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"Do the right thing and earn national and international respect": Brown urged to take tough line with Bush on Iran


A Downing Street delegation will today call on Gordon Brown to use his time with George Bush next week to warn the President against military intervention against Iran. A letter handed in by a cross-party group of parliamentarians to the Prime Minister argues that an attack on Iran in the absence of evidence of a nuclear weaponisation programme would be in breach of international law and would be as unconscionable and misjudged as the 2003 invasion of Iraq. It also hints that standing up to Bush might help earn respect for the Prime Minister: "Not only would you be doing the right thing politically and morally, but you would cast yourself as a principled and strong statesman, willing to stand up for the interests of both Britain and the world."


The delegation organised by the Westminster Committee on Iran and CASMII expressed concern that the US are planning to launch an attack on Iran before the end of the Bush term in office. Such an attack is seen as the next stage in the neo-Conservative programme for reshaping the region and would also increase the likelihood of a McCain presidency. The call for Gordon Brown to use his influence with Mr Bush is echoed by the influential Commons foreign affairs committee whose March report states that a military attack against Iran "would be unlikely to succeed and could provoke an extremely violent backlash across the region...We recommend that the Government urges Washington to consider offering a credible security guarantee to Iran if the Iranian government in turn will offer an equally credible and verifiable guarantee that it will not enter into a nuclear weapons programme and improves its co-operation with the international community in other areas". (1)


Stefan Simanowitz, Chair of the Westminster Committee on Iran (2) said today:

"In the run up to the invasion of Iraq MP's supported Blair's policies on the mistaken belief that he was using his special relationship with the Bush administration to lessen the possibility of war. We now know that this was not the case. Gordon Brown has the chance to succeed where Blair failed: to curb Mr Bush's appetite for military action and to promote a diplomatic resolution to the increasingly dangerous situation. We believe that over the remaining 220 days of the Bush presidency an attack on Iran is not just a real possibility but an imminent reality.


Without evidence of a weaponisation programme it cannot be claimed that Iran has breached any of its obliagations under the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treat. The IAEA have noted substantial progress in resolving outstanding issues that remain in the process of verifying the peaceful nature of Iran's nuclear programme and have found no evidence of illegal diversion. We call on Mr Brown to take a strong principled stand and to help to prevent another illegitimate preemptive war in the Middle East which would lead to further destabilisation of the region and tragic loss of life."


Professor Abbas Edalat, founder of the Campaign Against Sanctions and Military Intervention in Iran (3), said today:

" The UK and the European Union as a whole should take the lead in

calling for immediate, unconditional and comprehensive negotiations

between the US and Iran on all points of dispute in order to create an

opening for meaningful progress toward understanding, reduced tension in

the Middle East and a peaceful settlement of the present standoff.

Gordon Brown can mark his name in history by advocating this road to

peace when he meets George W. Bush on Saturday."


See The Independent 12/6/08.


Delegation to No.10 - 12.45 - 1.30pm, Downing Street. Thursday 12th June


Contact the press office on 07799650791







1) Members of the Commons Foreign Affairs Committee:
Mike Gapes (Chairman) MP, Rt Hon Sir Menzies Campbell QC MP, Mr Fabian Hamilton MP, Rt Hon David Heathcoat-Amory MP, Mr John Horam MP, Mr Eric Illsley MP, Mr Paul Keetch MP, Andrew Mackinlay MP, Mr Malcolm Moss MP, Sandra Osborne MP, Mr Greg Pope MP, Mr Ken Purchase MP, Rt Hon Sir John Stanley MP, Ms Gisela Stuart MP .


2) The Westminster Committee on Iran is not a campaigning organisation per se nor is it an official parliamentary body or All Party Parliamentary Group. Instead it aims to fill the space between these two types of bodies in order to increase dialogue, understanding and trust between parliamentarians in Tehran and the rest of the world. On 25th January 2008, Anders B. Johnsson, General Secretary of the UN's Inter-Parliamentary Union, Geneva wrote: "...the objectives of the Westminster Committee on Iran coincide with those of the IPU, which promotes dialogue to foster understanding and avoid conflict."


3) CASMII is an independent campaign organisation with the purpose of opposing sanctions, foreign state interference and military intervention in Iran.



... Payvand News - 06/12/08 ... --

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