With Iran Deal Reached, US Anti-War Base Must Now Mobilize to Defend It
Campaigners urge US civil society to 'show solidarity' with counterparts in Iran by preventing Congress from sinking the accord
With Iran Deal Reached, US Anti-War Base Must Now Mobilize to Defend It
By Sarah Lazare / commondreams.org

Now that a nuclear agreement between Iran and world powers has been reached, the U.S. anti-war base faces a critical opening to mobilize and prevent hawkish lawmakers in Congress from sabotaging a historic opportunity for military de-escalation, campaigners urged Tuesday.

"It is hugely important that people who don't want war with Iran in the future speak up now in defense of the deal," Robert Naiman, policy director for Just Foreign Policy, told Common Dreams.

The pact between Iran, the United States, Russia, China, United Kingdom, France, Germany, and the European Union—announced Tuesday—is the product of years of difficult negotiations, and decades of hostility and U.S. aggression.

Public polling shows that the deal has majority support among the U.S. public. Furthermore, many from Iranian civil society have called for an agreement, which they say provides a critical path to relief from devastating sanctions, isolation, and the threat of war.

However, Congress could still derail the diplomatic process. Thanks to recently-passed legislation, the U.S. House and Senate will have 60 days to review the final agreement. If lawmakers were to vote against the deal, and amass the votes to override a presidential veto, Obama's hands would be tied on sanctions relief and the deal would sink.

Moreover, while public opinion is on the side of the agreement, opponents of diplomacy are powerful and better-funded. A shadowy network of pro-war lobby organizations is spending millions of dollars on targeted advertisements aimed at persuading lawmakers and their constituents to reject the agreement. Furthermore, hawks from U.S. Senator Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu are already loudly denouncing the accord.

"Congress has been hearing more from opponents of the deal, because the opposition is deeply entrenched, has lots of money, and has been doing this for a long time," Jamal Abdi of the National Iranian American Council told Common Dreams. "I'm confident we can change that dynamic. We can mobilize millions of Americans to advance peace."

U.S.-based organizations including Just Foreign PolicyWin Without WarPeace Action, and Jewish Voice for Peace released calls to action Tuesday urging opponents of war to mobilize to protect the deal.

petition from organizations including CODEPINK and Roots Action urging "Defend the Iran deal and stop Republicans from starting a war with Iran" already has over 34,000 signatures.

Stephen Miles, advocacy director for Win Without War, declared in a press statement on Tuesday that those pushing for escalation towards Iran are using the same dangerous logic that fueled the Iraq War: "We have seen this movie before and we know how it ends. We will not stand idly by while those who pushed for war with Iraq try to push us into war with Iran."

"Our focus is on holding the Democrats in the Senate who have supported the negotiations thus far," said Abdi. "We can afford to lose five Democrats. We can loose Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) and a few others and still prevent a resolution of disapproval from passing."

In the House, 146 voting Democrats signed a letter saying they will approve the deal, added Abdi. "We want to hold those 146 and also expand that list," he explained.

Campaigners note that the deal is not a sure-fire path to peace, and it will take active and engaged civil society groups and social movements to put the United States and Iran on a real path to justice.

In an article published Tuesday in The Intercept, journalists Glenn Greenwald and Murtaza Hussain wrote that "much Iranian public opinion, while positive, is more nuanced and guarded," with some holding the view that the deal "unfairly impinges on Iranian sovereignty in exchange for very few legitimate concessions."

report released last month by the New York-based International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran found that, among civil society leaders, support for the deal is strong, even among those skeptical that benefits will be fairly distributed.

"For a number of years, Iran's international isolation and all the excuses for putting pressure on our country, particularly the sanctions, have destroyed the Iranian people's psychological security, and have left them preoccupied, and of course, many people have suffered direct or indirect loss," said Fakhrossadat Mohtashamipour, described in the report as a civil activist and wife of political prisoner Mostafa Tajzadeh.

Hadi Ghaemi, executive director of the New York-based International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran, emphasized to Common Dreams that—right now—mobilizing to support the Iran deal is a critical way for U.S. civil society members to "show solidarity" with their Iranian counterparts.

"In general there is a lot of relief in Iran that an agreement has been reached," said Ghaemi, emphasizing that "ordinary people have been suffering tremendously under sanctions." In addition, an agreement could open up space to open up space to focus on domestic issues of repression and inequality, said Ghaemi.

3.8 ·
1
What's Next
Trending Today
The Daily Show's Trevor Noah Talks With Conservative Host Tomi Lahren
14 min · 9,831 views today · "Tomi" host Tomi Lahren gives her take on the Black Lives Matter movement and explains why she lashed out against Colin Kaepernick for his national anthem protest.
This Short Film Plays Out Like an Epic Movie That Will Shake Your Soul - But the Movie Is Real, and We are The Actors
6 min · 6,505 views today · For next year, we need a resolution capable of confronting the crisis we face, and making a future worth fighting for. This short film looks back on the crisis and confusion...
Bernie Sanders: Carrier Just Showed Corporations How to Beat Donald Trump
Bernie Sanders · 5,370 views today · We need a president who can stand up to big corporations, not fold to their demands.
How Mindfulness Empowers Us
2 min · 4,187 views today · Many traditions speak of the opposing forces within us, vying for our attention. Native American stories speak of two wolves, the angry wolf and the loving wolf, who both live...
Escape! From the Cult of Materialism (2016)
50 min · 3,139 views today · Does the philosophy of materialism work to destroy our identities, experience, and environment? Join narrator Daphne Ellis on a radical romp through the evidence and decide for...
Who's Really to Blame for Fake News? Look in the Mirror, America.
Neal Gabler · 2,866 views today · Consider for a moment the oxymoronic concept of “fake news,” which we have been hearing so much about lately. This isn’t your typical disinformation or misinformation —...
South Koreans Are Really Good at Protesting
2 min · 2,858 views today · South Koreans organize some of the largest and most peaceful protests in the world. Here's what makes them so good at protesting.
Today I Rise: This Beautiful Short Film Is Like a Love Poem For Your Heart and Soul
4 min · 2,672 views today · "The world is missing what I am ready to give: My Wisdom, My Sweetness, My Love and My hunger for Peace." "Where are you? Where are you, little girl with broken wings but full...
Corporate Giants' "Sustainable" Palm Oil Revealed as Sham
Nika Knight · 2,627 views today · Nestlé, Kellogg's, Procter & Gamble, Unilever and others are linked to child labor and forced labor in Indonesia
A Tribe Called Red and Saul Williams Offer a Powerful Prayer for Standing Rock and Beyond
5 min · 1,501 views today · Music video for "The Virus" by A Tribe Called Red, featuring Saul Williams and Chippewa Travellers.
The 6 Grand Illusions That Keep Us Enslaved
Sigmund Fraud · 1,390 views today · For a magician to fool his audience his deceit must go unseen, and to this end he crafts an illusion to avert attention from reality. While the audience is entranced, the...
The Truth About the Alt-Right
11 min · 1,264 views today · Our comprehensive investigation into the Alt-Right movement, including its origins, its relation to the Trump campaign and broader implications for the future. Read more: What...
The Most Mind-Altering Photograph of All Time
4 min · 1,020 views today · Carl Sagan narrates the story of the Pale Blue Dot, the one place we all call home. 
Why You Should Stop Using Most Antibacterial Soaps
3 min · 978 views today · Antibacterial soaps could be doing a lot more harm than good - here's why.
EU Energy Targets Will 'Increase Greenhouse Gas Emissions'
Nafeez Ahmed · 975 views today · New renewable energy plan undercuts itself by boosting dangerous wood-burning industries
The Difference Between Empathy and Sympathy
3 min · 947 views today · What is the best way to ease someone's pain and suffering? In this beautifully animated RSA Short, Dr Brené Brown reminds us that we can only create a genuine empathic...
Answering the Call: The American Struggle for the Right to Vote
75 min · 900 views today · Watch an exclusive and limited time online screening of Answering the Call, presented by Films For Action. If you enjoy watching, consider purchasing a DVD copy for a friend at...
John Lennon's "Imagine," Made Into a Comic Strip
John Lennon. Art by Pablo Stanley · 806 views today · This is easily the best comic strip ever made.  Pabl
Gabor Mate on the Myth of Normal
4 min · 652 views today · Physician Dr. Gabor Mate began his interview by addressing the 'myth of normal' that divides us into the normal and the abnormal with pathological traits. Dr. Mate mentions...
The Many Ways to Help Standing Rock
Sarah van Gelder · 580 views today · Even if you can’t show up at the wintry encampments, you can join water protectors in other ways: from calling the North Dakota governor to breaking up with your bank.
Load More
Like us on Facebook?
With Iran Deal Reached, US Anti-War Base Must Now Mobilize to Defend It