Indianapolis Peace and Justice Center

The Obama Administration has joined with all of the Permanent Members of the UN Security Council (the UK, France, Russia and China) plus Germany to negotiate a peaceful resolution concerning Iran's nuclear program.

A six month interim negotiating period has been agreed upon by all parties. In exchange for Tehran agreeing to limit certain aspects of its nuclear activities for six months, the six countries have agreed to provide Iran with some relief in crippling economic sanctions.

As Mohammad Sadeghi Esfahlani and Jamal Abdi documented in Foreign Policy, the sanctions regime, while devastating ordinary Iranians, is having virtually no effect on their leaders - other than to strengthen their grip on power:

A Statement from the Indianapolis Peace and Justice Center and Co-Signing Organizations


"Instead of speculating from afar, we should listen to the Iranians on the ground who are actually struggling for democracy firsthand. The leaders of the Green Movement and Iranian human rights and democracy defenders have adamantly opposed broad sanctions and warned that confrontation, isolation and broad economic punishment only undermine the cause of democracy and rule of law in Iran. A new report by the International Civil Society Action Network (ICAN) documents how sanctions are destroying the sources of societal change in Iran. 'The urban middle class that has historically played a central role in creating change and promoting progress in Iran are key casualties of the sanctions regime,' according to the report.

 "As documented by the report's firsthand account on the ground, sanctions are not driving the working class to join Iran's democracy movement, they are doing the opposite - decimating the Iranian middle class, that has been at the center of the democracy movement, by intensifying their economic struggles. The greatest impediment for Iran's pro-democracy movement - as we saw at the height of the Green Movement protests in 2009 - has been that working class Iranians who are preoccupied with immediate financial struggles are unable to enlist in a struggle for political freedoms."

 

The US Senate has countered this diplomatic approach by introducing a bill (the Nuclear Weapon Free Iran Act of 2013, S. 1881) that calls for greater economic sanctions should negotiations conclude allowing Iran to enrich any uranium at all. Clearly, the bill is designed to destroy the talks with Iran, which is bending over backwards to demonstrate that its energy program has no military aims.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Israel’s American supporters in and out of Congress loathe the prospect of an American-Iranian rapprochement after 34 years of U.S.-Israeli covert and proxy war against Iran, whose 1979 Islamic revolution followed a quarter-century of brutality at the hands of a U.S.-backed monarch.

The Israeli government, AIPAC, and the Republicans and Democrats who do their bidding in Congress are on record opposing any agreement that would leave intact Iran’s ability to enrich uranium, even at low levels for peaceful civilian purposes.

But insisting that Iran cease all enrichment of uranium is equivalent to obliterating any chance of a peaceful settlement with Iran and making war more likely. That’s what S. 1881 is all about.

As Iran’s Foreign Minister, Javad Zarif, told Time magazine, if Congress imposes new sanctions, even if they are delayed for six months, “The entire deal is dead. We do not like to negotiate under duress.”

The US Senate has countered this diplomatic approach by introducing a bill (the Nuclear Weapon Free Iran Act of 2013, S. 1881) that calls for greater economic sanctions should negotiations conclude allowing Iran to enrich any uranium at all. Clearly, the bill is designed to destroy the talks with Iran, which is bending over backwards to demonstrate that its energy program has no military aims.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Israel’s American supporters in and out of Congress loathe the prospect of an American-Iranian rapprochement after 34 years of U.S.-Israeli covert and proxy war against Iran, whose 1979 Islamic revolution followed a quarter-century of brutality at the hands of a U.S.-backed monarch.

The Israeli government, AIPAC, and the Republicans and Democrats who do their bidding in Congress are on record opposing any agreement that would leave intact Iran’s ability to enrich uranium, even at low levels for peaceful civilian purposes.

But insisting that Iran cease all enrichment of uranium is equivalent to obliterating any chance of a peaceful settlement with Iran and making war more likely. That’s what S. 1881 is all about.

As Iran’s Foreign Minister, Javad Zarif, told Time magazine, if Congress imposes new sanctions, even if they are delayed for six months, “The entire deal is dead. We do not like to negotiate under duress.”

S. 1881 does all of this despite the fact that Iran has repeatedly, for a decade, denied any ambition to acquire nuclear weapons.  It is despite the fact that the collective consensus of all 16 U.S. intelligence agencies as recently as 2011 is that Iran halted its efforts to build a nuclear warhead in 2003 and has not decided to restart that effort.  It is despite the fact that Israeli Defense Forces top commander, Lt. General Benny Gantz, has stated that he doubts Iran is pursuing a nuclear weapon or that they will eventually decide to pursue one, that Iran’s leaders are ‘rational actors.

Both Senator Coats and Senator Donnelly in Indiana have co-sponsored the Nuclear Weapon Free Iran Act of 2013.  We urge them to withdraw their sponsorship and oppose this dangerous and un-American legislation.  Hoosiers are sick and tired of war, and we don’t want a foreign power to have the ability to dictate our entry into yet another one.



Co-signing organizations 


Indiana Peace and Justice Network

Hoosiers for Peace and Justice

Lafayette Area Peace Coalition                                                           

Rebuild the Dream

Fort Wayne for Peace

Just Peace Task Force

Bloomington Peace Action Coalition                                                               

Pax Christi  

American Friends Service Committee – Indianapolis Peacebuilding Program

Unitarian Universalist Church of Bloomington

Women’s International League for Peace and Justice

Faith and Labor Coalition of Indianapolis