Victory of Iran Deal in Congress Clears Path for Renewed Mideast Diplomacy

Cambridge, September 10 – Massachusetts Peace Action, the Commonwealth’s largest grassroots peace organization, praised Congressional support for the Iran nuclear deal today.

“The Senate’s refusal to bring a resolution disapproving the Iran nuclear deal to a vote this afternoon is a decisive win for peace and diplomacy,” said Cole Harrison, executive director. “After years of sanctions, suspicion, war threats, and negotiations, the way is now clear for the United States to participate in implementing the agreement and to put renewed focus on diplomatic efforts to solve the Middle East’s many crises.”

Massachusetts Peace Action welcomes the deal, which will reassure those who feared Iran might build a nuclear bomb; eliminate unjust sanctions which have seriously harmed the Iranian people; and create a promising new climate for reconciliation and respect between Iran, the Middle East, and the West.    Massachusetts Peace Action and MoveOn have scheduled celebratory vigils in nine locations across the commonwealth this evening. Locations and schedule:

Senators Ed Markey and Elizabeth Warren and Representatives Mike Capuano, Katherine Clark, Joseph Kennedy, Jim McGovern, Stephen Lynch, Seth Moulton, and Niki Tsongas declared their support for the deal.  Representatives Bill Keating and Richard Neal have not taken a position.

“The deal shows that diplomacy, not sanctions and war, are the path to resolve differences in international relations. The next logical step after the Iran Deal is to establish a Middle East zone free of weapons of mass destruction,” Harrison continued. “Only two months ago, the United States scuttled the UN’s Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference because it rejected the demand of the world’s non-nuclear nations to convene a conference to discuss a Weapons of Mass Destruction Free Zone in the Middle East.  Such a zone, which Iran fully supports, would require Israel to give up its nuclear weapons. The five nuclear-armed world powers, plus Germany, that negotiated the deal with Iran, have not agreed to give up their own nuclear weapons, or even to start discussions about how to do that.  We must keep advancing the call for a nuclear weapons free Middle East,” Harrison said.

The United States which is by far the world’s, and the Middle East’s, largest arms exporter. The deal does nothing to curb massive U.S. arms sales to Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states, its outright gifts of advanced weapons to Israel, its attempts to organize and train a rebel army in Syria, or its bombing and drone strikes in Iraq, Syria, and Yemen.

“With the Iran deal, Barack Obama has taken a step away from Washington’s cowboy policies and towards the multi-lateral diplomacy envisioned by the framers of the UN Charter,” Harrison commented. “But war hawks in Congress, Prime Minister Netanyahu, and the ‘Israel lobby’ tried their best in an effort torpedo the deal, and Washington is turning towards war over Ukraine.  We must remain vigilant to ensure bitter-enders in the United States, Israel in Saudi Arabia do not succeed in undermining it, and that diplomacy continues forward to resolve the Middle East’s many conflicts.”