Washington, DC — November 23, 2014 — In response to various sources citing that the P5 + 1 (the United States, Russia, China, United Kingdom, and France, plus Germany) and Iran will extend their negotiations over Iran’s nuclear program beyond today’s deadline until July, Peace Action, the largest peace group in the U.S. released the following statement by its policy and political director, Paul Kawika Martin who has been working on the issue for over eight years and had the rare opportunity to spend time in Iran:
The recently announced extension of international talks with Iran over their nuclear program will continue to roll back Iran’s nuclear program and provide time to negotiate final difference and come to an agreement that guarantees Iran will not pursue a nuclear weapon makes the U.S. and the world a safer place and paves the way for more discussions that will reduce Middle East tensions and increase economic opportunities benefiting world markets.
The U.S. has come along way from the days when Vice President Dick Cheney tried to sway the Bush administration to bomb Iran, to today when the Obama administration is key to international negotiations that we hope will lead to an agreement with Iran that will roll back its nuclear program and ensure it does not build a nuclear weapon even if it wanted one. International verification and monitoring will guarantee compliance. This extension of talks with Iran over its nuclear program is yet another example that diplomacy is working and is far less expensive in blood and treasure than military intervention.
Unfortunately, there are some in Congress and the Israeli Government who take the Cheney tack that war is the answer. But, this seven-month extension of talks with Iran is better than any imaginable alternative. Military strategists have said over and over again that a military intervention into Iran would at best slightly delay any nuclear program and at worst force Iran to engage or speed up getting a nuclear weapon even if they had no such program. Additionally, it could start another Middle East war that the U.S. cannot afford and Americans oppose.
It is vital that Congress not scuttle an agreement with Iran now that the parties are so close . Any letters or legislation that offers more sanctions or ties the hands of the countries, preventing them from coming to an agreement, is clearly a poison pill to kill the negotiations. That would be very short sighted, as an agreement with Iran on their nuclear program would likely lead to productive negotiations on other items of concern with the Iranian Government, not to mention, to open up important economic channels to help world financial woes.
With bad news coming out of the Middle East nearly every day, continued negotiations with Iran is something to lift up not bring down. This is a key time to lessen tensions in the Middle East. The extension of talks continues to heavily limit Iran’s nuclear program while providing significant safeguards and inspections to guarantee non-weapon uses of nuclear technology.
Peace Action will join dozens of other organizations to have our supporters call on their congressional delegation to publicly support the talks with Iran by asking them to make a floor statement, write an OP-ED and release a positive statement.
Founded in 1957, Peace Action (formerly SANE/Freeze), the United States’ largest peace and disarmament organization, with over 100,000 paid members and nearly 100 chapters in 36 states, works to abolish nuclear weapons, promote government spending priorities that support human needs, encourage real security through international cooperation and human rights and support nonmilitary solutions to the conflicts with Afghanistan and Iran. The public may learn more and take action at http://www.Peace- Action.org. For more up-to-date peace insider information, follow Peace Action’s political director on Twitter. http://twitter.com/PaulKawika