WILPF calls for peaceful resolution of the Iran "crisis."
(Statement issued June 6, 2006)
The U.S. Section of the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom is dismayed that the Administration is again threatening military attack, this time on Iran. Such an attack would be illegal, unjustified, counter-productive and inhumane. Bombing of Iranian nuclear research and power sites, even with conventional weapons, would be disastrous. It would violate Protocol I of the Geneva Convention, which prohibits such bombings because they can release lethal radiation into the environment.
WILPF is determined to prevent further proliferation of nuclear weapons. Iran, however, is still a party to the Nuclear Weapons Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and there is no clear evidence that her government is violating that treaty. Attacking Iran now to eliminate a nuclear weapons program that probably does not exist, or that is years away from production, would have only negative consequences. We would welcome direct dialogue between the U.S. and Iran without preconditions.
We also urge our national leaders, especially in the Pentagon, to halt their war propaganda and distortion of facts in order to build support for attack on Iran. Propaganda for war is in violation of Article 20 of the UN Treaty on Civil and Political Rights. This treaty was ratified by the U.S., and hence defiance of that prohibition is also illegal under our own constitution.
This is a time for recognition of how much damage U.S. policies in the Middle East, driven in part by a desire to control oil supplies, has already done to nations there, including Iran. CIA covert action to unseat Prime Minister Mossadegh in 1953, support of the Shah and his police state apparatus, encouragement of Saddam Hussein’s eight-year war against Iran, U.S. invasion and occupation of two bordering states (Iraq and Afghanistan), and continuing covert action by U.S. special forces now in Iran have all caused great suffering to the peoples in that country.
U.S. support of Israel’s nuclear weapons program further destabilizes the region and invites proliferation. It is Israel alone that has developed as many as 200 nuclear weapons in a secret program. No other Middle Eastern nation has yet followed this path, and it was Iran that first proposed a regional nuclear free zone. The U.S. should urge Israel to acknowledge its nuclear arsenal, become a member of the NPT, and enter negotiations for the Nuclear Weapons Free Zone envisioned at the Madrid Peace Conference 15 years ago after the first Gulf War. Israeli compliance with the nuclear nonproliferation protocol is the first and most important step towards nonproliferation throughout the region.
We also call on the U.S. Administration similarly to re-examine and re-direct its current nuclear weapons policies. The U.S. must return to compliance with the NPT; cease placing nuclear weapons capabilities at the center of military planning; stop developing new types of nuclear weapons and upgrading its current stockpile; and threatening first use against even non-nuclear weapons nations such as Iran. It is important to return to working in concert with the United Nations and other nations to bring Israel, Pakistan and India into the NPT regime.
All peoples are members of the same human family and must all learn to share this one planet as home. War and rule by force destroy precious human lives, human liberty, whole peoples, cultures and the fragile eco-system of the Earth. The ways of peace require greater wisdom and courage than the ways of war, but are the only ways worth pursuing. We urge our national leaders to cease their hegemonic designs on the Middle East and the wider world.