Tough talk on Iran

Peace activists across the nation and the Internet are criticizing a resolution that recommends strong action against Iran and its nuclear enrichment program.

Locally, the Women Against War group has called upon two area Democrats to remove their sponsorship of Resolution 362. Congresswoman Kirsten Gillibrand, D-Hudson, in the 20th Congressional District and outgoing Congressman Michael McNulty D-Green Island, in the 21st, both told Spotlight Newspapers that they do not intend to remove their support, though McNulty is now calling for the removal of language that some say would necessitate a blockade of Iran.

The resolution calls for the president to impose various economic sanctions on Iran and to support legitimate governments in the region, through "sustained, serious and forceful" diplomacy. It has been introduced as Resolution 580 in the Senate.

The resolution also "demands that the President initiate an international effort to immediately and dramatically increase the economic, political and diplomatic pressure on Iran to verifiably suspend its nuclear enrichment activities by, inter alia, prohibiting the export to Iran of all refined petroleum products; imposing stringent inspection requirements on all persons, vehicles, ships, planes, trains, and cargo entering or departing Iran; and prohibiting the international movement of all Iranian officials not involved in negotiating the suspension of Iran's nuclear program."

McNulty has said the above paragraph should be removed.

The language is worrisome to Priscilla Fairbank, a member of Women Against War. "It is very threatening, and would essentially create a blockade and be an act of war," she said. "I don't think that most of the congressional representatives understood this when they signed it."

Fairbank has traveled to Iran as part of a Fellowship of Reconciliation peace delegation. She said she learned that Iranians face the same problems Americans do. "They don't want war or conflict," she said. "They want to live their lives."

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