Green Party to President Obama: Hands off Iran

Green Party to President Obama: Hands off Iran; work for a Middle East free of nuclear weapons and restore good will with the people of Iran

WASHINGTON, DC -- Green Party candidates and leaders said today that the US must avoid a military confrontation with Iran by diplomacy based on the goal of ridding the Middle East and Asia of nuclear weapons, including Israel, Pakistan, and India.

The Green Party strongly opposes a military attack on Iran, a country that poses no threat to the US. Greens compared the deceptive rhetoric now being used to vilify Iran with the Bush Administration's fraudulent justifications for a war on Iraq nearly ten years ago, with unconfirmed allegations about Iran's plans for nuclear arms taking the place of Iraqi WMDs.

On Tuesday, Jan. 24, the Green Party's presidential contenders will discuss foreign policy and other topics in a live online chat with viewer participation during President Obama's 2012 State of the Union address, to be aired on the Green Party's Livestream channel.

  • Jill Stein, candidate for the Green Party's 2012 presidential nomination: "The threats of an assault on Iran by Israel or the U.S., or both, are igniting tensions that could erupt into a larger conflict. If we object to Iran's nuclear ambitions, the first step in resolving these tensions is to recognize that no nation has a 'right' to possess nuclear weapons. The possession of such weapons by any country in the region is a motivation for other countries to obtain them as well, and Iran has unfriendly nuclear nations on either side, being Israel and Pakistan. The United States should press Iran's neighbors to divest themselves of their nuclear arsenals and to use such pressure as the basis for good-faith negotiation with Iran."

  • Kent Mesplay, candidate for the Green Party's 2012 presidential nomination: "If the US is serious about resolving conflict in the Middle East, we must reduce the US consumption of fossil fuels and end our government's subservience to the oil industry. Along with aggravating global warming, American oil addiction has resulted in aggressive military policies against some oil-rich nations, like Iraq and Libya, and alliances with dictatorships in other oil-producers like Saudi Arabia, which has its own conflicts with Iran as well as ties to al-Qaeda. We must also press Israel to cease its murderous actions against Palestinians, on display in the recent invasion of Gaza and abolish internal apartheid policies directed at Palestinian Israelis, and withhold aid until Israel complies with international law."

  • Michael Canney, Florida Green and member of the Green Party's International Committee: "Although Iran's government is a repressive theocracy that has silenced dissent, it poses no current threat to the U.S.  The US's own belligerence, under the Bush and Obama administrations, has resulted in wars on three Muslim countries (Iraq, Afghanistan, and Libya), drone attacks on Pakistan, and support for Israel's attacks on Palestinians. If the US launches an attack on Iran or supports an attack by Israel, it will serve to further discredit the US as an honest broker in the region and will exacerbate an already explosive situation."

  • Carol Brouillet, California Green and host of "Community Currency" on the Progressive Radio Network: "The recent assassinations and explosions targeting Iranian scientists are acts of terrorism, widely believed to have been carried out by Israeli agents with US complicity. There's no doubt that assassinations of US or Israeli scientists would be recognized as terrorism if committed by agents dispatched by Iran. As columnist Glenn Greenwald recently noted, the defendants in an alleged Iranian murder-for-hire plot to kill a Saudi ambassador on US soil were charged with 'international acts of terrorism'. By refusing to condemn terrorism by a US ally, while justifying suspension of constitutional procedures for people detained by the US on suspicion of terrorism, the Obama White House has betrayed an increasing and dangerous disregard for the rule of law." (See also "Timeline / Mysterious deaths and blasts linked to Iran's nuclear program," Haaretz, Jan. 11, 2012.)

  • Natale "Lino" Stracuzzi, DC Statehood Green Party candidate for delegate to the US House of Representatives (nonvoting): "60% of Iran's population is under 30. The Obama Administration is squandering an opportunity for a new relationship with the future leaders of a country in which many young people want a more democratic and secular society. The US should work to undo the damage caused in the early 1950s by the CIA's complicity in the overthrow of democratically elected president Muhammed Mossadegh and installation of the Shah, whose brutal regime resulted in the popular embrace of authoritarian religious leaders, and restore good will between the US and Iran."

See also:

"Perspectives: An Iranian Scientist's Assassination" Frontline (PBS), Jan. 18, 2012

"Preventing a Nuclear Iran, Peacefully" By Shibley Telhami and Steven Kul, The New York Times, Jan. 15, 2012

From 2004:
"Obama would consider missile strikes on Iran" The Chicago Tribune, September 25, 2004