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Mainers Unite to Prevent War With Iran

Delegates to the Democratic National Convention Will Propose a Platform Emphasizing Diplomacy, Not War


PORTLAND, Maine - August 15 - Peace Action Maine, Pax Christi Maine, Military Families Speak Out/ Maine, the Peace and Justice Center of Eastern Maine, and other Maine based organizations are circulating a statewide petition that opposes preemptive military action, acts of war, a naval blockade or economic sanctions harmful to the Iranian civilian population, and calls for "comprehensive and consistent diplomatic efforts to promote peace and nuclear nonproliferation." Early signers include Maine Senate President Beth Edmonds, former Maine Senate Majority Leader Michael Brennan, Green Party founder John Rensenbrink, 2006 independent U.S. Senate candidate Bill Slavick, 2006 independent House candidate Dexter Kamilewicz , and 2006 Democratic gubernatorial candidate Chris Miller.


Petitions will be sent to the Maine Congressional delegation, and taken to the Democratic National Convention in Denver by delegates Rachel Talbot Ross and Jon Hinck, and distributed throughout Maine. "This moment calls for the use of statesmanship and leverage, not cluster bombs," stated Hinck, a Maine state representative. "As a delegate to the DNC, I call on Congress to intervene to prevent more armed conflict."


Eric Hooglund, an Iran scholar at Bates College and President of the Board of Peace Action Maine, emphasized this sentiment: "The CIA's National Intelligence Estimate last November stated Iran had abandoned any nuclear weapon project back in 2003. Furthermore, its present uranium enrichment program has been certified by the International Atomic Energy Agency -IAEA--as being for peaceful use, that is, as fuel for its electric power generation facility. Iran is a signatory of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty-unlike Israel, India, and Pakistan, all of which have developed nuclear weapons in contravention of this international treaty. Thus, Iran's building of nuclear power plants and its enrichment of uranium to fuel such plants are fully within its rights under the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty."


Concern is heightened by Administration voices insisting that Congress has delegated its declaration of war powers to the White House in its blanket approval of combating terrorism, and the action of House Majority Leader Pelosi, who has blocked legislation that would require Congressional approval for an attack on Iran. Congress appears acquiescent to the Administration's military preparations, although Rep. Tom Allen and two colleagues withdrew their names as co-sponsors of the above resolutions late July. Hooglund added that the proposed Congressional resolutions in both the House of Representatives and the Senate would authorize the president to initiate a naval blockade of Iran. "These resolutions effectively dismiss the National Intelligence Estimate and the reports of the IAEA in favor of claims made by an Iranian opposition group that the US government has declared to be a terrorist organization. And these resolutions repeat the irresponsible war-justifying process in 2002-03 that led to the war in Iraq."


Participants and delegates are available for interviews, including 'on the ground' interviews from the Democratic National Convention in Denver, August 25-28th.

... Payvand News - 08/18/08 ... --

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