Sample Letters to the Editor:
I’m concerned that we may be heading for a new war in the Middle East. The current round of negotiations with Iran, finalized on January 20th, are the best hope of avoiding that disastrous outcome. But some members of Congress are doing everything they can to undermine a diplomatic solution. Senate bill 1881, which has a number of Democratic co-sponsors along with almost all the 43 Republicans, would undo much of the progress we made with Iran in 2013 by threatening more sanctions and put in place impossible conditions that would make a war much more likely. Thankfully, neither Senator Warren nor Senator Markey have lent their support to this bill, but neither have they spoken out against it. Last month, an intelligence community assessment warned that “new sanctions would undermine the prospects for a successful comprehensive nuclear agreement with Iran.” President Obama has asked for Congress to give him and our partners the time it takes to pursue diplomacy. We need our senators to understand that their constituents want them to support the President and diplomacy and not to look the other way while irresponsible Congressional action threatens to trigger another Middle East war. We are waiting for them to speak up and show some leadership.
In 2013 we avoided an unnecessary war with Syria. I hope 2014 is not the year the U.S. Senate passes sanctions that could lead to war with Iran.
While experts from the U.S. security establishment have hailed the first-step deal to limit Iran’s nuclear program, the Senate could sabotage this historic diplomatic achievement with new sanctions. Apparently at the behest of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), Senators Menendez (NJ), Mark Kirk (IL) have introduced legislation (S. 1881) that would impose sanctions on Iran and encourage Israel to launch a pre-emptive attack against Iran.
If these sanctions pass, it would violate the first-step nuclear deal, likely lead to the collapse of the negotiations with Iran, and make war far more likely, which is why the White House has issued a veto threat.
I am thankful that neither Senator Warren nor Senator Markey have supported S. 1881, the deceptively titled Iran Nuclear Weapon Free Act of 2013. But I am waiting to hear them speak up forcefully against this attempt to scuttle diplomacy and perhaps threaten a new war.
62 national organizations have written a letter to warn that Senate passage of new Iran sanctions would critically endanger the possibility of a diplomatic resolution to the nuclear issue with Iran, increasing the likelihood of a nuclear-armed Iran and an unnecessary and costly war.
The agreement signed with Iran in November boosts American and regional security by freezing and rolling back Iran’s nuclear program for the first time in nearly a decade. It also institutes unprecedented transparency for international inspectors, including daily inspection of Iran’s enrichment facilities. However, as part of the agreement, the U.S. has agreed to “refrain from imposing new nuclear-related sanctions” on Iran. The White House has added that new Congressional sanctions would be perceived as a sign of bad faith by allies critical to the enforcement of the sanctions regime, including the other permanent members of the UN Security Council.
We call on Senators Warren and Markey to speak up against the very dangerous S.1881 (the “Nuclear Weapon Free
Iran Act of 2013”). By foreclosing diplomatic prospects, new sanctions in this bill would set us on a path to war, which the American people have made it clear that they do not want. Another disastrous war in the Middle East would cost terrible loss of lives and waste more trillions of dollars which could be better spent to meet our urgent needs at home.
The answer to nuclear proliferation in the Middle East is to support the establishment a Nuclear (and WMD)-Free Zone, which nearly all the countries of the region support, and which our country has so far stymied in the interest of our nuclear-armed ally Israel.