UANI Calls on Obama Administration to Reconsider Waiving Sanctions on IRIB, Given Repeated Assurances That Human Rights Sanctions Would Not Be Relaxed During Interim Agreement
NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Today, United Against Nuclear Iran (UANI) called on the Obama administration to reconsider its reported decision to waive sanctions for six months on Iran’s state broadcaster, Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB), given repeated administration pledges to fully enforce sanctions related to the Iranian regime’s human rights violations.
“Even as we pursue negotiations of a comprehensive solution on Iran’s nuclear program, we will not relax our efforts to hold Iran accountable for its human rights violations and abuses, support for terrorism, and interference across the region.”
IRIB is sanctioned by the U.S. for its involvement in the Iranian regime’s human rights abuses, including the jamming of foreign broadcasts and the televising of forced confessions and show trials of political prisoners.
Since the P5+1 struck its deal with Iran, the Obama administration has consistently promised to maintain all sanctions related to Iran’s human rights violations. For example:
- Last week, in testimony before the U.S. Senate, the State Department’s Under Secretary for Political Affairs Wendy Sherman stated: “Even as we pursue negotiations of a comprehensive solution on Iran’s nuclear program, we will not relax our efforts to hold Iran accountable for its human rights violations and abuses, support for terrorism, and interference across the region.” [emphasis added]
- Similarly, on January 20, in a press briefing about the agreement, a “Senior Administration Official” said: “… we will continue to vigorously enforce the vast array of sanctions that are not being suspended” and “continue to target Iran’s support for terrorism and human rights abuses.”
Regarding the administration’s reported decision to waive sanctions on IRIB, UANI CEO, Ambassador Mark D. Wallace, said:
We urge the Obama administration to reconsider its decision to waive sanctions on IRIB. The administration repeatedly pledged that the sanctions relief it granted Iran would not include those sanctions related to human rights. It must now uphold those promises, and maintain sanctions on IRIB given IRIB’s continued role in facilitating human rights abuses in Iran. Human rights sanctions must not be used as a diplomatic bargaining chip--they should be lifted only when the corresponding human rights violations have stopped.
No serious person believes that the regime has stopped using IRIB to spread propaganda and stifle dissent. Reports from Iran indicate that while the regime may have temporarily halted uplink jamming, it has continued localized downlink jamming of foreign broadcasts. As such, the Obama administration must not waive sanctions on IRIB.
UANI’s “Tech & Telecom Campaign” highlights the practices of firms that are involved in the Iranian regime’s digital suppression of Iranians.
In previous responses to UANI’s campaign, Spain’s Hispasat, Hong Kong's Asiasat, Canada's Telesat, British telecommunications company Arqiva, and European satellite provider Eutelsat ceased the broadcast of regime programming.
Click here to view Treasury’s February 6, 2013 announcement of sanctions on IRIB for its role in human rights violations.
Click here to learn more about UANI’s Tech and Telecom campaign.
Click here view UANI’s Geneva Interim Agreement Tracker.