more than successful diplomacy. Many have argued over the years that Obama’s Iran policy has been influenced by domestic political considerations, which isn’t unusual as far as the making of foreign policy goes. So, I have to wonder, is he listening to Iranians here at home, too?

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Jasmin Ramsey is an Iranian-born journalist based in Washington, DC.



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