Iran News ...


05/27/09

Peace Action West Sends An Organizer To Iran


Oakland-based activist builds support for diplomacy in the US by building bridges with Iran


Rebecca Griffin

What: This week Rebecca Griffin, Peace Action West's Political Director, will join a grassroots civilian diplomacy delegation to Iran to learn first hand how Iranians feel about prospects for diplomacy with the United States. While polls show that Americans solidly support diplomacy, their opinions of Iran tend to be based on a lack of understanding about Iranian people and politics.  On her trip, Ms. Griffin will be sharing audio messages of friendship from Americans that Peace Action West collected online, capturing video of Iranians responding to those messages, and learning how Iranians feel about prospects for diplomacy with America.  Ms. Griffin will use the information gathered on the trip to educate Americans about Iran and mobilize them to pressure the US government for better relations. Fewer than 500 Americans are permitted to visit Iran every year.

About Ms. Griffin:

On the delegation to Iran: "To improve relations with Iran, we need to build a mandate here in the US for an Iran policy centered on diplomacy. Though there is strong support for diplomacy in the US, some politicians are exploiting fears and misconceptions of Iranians to bolster their calls for a more aggressive approach. By going to Iran, I can help counter those misconceptions with first hand accounts of Iranian support for constructive engagement with the United States, and mobilize people in the US to take action to support a new approach."

On US policy towards Iran: "An antagonistic approach would actually strengthen the Iranian anti-US hardliners, and undermine the work of Iranian moderates who encourage a positive relationship with the US. In addition, the goal of diplomacy should go beyond addressing Iran's plans for its nuclear program. Iran is a dominant political player that has shown again and again its potential to be potently helpful as well as deeply undermining to US security interests in the region. Negotiations with Iran should emphasize their shared strategic interests with the United States, such as stabilizing Iraq and Afghanistan."

Rebecca Griffin is Peace Action West's Political Director. Ms. Griffin has traveled extensively throughout the western states organizing with community leaders and citizens, meeting with members of Congress, and educating congressional candidates about pragmatic and peaceful solutions to our greatest foreign policy challenges. She has spearheaded campaigns to promote nonmilitary solutions for Afghanistan, end the war in Iraq, and promote diplomacy with Iran.

When:
1) Interview availability before the trip: 9am - 5pm 5/13 and 5/14
2) Ms. Griffin will also be available upon her return, the first week of June.

About Peace Action West:
Peace Action West advocates for a foreign policy that embodies the best values of the American people. More information on the organization and its campaigns is available at www.peaceactionwest.org, and blog.peaceactionwest.org.

Press Contact: Reva Patwardhan (o) 510-830-3600, ext. 112, (m) 510-681-7075, rpatwardhan@peaceactionwest.org

... Payvand News - 05/27/09 ... --



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