A group of activists with ties to the Bay Area has traveled to Iran in order to "challenge" President Donald Trump's policies toward that country.
The group of 30 people, organized by the anti-war group Code Pink, plan to spend 10 days in Iran studying the effects of U.S. sanctions that were unilaterally imposed by the Trump administration after it removed the U.S. from the so-called Iran nuclear deal.
Joining the group are at least two Bay Area residents -- University of San Francisco professor and Middle East scholar Stephen Zunes and David Hartsough, director of the San Francisco-based group Peaceworkers.
"Despite legitimate concerns regarding both domestic and foreign policies of the Iranian government, abrogating multilateral international agreements and threatening war will not moderate the regime's behavior," Zunes said in a news release. "Instead, it is strengthening the position of hard-line elements and increasing the suffering of ordinary Iranians who are the best hope for change."
Trump withdrew from the Iran deal in May 2018, calling it "disastrous."
Under the 2015 deal, which included Iran, the U.S., China, Russia, France, the United Kingdom, Germany and the European Union, Iran agreed to eliminate certain stockpiles of uranium, among other things, and submit to monitoring by the International Atomic Energy Agency.
In exchange, the international community would lift certain economic sanctions against the country.
"At the heart of the Iran deal was a giant fiction that a murderous regime desired only a peaceful nuclear energy program," Trump said in May when announcing the U.S. withdrawal. "In fact, the deal allowed Iran to continue enriching uranium and, over time, reach the brink of a nuclear breakout."
Code Pink co-founder Medea Benjamin is also part of the delegation and on Sunday posted a photo on Twitter of herself meeting Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif.
"We are anxious to see firsthand how the sweeping U.S. sanctions are affecting ordinary Iranians so we can come back and convey their stories," Benjamin said in a statement. "We also want to show the people of Iran that there are many Americans who oppose our government's bellicose policies and want to live in peace with our Iranian neighbors."
Zarif, who was a major supporter of the nuclear deal, resigned Monday.
The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment.