Cut off from family, unable to travel: how US sanctions punish Iranian Americans

The Guardian | :  As penalties create hardship for Iran’s residents, Iranians in US also suffer consequences: ‘The sanctions are still chasing me’

Following the US assassination of a top Iranian general earlier this month and Iranian airstrikes against US military bases in Iraq, Donald Trump once again imposed biting sanctions against the regime in Tehran. To Iranian Americans, many of whom have lived under sanctions in Iran or have family members there suffering through economic hardship, the fresh round of penalties is a painful reminder of the collateral consequences of escalating conflict.

Iranian Americans across the United States told the Guardian about their worries for their family members and friends affected by US sanctions. And they spoke of the ways the policies affect their own lives, work and communities in the US. “I was raised under sanctions my entire life,” said Nazanin Asadi, 34, who left Iran for California in 2014 and now works as a law clerk in Orange county. “After moving to the US permanently, I can’t believe the sanctions and these laws are still chasing me … I don’t want my community to suffer.”

The threats of a full-blown war following Trump’s 3 January order to kill Gen Qassem Suleimani caused anxiety among some Persian communities in the US, especially for Iranian families who have been torn apart by Trump’s travel ban. Trump backed away from additional strikes, but his administration implemented a fresh wave of sanctions, targeting senior Iranian officials and the country’s textile, construction, manufacturing and other sectors.

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