WASHINGTON, DC (May 21, 2019) — In light of President Trump and John Bolton’s dangerous escalations against Iran and a forthcoming intelligence briefing on Capitol Hill this afternoon, 62 organizations – including J Street, Indivisible, NIAC Action and Win Without War – sent a letter calling on Congress to pass legislation to halt a march to war with Iran.
The combined groups, representing millions of Americans concerned about renewed threats of war with Iran, signals a strong desire for Congress to step up and block Trump from leading America into yet another war of choice.
“Last Fall, Americans voted for a new Congress to act as a co-equal branch of government that would finally serve as a check on this president and his reckless impulses,” said NIAC President Jamal Abdi. “Now Trump and his National Security Advisor John Bolton are taking this country to the brink of a completely avoidable military confrontation. It’s time for Congress to turn its words into action by passing legislation to stop Trump and Bolton from starting an illegal war.”
“President Trump’s chaos-first foreign policy centers around his penchant for turning challenges into crises,” said Win Without War Advocacy Director Erica Fein. “His Iran policy is no different: President Obama took us off the path to war, but now Trump and Bolton have put us back on it. It’s time for Congress to put the brakes on a Trump-Bolton war with Iran.”
“If the Trump administration were to launch a war of choice against Iran it would have devastating consequences for the United States, Israel and the entire region,” warned J Street head of government affairs Dylan Williams. “Congress must fulfill its constitutional responsibility by making absolutely clear that the president is not authorized to trigger a new conflagration in the Middle East.”
According to the letter, “As the drumbeat for war grows louder, Congress must fulfill its Constitutional duty and enact further constraints to unequivocally prevent the administration from launching an unauthorized war.” The letter concludes, “The American people do not want another disastrous war of choice in the Middle East. Congress has the chance to stop a war before it starts. Please take action before it is too late.”
To: Members of Congress
We write to request that Congress take urgent action to halt a march to war with Iran.
The Trump administration, spurred on by National Security Advisor John Bolton, has moved the U.S. into a war posture. Over the last few weeks, Bolton pushed through unprecedented sanctions and escalated the war of words intended to provoke retaliation from the Iranians. Now, Bolton has used a routine carrier deployment to the Middle East to threaten Iran with “unrelenting force” and has overseen the revision of war plans that would send 120,000 troops to the Middle East if Iran takes his bait.
Congress cannot be complicit as the playbook for the 2003 invasion of Iraq is repeated before our eyes. The administration has increasingly politicized intelligence on Iran’s nuclear program, and falsely asserts ties between Iran and al-Qaeda. Worryingly, the administration does not perceive that it is constrained by the lack of Congressional authorization for war with Iran, and has even suggested that the 2001 authorization to use military force could be twisted to green light strikes against Iran.
As the drumbeat for war grows louder, Congress must fulfill its Constitutional duty and enact further constraints to unequivocally prevent the administration from launching an unauthorized war. We urge you to pass legislation to bar funding for an unauthorized war with Iran – The Prevention of Unconstitutional War with Iran Act (S. 1039/H.R. 2354) – together with legislation that makes clear that no existing statutory authorization, including the 2001 authorization for use of military force, provides for war with Iran. Moreover, we urge all lawmakers to issue statements making clear that no authorization for an Iran war exists, and that if the Trump administration seeks war it must first come to Congress for debate.
The American people do not want another disastrous war of choice in the Middle East. Congress has the chance to stop a war before it starts. Please take action before it is too late.
About Face: Veterans Against the War
Americans for Peace Now
Beyond the Bomb
Brave New Films
Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists
Center for American Progress
Center for International Policy
Chino Cienega Foundation
Concerned Citizens for Nuclear Safety
Council for a Livable World
Dallas Peace and Justice Center
Environmentalists Against War
Federation of American Scientists
Foreign Policy for America
Franciscan Action Network
Friends Committee on National Legislation
Global Ministries of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and United Church of Christ
Global Security Institute
Jewish Voice for Peace
Just Foreign Policy
Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns
Nuclear Age Peace Foundation
Nuclear Watch New Mexico
Oak Ridge Environmental Peace Alliance
Palestine Action Committee of Texas
Pax Christi International
Peace Development Fund
Physicians for Social Responsibility
Presbyterian Church (USA)
Rachel Carson Council
T’ruah: The Rabbinic Call for Human Rights
The Peace Farm
Truman National Security Project
Union of Concerned Scientists
United Church of Christ, Justice and Witness Ministries
United for Peace and Justice
Veterans For Peace
Washington Against Nuclear Weapons
Western States Legal Foundation
Win Without War
Women’s Action for New Directions
NIAC Action: The Pro-Peace Iranian-American Lobby
NIAC Action is the grassroots, civic action organization committed to advancing peace and championing the priorities of the Iranian-American community. We are a nonpartisan nonprofit and the 501(c)4 sister organization of the National Iranian American Council, which works to strengthen the Iranian-American community and promote greater understanding between the American and Iranian people.
NIAC Action works to maximize the political influence of Iranian Americans and the pro-peace community to ensure we have a powerful voice on the issues that matter to us most. We utilize three tools: direct lobbying efforts in Washington, grassroots advocacy led by NIAC Action Chapters nationwide, and organized engagement with political candidates by NIAC Action members.
Our goal is to strengthen U.S. diplomacy with Iran to advance peace and human rights, promote greater openings between the American and the Iranian people, protect civil rights and opportunities for Iranian Americans at home, and support candidates who represent our community’s values. We accomplish this mission by leveraging the resources of the Iranian-American and pro-peace community, the talent of our grassroots leaders, and the political expertise of our Washington, D.C. staff.
To ensure our community has a powerful voice in the political process, NIAC Action provides its members with top caliber political resources and guidance, powerful advocacy tools and civic trainings, and grassroots leadership development.
NIAC Action is supported by its members in the Iranian-American and pro-peace communities, and by prominent U.S. foundations. We do not receive any funding from the Iranian government or the United States government.
Discriminating against people on their ethnicity or country of origin is anathema to the ideals that make America great. NIAC Action works to fight back against such discrimination and ensure that the civil rights of Iranian Americans and Iranians in the U.S. are protected. NIAC Action is working to repeal a law barring Iranian dual nationals and travelers to Iran from participating in the Visa Waiver Program. This discriminatory law could provoke reciprocal restrictions that turn many Iranian-Americans into second-class citizens when traveling abroad.
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