No War with Iran

The Peace Corps Iran Association (PCIA), to which I belong, is the organization of former Peace Corps Volunteers who have served there. I just received this bulletin from the PCIA Advocacy Committee and commend it to all of you:

PEACE CORPS IRAN ASSOCIATION

ALERT: SPEAK OUT FOR DIPLOMACY, NOT WAR WITH IRAN

Andy Mott and Kathleen MacLeod, PCIA Advocacy Committee Co-Chairs

ANALYSIS AND COMMENTARY

The Peace Corps Iran Association has for several years supported a diplomatic path of negotiation rather than the use of military force in dealing with Iran.  We supported passage of the Nuclear Agreement and have argued for continued US engagement, given Iran’s documented compliance.  Nonetheless, the Trump Administration has proven hostile to the Agreement and to diplomacy generally, gutting the State Department, calling for more military spending, and threatening use of force against Iran. On May 12 the President may well decide to withdraw from the Agreement. This is not only our loss: It repudiates the multi-national collaboration necessary to settle conflicts in this day and age.

The recent appointment of John Bolton as National Security Advisor, and nomination of Michael Pompeo as Secretary of State, bring the possibility of war with Iran and North Korea even closer.  It is time to act: Please speak out for peace and diplomacy.  We have several opportunities to weigh in:

Defend The Nuclear Agreement: The President, having denigrated the Nuclear Agreement as ‘the worst deal ever,’ has repeatedly said he would pull out. May 12 is the deadline he set for a decision. Addressing outstanding issues with Iran through diplomacy should begin by supporting the Agreement.

Question Michael Pompeo and John Bolton: Secretary of State nominee Michael Pompeo and newly appointed National Security Advisor John Bolton are both in line with the Administration’s position, which claims Iran is the primary bad actor in the region. (Bolton remains a champion of the Iraq invasion and has long supported an attack on Iran.) Use the Pompeo confirmation hearings to ask questions about U.S. policies and to support a fully staffed State Department.

Curtail Presidential power granted in the Authorization for Use of Force Act:  Currently no formal declaration of war through a vote of Congress would be needed to attack Iran: The President could take action unilaterally under the Authorization for Use of Military Force Act, the law that brought us into many conflicts since 9/11. The Senate Foreign Relations Committee is working on revisions to this Act, with a mark up set for mid-April. The Act’s broad and vague grant of power should be revoked.

Work towards a nuclear weapons ban: Security in the Middle East is not furthered by the presence of nuclear weapons.  While Iran is being pressured to permanently forego nuclear development, there has been talk of nuclear weapons for Saudi Arabia; Israel, known to have nuclear weapons, has not formally acknowledged its weapons program and is not party to the Non-Proliferation Treaty. It is time to renew efforts on a regional non- proliferation treaty.

For Congressional offices contact the switchboard: (202224-3121

For the Senate Foreign Relations Committee: https://www.foreign.senate.gov/

For additional perspectives on the issues discussed above:

https://www.foreign.senate.gov/press/chair/release/corker-urges-senators-to-oppose-bypassing-committee-process-on-yemen-resolution

https://theintercept.com/2018/03/17/new-york-times-iran-israel-washington-think-tanks/

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/02/05/opinion/trump-iran-war.html

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