Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

biden_endless_war

President Joe Biden in the Oval Office February 16, 2021 in Washington, D.C. (Photo: White House/Lawrence Jackson)

'No Time to Waste': Biden Urged to Repair US-Iran Relations With Humanitarian Aid

"We've seen that maximum pressure sanctions don't work and now as we're still reeling from a global pandemic their impacts on everyday people and families in Iran is inexcusable."

Jenna McGuire

Dozens of groups called on U.S. President Joe Biden on Tuesday to restore diplomatic relations with the Iranian government by assisting with humanitarian efforts to combat the Covid-19 pandemic and rejoining the Iran nuclear deal.

"The U.S. can get a win-win that boosts our diplomats at the negotiating table and saves lives."

In an open letter, 47 organizations led by the National Iranian American Council (NIAC) wrote to the president outlining specific actions he should take, which included: ensuring sanctions do not inhibit vaccine procurement, authorizing restricted Iranian assets to be made available for humanitarian purchases, allowing access to public health financing, opening up clear humanitarian channels, and supporting the growing population of Afghan refugees in Iran.

Iran has been one of the worst-hit countries in the Middle East during Covid-19 and according to the signatories, U.S. sanctions have only impeded the pandemic response and exacerbated poverty.

"We've seen that maximum pressure sanctions don't work and now as we're still reeling from a global pandemic their impacts on everyday people and families in Iran is inexcusable," said Sara Haghdoosti, deputy director and senior strategist at Win Without War. "We need to solve this challenge not just because it's the right thing to do but also because it opens more doors on a diplomatic front too."

The letter also implores the Biden administration to rejoin the Iran nuclear agreement, officially called the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). Former President Donald Trump unilaterally sabotaged the deal in 2018 and implemented devastating economic sanctions on Iran, which further aggravated U.S-Iranian relations.

"Recent suggestions that the U.S. should move on from diplomacy to a 'Plan B,' while hinting at the possibility of military strikes, are deeply concerning," the letter reads. "Doubling down on the failed path of mutual pressure and recrimination will harm U.S. and regional security, weaken global nonproliferation efforts, undercut vital administration priorities like defeating Covid-19 across the globe, and risk a disastrous war."

Negotiations to restore the JCPOA, which have been stalled since June, are expected to resume later this month after Ali Bagheri Kani, Iran's new nuclear negotiator, tweeted last week that he had agreed to restart talks before the end of November after speaking with Enrique Mora, a leading European Union diplomat.

"There is still a window of opportunity for President Biden to restore the Iran nuclear deal and avoid a dangerous escalation to war, but creative solutions are urgently needed," said Jamal Abdi, president of NIAC. "By taking humanitarian steps to allow Iranians to combat Covid-19, the U.S. can get a win-win that boosts our diplomats at the negotiating table and saves lives. There's no time to waste."


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

... We've had enough. The 1% own and operate the corporate media. They are doing everything they can to defend the status quo, squash dissent and protect the wealthy and the powerful. The Common Dreams media model is different. We cover the news that matters to the 99%. Our mission? To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good. How? Nonprofit. Independent. Reader-supported. Free to read. Free to republish. Free to share. With no advertising. No paywalls. No selling of your data. Thousands of small donations fund our newsroom and allow us to continue publishing. Can you chip in? We can't do it without you. Thank you.

Dems Mark Anniversary of 13th Amendment With Calls to 'Close the Slavery Loophole'

"Prison labor is slave labor. Pass the #AbolitionAmendment."

Jessica Corbett ·


Urging Dems to 'Fight for Justice,' Progressives Launch 'Pass the PRO Act Holiday Tour'

"We've seen time and time again, when Democrats don't deliver quickly for their base and for labor, bad things happen, and you're approaching that precipice again."

Brett Wilkins ·


Dems Urge DOJ Antitrust Probe Into $43 Billion Discovery-WarnerMedia Merger

"Giant corporations must not be allowed to stomp out competition, put up barriers to enter the market, and continue to exclude Latinos from the media industry."

Jessica Corbett ·


DOJ Lawsuit Challenging Texas Gerrymandering Met With Applause, Calls for Action in Congress

"While we are grateful for the involvement of the federal government, what we need to stop the five-decade cycle of having to take legal action every 10 years is for Congress to pass the Freedom to Vote Act," said one advocate.

Julia Conley ·


'Nobody Is Above the Law': Elizabeth Warren Applauds SEC Probe of Trump's Social Media Venture

"There may have been serious violations of securities laws during the proposed merger of Digital World Acquisition Corp. and Trump's media company," said the Massachusetts Democrat.

Kenny Stancil ·

Support our work.

We are independent, non-profit, advertising-free and 100% reader supported.

Subscribe to our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values.
Direct to your inbox.

Subscribe to our Newsletter.


Common Dreams, Inc. Founded 1997. Registered 501(c3) Non-Profit | Privacy Policy
Common Dreams Logo