Over the next week, Congress could destroy the important diplomatic progress the international community (China, France, Germany, England, Russia and the United States — known as the P5+1) have made with Iran regarding its nuclear program. Negotiations, now over a year in the making, are, according to my high-level White House sources, extremely close to ensuring Iran cannot build a nuclear weapon.
Click here to send a quick note to Congress not to scuttle these delicate deliberations with Iran.
As you’ve probably heard, Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin "Bibi" Netanyahu is scheduled to speak to a joint session of Congress next Tuesday. In the next few days members of Congress will have to decide: "Do I or do I not go to this speech?"
This speech is inappropriate for a number of reasons. First, Speaker John Boehner did not follow proper protocol and consult with the President about the speech. Second, Netanyahu is facing an election in a few months and the U.S. should not look like it is favoring a candidate. Lastly, Netanyahu should not be preaching his hawkish views, views not shared by his own intelligence community, to Congress right at the crucial and most delicate time of the negotiations.
The Vice President has said he’ll skip this speech. Several dozen members of Congress are following suit but many, many more say they are on the fence. They’ll have to make up their minds in the next few days. J Street, Americans for Peace Now, and numerous Jewish leaders in the U.S. and Israel have called for the speech to be postponed. The Congressional Black Caucus, Democratic Party leadership, political pundits and newspapers have carried the same message.
At this critical time, take a brief moment to send a message to Congress to skip Netanyahu’s inappropriate, politicized speech and support diplomacy with Iran.
If the speech weren’t bad enough, any day now another bill aimed at destroying diplomacy with Iran will be introduced. Senators Lindsay Graham (R-SC) and Bob Corker (R-TN) authored a bill that would require Congress to vote on a nuclear deal with Iran. Given the new Republican majority in Congress and Republicans' unwillingness to support President Obama's initiatives, we know that Congress will reject any deal. If Congress vetoes diplomacy after the P5+1 have all agreed to a deal with Iran, Congress will destroy international unity, isolate the United States, and put us on the path to war.
Certainly, Congress can be advising the administration now and can take action after an international deal is reached. Any legislation now, without the inside knowledge of the nuanced negotiations, is unnecessary meddling.
Diplomacy with Iran is working. So far, Iran has stuck to the commitments it made at the negotiating table, and today Iran is further from building a nuclear weapon that it was before the negotiations began. There's strong evidence that a final deal is well within reach. We've come too far to get defeated by war hawks in Congress.
Your quick letter to Congress urging them to skip the hawkish Netanyahu speech and to oppose any legislation around Iran diplomacy is needed at this crucial time.
Peace Action, with your help, has been working on diplomacy with Iran for nearly ten years. I've been one of the few Americans to visit Iran and feel the warmth of the Iranian people. We are in the home stretch of a historic deal that will make the world a safer place. The alternative to diplomacy is war. The world cannot afford another war in the Middle East. Write Congress now.
Thank you for working together for peace,
Paul Kawika Martin
P.S. By sending a quick letter to Congress for them to skip the hawkish speech by Netanyahu and to oppose any legislation around diplomacy with Iran, it will give the international community the best chance to reach an important deal with Iran on their nuclear program.