Stop the march towards war with Iran!

If you agree with our press statement below, contact your Senators and ask them to support S.1039 – Prevention of Unconstitutional War with Iran Act of 2019.    Call the Capitol Switchboard at 202-224-3121 or use this link from AFSC. 

This statement by Don Bryant and Francis Chiappa was sent to the media on June 20, 2019

Cleveland Peace Action calls on the Trump Administration to reverse military escalations in the Gulf of Oman and vicinity, to cease its bellicose and dangerous rhetoric, and to either return to the bargaining table with Iran or opt back in to the Iran-US nuclear agreement.   While Secretary of State Pompeo was swift to blame Iran for the attacks on two oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman last Thursday, saying “the Islamic Republic of Iran is responsible for the attacks that occurred in the Gulf of Oman…that no proxy group operating in the area has the resources and proficiency to act with such a high degree of sophistication.” Yet there are at least three other proxy groups operating in the area that have such military capabilities: the U.S., Saudi Arabia and Israel. We should be wary of false intelligence as it has justified past wars.  

Escalatory statements and actions from the Trump Administration raise the possibility of war, either by intention or miscalculation and accident. The Trump Administration is counting on the American public to be sufficiently outraged and to support a war. Europe and China are opposed to war in the region. Many, if not a majority in Congress, are wary of this march towards war and there are bills under consideration to prevent the Administration from initiating war. The American public might be less inclined towards war if they knew that the U.S. is taking sides in a regional conflict between Iran and Saudi Arabia. And that we have taken the side of Saudi Arabia, whose regime is clearly more brutal and repressive than Iran’s.  

The Trump Administration has been far too cozy with the Saudis, doing its bidding in the region. This has included withdrawing from the nuclear agreement, issuing economic sanctions on Iran, and now building up military forces in Iran’s backyard. These actions have only emboldened hard-liners in Iran, in mirror-image of U.S. policy, making war a real possibility.  

It’s time to de-escalate tensions and focus instead on restraint and diplomatic solutions.  

3 Responses

  1. Tim Musser
    | Reply

    Superb statement thanks for taking the time .

  2. W. J. Leitold
    | Reply

    “And that we have taken the side of Saudi Arabia, whose regime is clearly more brutal and repressive than Iran’s.”

    Francis – how do you reconcile your joint statement with the stats below?

    Capital punishment is a legal penalty in Saudi Arabia. The country performed at least 158 executions in 2015, at least 154 in 2016, at least 146 in 2017, and at least 149 in 2018.

    Amnesty: Iran executed at least 507 people, accounting for 60% of all confirmed executions in the region. Saudi Arabia executed 146 people, representing 17% of all confirmed executions in the region.

    Prison population rate (per 100,000 of national population) 294
    based on an estimated national population of 81.67 million at 2018 (from United Nations figures)

    Prison population rate (per 100,000 of national population) 197
    based on an estimated national population of 30.92 million at mid-2017 (from United Nations figures)
    Murder rate
    Asia Southern Asia 2.47 1,936 2014 CTS/NSO/MD
    Saudi Arabia
    Asia Western Asia 1.30 419 2017 NSO/CTS

    • Peace Action Cleveland
      | Reply

      I don’t doubt your figures, knowing you as I do. You make a good case for the brutality of the Iranian regime. It’s hard to compare these two countries, with very different histories and population sizes (Iran 82 million, Saudi Arabia 33 million). But perhaps we can agree that they are both quite brutal.

      The puzzle for Peace Action is that Saudi Arabia is a US ally and Iran an enemy. If our foreign policy supported democracy, we would treat both with suspicion and not be selling billions of dollars of sophisticated armaments and supporting one side in a disastrous war in Yemen. These two countries are engaged in a deadly regional power struggle.

      Peace Action has long supported the Iran nuclear deal and objected to US withdrawal from it. We oppose arms sales to Saudi Arabia. We decry human rights violations and humanitarian disasters wherever they occur – Iran, Saudi Arabia, Palestine/Gaza, Yemen, the list goes on. We believe war rarely resolves these situations (World War II would be the exception).

      My apologies for your comment only being approved now. I’ll need to make sure I’m notified when there are comments. And thank you for commenting and making us aware of this glitch in our process.


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