Urges Obama administration to promise diplomacy, end sanctions
WASHINGTON - June 19 - In the midst of public unrest and outrage in Iran over the country's recent election, CODEPINK stands with the people of Iran at this time of crisis and supports their right to free and fair elections, a recount, and communication inside Iran and with the world.
CODEPINK calls on the Obama Administration to fulfill its commitment to pursue diplomacy with Iran through face-to-face talks without preconditions; as Obama promised during his campaign, "We should not just talk to our friends, we should be willing to engage our enemies as well. That is what diplomacy is all about." CODEPINK also affirms the Obama administration's decision to withhold comment on the Iranian election and its government's decisions around conducting a recount or reelection.
Furthermore, CODEPINK calls on the United States to cease threats of new economic sanctions, remove existing sanctions, and end threats of war.
These affirmations will lend much needed credibility and legitimacy to Obama's commitment to improve relations with Iran and the Arab-Muslim world, and uphold his campaign promise to meet with Iranian officials without preconditions.
"We are watching the situation in Iran very closely, and our hearts are with the brave Iranians who are taking to the streets and the internet to speak out for what they believe, and stand up for their rights to democracy and a fair, transparent election," said Jodie Evans, CODEPINK co-founder. "During his campaign, Obama promised to talk with Iran without preconditions, and the Obama Administration must attempt diplomacy, and sit down for face-to-face talks with the leaders of Iran."
Last Friday's election had a record 85 percent turnout. Before the first vote counts were returned, Mousavi declared himself the winner moments before the state-run television announced President Ahmadinejad's victory in the election. Hundreds of thousands of Iranians filled the streets over the weekend to protest the outcome of the election and allegations of fraud and election rigging. The Iranian government forbid the protests and responded with force shooting and killing several protesters, and beating many more. Despite the violence and government efforts to restrict telephone and technology access as well as journalists covering the election, protesters came out for the fifth day of protests today. On Monday the Guardian Council, which oversees elections in Iran, announced it would recount the votes, a process that will take about seven to ten days. Mousavi and his supporters have contested the recount, alleging ballot tampering, and are calling for another election.
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