An appeal to anti-war organizations & activists to oppose the increasing threats against Iran

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(source: CASMII)
Campaign Against Sanctions and Military Intervention in Iran
Sunday, March 7, 2010

CASMII Press Release

An appeal to anti-war organizations & activists to oppose the increasing threats against Iran

Around the world, anti-war activists are preparing for major protests this spring to oppose the continuing U.S.-led occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan. Meanwhile, a storm of developments is dramatically increasing tensions between the United States and the Islamic Republic of Iran. In response, the Campaign Against Sanctions and Military Intervention in Iran (CASMII) is issuing this appeal to the anti-war movements in the United States, United Kingdom and other countries to raise the demands of “No war, no sanctions, no internal interference in Iran!”

Iran is a country that hasn’t attacked a neighbor in more than 200 years. Even when Saddam Hussein invaded Iran after the 1979 Revolution and, with support from the West, used chemical weapons against both civilians and combatants, the Islamic Republic did not retaliate in kind. And yet the U.S. government claims that Iran represents a serious threat to the Middle East region and the entire world. Without a shred of evidence, the U.S. charges that Iran’s program to develop nuclear power for peaceful energy purposes is just a cover to develop nuclear weapons. Never mentioned is the fact that, as a signatory to the U.N.’s Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, Iran’s right to develop nuclear energy is enshrined in international law. Just a few months ago, the U.N’s International Atomic Energy Chief, Mohammed ElBardai, the person responsible for monitoring compliance with that treaty, stated that “Nobody is sitting in Iran today developing nuclear weapons. Tehran doesn’t have an ongoing nuclear weapons program. But somehow, everyone in the West is talking about how Iran’s nuclear program is the greatest threat to the world.” (Interview with the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, Sept. 2009) Instead, warning of world disaster if Iran should succeed in its imaginary goal of obtaining nuclear arms, Washington argues that Iran must be forcefully brought to its knees, through a combination of increasingly crippling sanctions, taking advantage of Iran’s internal divisions and preparing for a possible military attack.

Consider these recent developments:

• The U.S has been pressuring the permanent members of the U.N. Security Council to impose a fourth and more severe round of sanctions against Iran. The only real holdout has been the People’s Republic of China, which in January held the council’s revolving presidency. On Feb. 1, however, the president’s seat passed to France, which is nearly as hostile to Iran’s nuclear program as is the U.S. (France itself, by the way, relies on nuclear power for 80 percent of its own energy needs.) The Security Council’s permanent members, including China and Russia, have never been a real barrier for the US. Not only has the council already approved three rounds of sanctions against Iran, but the Obama Administration is now talking of “bypassing” the U.N. in its latest push for sanctions. While sanctions are often promoted as an alternative to war, the world now knows that the sanctions imposed by the U.N. against Iraq during the first Persian Gulf War resulted in the deaths of up to 1.5 million Iraqis, a third of them children.

• Not content with just pressuring the U.N., the U.S. is pushing ahead with plans for more of its own unilateral sanctions. Congress is getting close to passing the Dodd-Shelby Comprehensive Iran Sanctions, Accountability, and Divestment Act. Among other provisions, this bipartisan bill would “impose new sanctions on entities involved in exporting certain refined petroleum products to Iran or building Iran’s domestic refining capacity.” This provision starkly exposes the real U.S. goal: to economically cripple Iran in an attempt to so complicate life for the Iranian people that they might demand a “regime change.” In the past, the U.S. has argued that Iran doesn’t need to develop nuclear power because of its vast oil reserves, while conveniently omitting the fact that Iran doesn’t have sufficient refinery capacity to meet its energy needs through oil alone. Targeting companies and countries that sell refined petroleum products to Iran, or that help Iran expand its own refining capacity, shows that the real goal has nothing to do with countering nuclear proliferation. (The U.S. even pressures European countries not to provide Iran with the means to develop wind energy!) Those who desire hegemony over the oil-rich Middle East can tolerate no independent regional powers, whether or not they present a threat to any other country. This reality was dramatically demonstrated in 1953, when the CIA toppled Iran’s democratically elected prime minister, Dr. Mohammad Mosaddegh, for the “crime” of nationalizing Iran’s oil industry.

• Meanwhile, these threats of new sanctions are being accompanied by a military build-up in the Persian Gulf region. On Jan. 31, The Wall Street Journal reported that, in recent months, the U.S. and its Persian Gulf allies have stepped up their military defenses “in response to Iranian missile tests and Tehran’s continued defiance of international efforts to curtail its nuclear program.” The moves have included “upgrades, new purchases of American-made Patriot antimissile batteries and the addition of advanced air- and missile-defense radars .…” The Journal reported that, although “some of the buildup has been going on for years … the heightened profile of the moves comes as the Obama administration has toughened its rhetoric against Tehran.”

• And, according to a Feb. 1 Reuters report, “The United States has expanded land- and sea-based missile defense systems in and around the Gulf to counter what it sees as Iran’s growing missile threat …. The deployments include expanded land-based Patriot defensive missile installations in Kuwait, Qatar, UAE and Bahrain, as well as Navy ships with missile defense systems in and around the Mediterranean, officials said. … The chairman of the U.S. military’s Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Mike Mullen, said last month the Pentagon must have military options ready to counter Iran should Obama call for them.”

• Finally, Iran’s ongoing internal political crisis has apparently led some Western anti-war organizations and activists to be ambivalent about the need to stand against Western aggression against Iran. Regardless of how activists view Iran’s internal situation, we all must agree that outside pressure and interference must be opposed. Recognizing this, Iran’s political opposition has urged Western countries to stay out of Iran’s internal affairs. As presidential opposition candidate Mir Hossein Mousavi, has put it, “We are opposed to any types of sanctions against our nation. This is what living the Green Path means.” (Statement No. 13, Sept. 28, 2009) No truly progressive democracy activist in a country targeted by the U.S. would appeal to the U.S. for support.

The political positions taken by anti-war activists in the West can become a real factor in strategic decisions made by the U.S. government and its allies. Because of this, we are heartened to see that in the United States the National Assembly to End the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars and Occupations and the ANSWER Coalition have added the demand of “No War or Sanctions Against Iran!” to their fliers promoting national anti-war protests on March 20. We call on all other coalitions, organizations and individual activists to do the same, and to further demand “No Outside Interference in Iran’s Internal Affairs! Self-determination for the Iranian People!”

Regardless of differences in our political analyses and views, these demands should be acceptable to all who struggle for peace, justice and a better world for all.

This appeal has been initiated by the
Campaign Against Sanctions and Military Intervention in Iran (CASMII)

For more information or to contact CASMII please visit

h/t: phil


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16 thoughts on “An appeal to anti-war organizations & activists to oppose the increasing threats against Iran

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  4. you can all count on Obama bombing Iran to get relected . the fix was in along time ago . its sick . and it will be the big bomb .

  5. My latest utterly uneducated impulse: It would seem that Iran needs to do a Kaddafi and disarm any possible reason for ‘surgical strikes’ priority one.

    If current history is any example, Israel and the USA are not fooling around. While they may yet come around someday, demonstrations are shown lately to be ineffective, sanctions kill innocents, and at the very least ‘surgical strikes’ on any nuclear facility would be a local fallout disaster that will never go away.

    The people of the USA have been printing ‘Nuke Iran’ bumper stickers since my 9th grade. Unjust as it may be, this is not something to test in the short term.

    It’s all absurd, if Iran nuked anything, they’d be incinerated. Not even jihadists could have that kind of death wish.

    Nuclear is never worth it, not for energy or nor otherwise.

    Keep the untaught history of the US overthrow of Mossadeq alive.

    Good luck Iran! I’ll be sitting out this round… as they say, Love it or Leave it!

    • Love it or leave it? That’s just a stunning thing to read. Just stunning. Yet another stunning example of Obamian pragmatism – the same pragmatism that keeps the Palestinians locked in under the Israeli boot-heel? Or is this simply a surrender to the war propaganda that, yes, goes back decades, and therefor must be surrendered to, must be acknowledged as immutable? Is this a form of internalization of propaganda? We may not particularly care for ‘nuke iran’ bumper stickers, but, hey, they kinda deserve it…..

      Love it and FIX IT!!!!! That might be a better turn of phrase.

      • Go Phill!
        Good for you. Carry on.

        My grandparents, parents and now I will this to you!
        Yes, my point, at this point: Run away from trouble, wherever you are. The pendulum never swung back.

        So yeah, I’m so outa here. There are not such good signs (except war maybe sorta going outa style for a while?). I’m gonna be 45! Best years spent under endless absurd wartime (and I’s no Zinn, nor even an activist).

        But by all means, fight on! You are stronger than I and you will prevail.

        “The arc of the universe is long, but it bends toward justice”.

        Hang in there and it will happen.

        PS, no I didn’t go for Obomba, and Yes if I were Palestinian or israeli I would leave that place, if even by camel or foot.

      • Most importantly, and were it my last breath, nobody ‘deserves’ nuking! I’m so hoping you will beg Lo to edit that out so one might think on these things….

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  7. This is totally off base. The majority of the people who live in Iran simply want their voices heard. If there is “western” technology to get their voices heard, this is not a detriment to anyone, anywhere. Just because the United States and Israel are WRONG does not make Iran right. The revolution in Iran is A PEOPLE’S REVOLUTION. I am so very sad that so many good people don’t realize this.

    • ooppoddoo,how can you utter such false words,yes it is a people’s reveloution,we all know that,but you don’t seem to know the utter anti people,anti world atrocieties this country has commited against mankind in hundreds of countries world wide starting with our own native3 americans!!!!!!! look deeply at every country we have invaded or controlled,and natural resources/oil,gold,etc sticks out like a sore thumb!!!our cia is in the business killing demo elected leaders of any country that doesn’t let us/corporations/powers to be control that countrys natural wealth for our profit,we will brutalize!!!!!please take your empty head to the rightwing sites who agree with you!!

    • No, you are off base. The desire for reform is alive and strong and probably a majority in Iran, yes, just as it is here. And the political establishment keeps that reform movement under wraps, much as it does here (and if you think Iran is more brutal than us, just imagine how a million protestors in DC, partially funded by China, would be treated by our police state – how many would end up beaten, tortured, imprisoned, even killed?). No one is saying that Iran is some paradise of left reform, though they DO seem to have a stronger welfare program than we have, and they DO have free higher education, and they have nationalized thier hydrocarbon wealth so that it can benefit all – these are good things – but it is an authoritarian theocracy – many would like the US to also be an authoritarian theocracy, so we live in a glass house there – but it’s not anybody’s idea of a perfect state.

      But the Green Coup was almost certainly yet another engineered attempt by the West to Coopt the reform movement in Iran, as it has coopted reform movements elsewhere. To refuse to recognize this, and then to go further and to accept the idea that Iran MUST bend to the will of the Anglo Empire or else it somehow deserves whatever fate the Empire bestows upon it, is to consent to the crushing rule of the Anglo Empire not only over the entire globe, but over each aspect of each community’s and each person’s life.

      It’s sickening in the extreme to observe the willingness of much of the Left to stand by as Iran is thrown to the dogs for no legitimate reason. I can understand the nausea we all feel at a brutal authoritarian theocratic regime, but there’s a lot of nausea to feel towards a lot of regimes in this world, including notably our own and those of some of our bestest friends. Left consent, or passive consent, for this war on Iran is a betrayal of our most fundamental principles, assuming we still have principles.

      • I think folks need to maintain some perspective here. Remember that those who seek war are able to gin up reasons why we should be comfortable with war whenever they want to. No regime is perfect. Chavez, for example, just recently called for internet censorship in Venezuela. This is a guy who has done many very good things, but he is far, far, far from perfect. He is next on the regime hit list after Iran, without a doubt, so the villification has started. Much of it has been and will be lies, but some of it will be true. None of it will be a legitimate reason for war, OR for US engineered regime change. How can we possibly agree that war is justified because our media and political establishment demonize a regime and declare them to be malodorous?

        And geez if any regime is malodorous, what about Israel? What about our own?

        It’s hard to believe that we on the Left are often taken in by the war propaganda. We’ve seen it so many times. Most of us will agree that the Iraq war was wrong. Can anyone seriously believe that the regime in Iran remotely compares to Saddam’s regime as a regime of wrongdoing?!!!

        Why in God’s name are we even HAVING THIS ARGUMENT? This should be an absolute no-brainer for the Left . A war on Iran, and that includes ‘crippling sanctions’ (or really any sanctions, but certainly crippling ones) is WRONG WRONG WRONG. What has become of us that we have largely stood to the side as propaganda for war is ratcheted up against Iran?

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