Leaving Iran Nuclear Deal and War

It was just a matter of time before we heard the current administration would be considering military attacks against Iran. Knowledgeable people warned this would happen if the US left the Iran Nuclear Deal, and here we are.

In 2019 I wrote “increasing tensions with Iran now remind me of the work we did in 2015 to get the Iran Nuclear Deal approved. Tensions today are the direct result of the withdrawal of the United States from that deal.”

It was clear it would be a very close vote in Congress to approve the deal.

“While Durbin and Nancy Pelosi were tracking the votes in their respective chambers, the president took a larger part and also played rougher in this fight than had been his custom. He accused Republicans of “making common cause” with Iran’s hard-liners. He stated that the alternatives were the deal or war.  Even some of his allies thought he’d gone a bit overboard with these statements, potentially alienating some undecided Democrats, and he pulled back from them. Obama responded to the requests by Pelosi and Durbin to make calls to wavering Democrats, more calls than he’d made on any previous legislation. He held special briefings in the White House for members of Congress; he participated in a conference call with the outside groups on his side.”

How They Failed to Block the Iran Deal, New York Times, 10/22/2015

In the absence of your voices, you are going to see the same array of voices that got us into the Iraq war, leading to a situation in which we forgo a historic opportunity and we are back on the path of potential military conflict

President Barack Obama

Our work in Indiana to support the Iran deal began with the only time I have been on a conference call with President Barack Obama. The Friends Committee on National Legislation (FCNL) helped make that call possible.

July 31, 2015

Last night President Obama spoke for half an hour by phone to activists who support him. He described how the Iran deal is a good deal for the United States and all the countries that joined in the negotiations in good faith that they would all agree to the deal. This is the agreement that the international community hammered out and supports. If Congress defeats this bill, that will likely end any influence the United States could have in the Middle East. Opponents of the bill only offer that we need a “better deal”, but have nothing to offer as to what that could possibly be. Those who say we should continue with sanctions don’t understand that is not possible now. Sanctions only work when the international community supports and enforces them. That won’t happen if they see the U.S. cannot agree on a foreign policy, as would be evident if this bill is defeated. There is also the question of who the sanctions hurt, which is the people of Iran, not their leaders. This feeds the movement to join terrorist organizations. An improved standard of living for the Iranian people should help mitigate that. The President specifically asked us to speak out to support this deal. “In the absence of your voices, you are going to see the same array of voices that got us into the Iraq war, leading to a situation in which we forgo a historic opportunity and we are back on the path of potential military conflict,” he said.

August 27, 2015

As a direct result of that call with President Obama, I’ve spent the past week, with the help of Erin Polley, AFSC, organizing the delivery of a petition with over 10,000 Indiana signatures supporting the Iran nuclear deal.  Members of North Meadow Circle of Friends, Indiana Moral Mondays, and MoveOn met with staff of Senator Joe Donnelly’s Indianapolis office yesterday.  Senator Donnelly now supports the deal, so this was a ‘thank you’ event, which the Senator’s staff indicated didn’t happen very often.

The following Minute was approved by Iowa Yearly Meeting (Conservative) the summer of 2015.

Iowa Yearly Meeting (Conservative) supports the peaceable agreement among world powers, including the United States and Iran, to dramatically curb Iran’s nuclear program in exchange for easing international sanctions against Iran. We hope this will be the beginning of many more peaceful negotiations.


But in May, 2019, the current administration chose to, unilaterally, withdraw from the deal.

The United States announced its withdrawal from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), also known as the “Iran nuclear deal” or the “Iran deal”, on May 8, 2018.[1][2][3][4] The JCPOA is an agreement on Iran’s nuclear program reached in July 2015 by Iran, the P5+1 (the five permanent members of the United Nations Security CouncilChinaFranceRussiaUnited Kingdom, United States—plus Germany)[5][6] also called E3/EU+3.

In a joint statement responding to the U.S. withdrawal, the leaders of France, Germany and the United Kingdom stated that United Nations Security Council resolution endorsing the nuclear deal remained the “binding international legal framework for the resolution of the dispute”.[7]

United States withdrawal from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action

As predicted, Iran has increased its nuclear production, and the current administration is considering an act of war against the country.

When will they ever learn?

Where Have All the Flowers Gone? Pete Seeger
This entry was posted in Friends Committee on National Legislation, peace, Quaker, Uncategorized and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

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