As Ploughshares president Joe Cirincione said about the threat of war with Iran during a recent interview on WBEZ Chicago, “It looks like the United States is intentionally trying to provoke an Iranian reaction that could be used as a justification for war.”
We have an opportunity to avoid a new war in the Middle East — if like-minded people and organizations are willing to stand together.
John Bolton, President Trump’s national security advisor, wants a war. He championed — and still defends — the invasion of Iraq that destabilized the entire Middle East, and always intended for that war to move to Iran.
Bolton appears to be looking for an excuse to start a war. A Gulf of Tonkin incident, or a “Remember the Maine” incident, like the accidental explosion in Havana Harbor blamed on “Cuban terrorists” used to start the Spanish-American War.
Worse, driven by Bolton, the administration is taking steps to provoke Iran into actions that would invite a military response, quickly escalating into war. President Trump violated the nuclear agreement last year and imposed a total oil embargo on Iran. The Trump administration recently labeled Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps a terrorist group. And Bolton and his hawkish allies are twisting statements from the US intelligence community to make false claims about Iran – just like the Bush administration’s claims about WMDs in Iraq. Can we stop an incident from becoming a massive new war? Yes.
Congress, not the President, has the power to declare war. Congress has the responsibility to reassert its constitutional role and rein in this reckless mark toward war. They must demand briefings, assess the intel claims, and, most importantly, pass legislation clearly stating that the administration does not have authority for military action against Iran. We cannot allow another administration to manipulate us into another unnecessary war.
As former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates said, “an attack on Iran would, in my opinion, be a catastrophe.” A strong majority of Americans opposes going to war with Iran. Together, we must stop another war in the Middle East.
You may have signed our petition supporting bi-partisan legislation to block the Trump administration’s march to war with Iran. If you have not already signed, we urge you to do so. Spread the word and follow the work of our grantees, such as Win Without War, and many others who are working to prevent this impending confrontation.
In addition to the immediate need to avoid a new war in the Middle East, we support presidential candidates pledging to re-enter the Iran nuclear agreement The Iran nuclear agreement blocked Iran’s paths to a nuclear weapon, put in place the strongest verification regime ever negotiated, and stopped a new war in the Middle East. A year ago, President Trump violated that agreement, over the objections of his Secretary of Defense and despite clear evidence that Iran is complying.
The first step to deescalating this crisis is to return to the nuclear agreement, rebuild relationships with our allies and restore confidence worldwide that the United States is committed to diplomacy and can be trusted to live up to our commitments.
Spread the word and follow the work of our grantees, such as National Iranian American Council, and others who are working getting presidential candidates to support reentering the Iran nuclear agreement.
Together, we can get the United States and the world back on the path to peace and security and reduce reliance on the most dangerous weapons ever invented.
Ploughshares Fund is a funder that acts as a hub of organizations and individuals with the best ideas for peace and security. We work every day to reduce nuclear threats — wherever they come from.
Thank you for your support of our work.
Photo: CVN 72 Deployment.The Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) and the Wasp-class Amphibious Assault Ship USS Kearsarge (LHD 3) sail alongside as the Abraham Lincoln Carrier Strike Group (ABECSG) and Kearsarge Amphibious Ready Group (KSGARG) conduct joint operations in the US 5th Fleet area of operations. US Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Brian M. Wilbur (released)