An Open letter to U.S. Rep. Steve Russell: Please support the nuclear agreement with Iran

Dear Congressman Russell:

My church’s denomination — the UCC, United Church of Christ — is circulating an alert to support the nuclear agreement with Iran just announced. Not only the US, but China, France, Russia, the United Kingdon, and Germany have signed this agreement with Iran.

The agreement verifiably blocks Iran’s pathways to nuclear weapons, creates a rigorous and unprecedented inspections program, and eliminates a major regional security threat, without military action or war.

It is a victory for U.S. diplomacy, but also a victory for the moderate Iranian majority who voted President Ahmadinijad out and voted President Hassan Rouhani in more than two years ago. Rouhani promised to heal relations with the west and move Iran to “join the world community of governments.” He’s doing it.

Extremists in Iran want to kill the deal; they oppose ANY agreement with the United States, preferring the risk of war to a diplomatic solution.

Some in the US Congress oppose the deal, arguing that it demands too little, or gives too much. They must be reminded of the great progress already made.

As a pre-condition to negotiations, Iran reduced its enrichment of uranium, reduced its stocks of uranium enriched to 20%, and agreed to a doubling of UN nuclear inspectors from the IAEA.  This agreement goes even further.

Without THIS deal, there is NO deal at all, and Iran simply returns to conditions as they were before negotiations began. That’s a victory for Iranian extremists who WANT confrontation.

Congress must give peace a chance; must give President Rouhani and moderate voices in Iran support for their diplomatic efforts.

As a Just Peace Church that issued a resolution calling for “friendship and solidarity” rather than war with Iran, the UCC lists our voice at this time to support this agreement. 

We cannot risk another war in the Middle East.

We’ve come too far to let a comprehensive deal and secure peace slip away. There’s too much at stake.

Peace and Onward, Nathaniel Batchelder

The Peace House, Oklahoma City


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