Thursday, January 2, 2014

Don’t Ruin the New Year with War on Iran

Chris Geovanis
Common Dreams
US military veterans and peace activists closed out 2014 with an appeal to one of the U.S. Senate’s most prominent members: Don’t ruin the New Year with a new war on Iran.

(Photo: Bill Branson)
More than two dozen U.S. military vets and their allies gathered in the bitter cold and biting wind on the last day of the year outside the downtown Chicago office of U.S. Senator Mark Kirk (R-IL) to push back against Kirk’s controversial new bill targeting Iran. Vets charge that Kirk’s bill -- S. 1881 -- could undermine the recent easing of tensions between the U.S. and Iran, and could increase the threat of war by thwarting ongoing diplomatic initiatives. Vets say Kirk should instead be supporting current opportunities to strike a diplomatic solution to the long-simmering and dangerous international dispute with Iran over its nuclear program.

The U.S. and its diplomatic partners are currently negotiating with Iran over the terms of its nuclear program, within the framework of a tentative agreement to slowly lift sanctions as progress in negotiations are made. But on December 19th, Kirk introduced a punitive new bill which has the strong support of AIPAC -- the American Israel Public Affairs Committee -- that could threaten the recent easing of tensions and play into the hands of Iran’s hardliners. Kirk and his cosponsor, Senator Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), are currently expected to advance the provocative bill to the next legislative stage in the Senate on January 6.

"We believe this bill will destroy negotiations with Iran and make war with Iran possible," said Vietnam military veteran Barry Romo. "We need to respect the international community and the American public, who overwhelmingly want a peaceful settlement with Iran."

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