The Asian Law Caucus (ALC), in collaboration with the Public Affairs Alliance of Iranian Americans (PAAIA) and several other Iranian-American organizations, has released a publication titled “Unintended Victims: The Impact of the Iran Sanctions on Iranian Americans.”
News reports continue to spell out something that the US government claims it’s trying to avoid: sanctions are harming average Iranians, many of whom are the most vulnerable. Now it’s also clear that Iranians inside Iran aren’t the only ones who are suffering from America’s apparently incoherent Iran policy.
The sanctions and the deeply complicated, burdensome and stressful process of obtaining exemptions from the mammoth sanctions-regulatory/enforcement body, OFAC, are impeding ordinary Iranian-Americans from a wide range of routine activities essential to their personal lives. According to the report, this isn’t by accident, and can be remedied:
Both proponents and opponents of the sanctions must agree that U.S. persons should not be unfairly targeted by a set of laws and regulations simply because of their nationality or country of origin. And yet, that is precisely the situation the Iranian American community finds itself in. As illustrated in this report, it is clear that the Iran Sanctions have had intended and collateral consequences for the Iranian American community. Lawmakers and those in the Executive Branch, including the President and the Office of Foreign Assets Control, should work closely with the Iranian American community and community and legal organizations to understand the community’s concerns, and should take the proactive steps outlines above to ensure that this disproportionate burden is lifted.