The following letter is the first part of a letter sent by fax, Nov. 30, 2011, to President Obama, Senators Toomey and Casey, Senator Kerry, Chair of Senate Foreign Relations Committee; Congressperson Lleana Ros-Lehtinen, Chair of House Foreign Affairs Committee, Congressman Pitts, Secretary of State Clinton. The letter was sent by approval of the LIPW Board. For a complete copy of the letter contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
November 29, 2011
Subject: U.S. Policy on Iran
Dear President Obama, Members of US Congress, US Secretary of State, Senate Foreign Relations Committee and House Foreign Affairs Committee:
We strongly urge Congress to reject calls for military action and indiscriminate sanctions and to establish a channel for communications with Iran to avert further violence.
Lancaster Interchurch Peace Witness, with Friends Committee on National Legislation, is deeply concerned over continued hostilities against Iran. We call on U.S. policymakers to affirm that war is not the answer with Iran, and that ongoing escalation in U.S.-Iran tensions highlights the urgent necessity of establishing communication channels between the U.S. and Iran.
We urge policymakers to press for sustained, direct, and comprehensive negotiations with Iran to prevent violence, and to secure lasting solutions to regional conflict and the stand-off over Iran’s nuclear program. The U.S. instrumentality toward Iran is overwhelmingly the language of hostile rhetoric and military action. Recent efforts by members of Congress to prevent any kind of diplomatic contact with Iran are untenable. The present course of U.S. action policy, beholden to AIPAC is not in U.S. interests. Interests of the U.S. and the international community should not be sacrificed to hostile Iranian or American rhetoric and disputes over Iran’s nuclear capability. The hostile climate perpetuated by the U.S. will only hasten, not restrain, nuclear threats in the region.
We recommend the following course of action at this critical juncture in U.S.-Iran relations:
- Heed Admiral Mullen’s Call: Establish Communication Channel with Iran.
- Outgoing Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Admiral Mike Mullen called for establishing a channel for U.S.-Iranian communication. His remarks on September 20, 2011 are as relevant today as they were then, warning that without communications channels, there will “extremely dangerous” outcomes: “We haven’t had a connection with Iran since 1979. Even in the darkest days of the Cold War we had links to the Soviet Union. We are not talking to Iran so we don’t understand each other. If something happens it’s virtually assured that we won’t get it right, that there will be miscalculations which would be extremely dangerous in that part of the world.[…] I think any channel would be terrific.”
Lancaster Interchurch Peace Witness
Urbane Peachey, President
Robert Lowing, Secretary