NIAC Defeats Iran War Resolution: Blockade Bill Shelved by Congress
The National Iranian American Council, working in partnership with a coalition of grassroots NGOs successfully defeated a Congressional resolution that would take a decisive step towards war with Iran.
Washington, DC, Oct 3, 2008 -- The National Iranian American Council, working in partnership with a coalition of grassroots NGOs successfully defeated a Congressional resolution that would take a decisive step towards war with Iran.
"Stopping this dangerous resolution is a significant victory for the Iranian-American community," said Emily Blout, Legislative Director at the National Iranian American Council. "It is also a testament to the American people's opposition to another war in the Middle East."
The measure, H.Con.Res. 362, demanded the President increase pressure on Iran by "prohibiting the export to Iran of all refined petroleum products," and "imposing stringent inspection requirements on all persons, vehicles, ships, planes, trains, and cargo entering or departing Iran." Experts in international law and military affairs agreed that in order to enforce these requirements, the United States would have had to impose a total blockade of Iran - a move that, according to current international law, would have been tantamount to an act of war.
Introduced in May, the resolution gained immediate support from members of both parties, and within weeks had well over 200 cosponsors. After NIAC and groups within the peace and security community took the lead and acted quickly to inform Representatives of the dangers the measure posed for the U.S., lawmakers began viewing the language with increasing skepticism.
"This should not be our policy, and I regret the fact that I did not read this resolution more carefully," wrote Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA), chairman of the Financial Services Committee in a letter to a constituent in response to mounting opposition to the resolution.
Similarly in an article published online, Rep. Robert Wexler (D-FL) stated, "I am not willing to leave even the ‘slightest crack' open for this president to unilaterally set this nation down another disastrous path of war in Iran. It is unacceptable for Congress once again to leave the door open for President Bush to exploit -- as he did when Congress authorized the use of military force against Iraq in a 2002 resolution." Rep. Wexler, who sits on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, also criticized the resolution's "failure to advocate for direct American engagement with Tehran."
NIAC commends the thousands of Iranian Americans and other concerned citizens who called, wrote letters, and arranged meetings with their members of Congress to voice their opposition to this resolution. The Iranian-American community's unprecedented level of
involvement on this issue contributed valuably to the debate and played a vital role in Congress's ultimate decision not to approve the measure.
NIAC also commends all members of Congress for not allowing this resolution to pass. The Iranian-American community continues to stand with the vast majority of the American public in support of a diplomatic solution that will effectively resolve the standoff with Iran.
[See: Truthout - In Reversal, Democrats Shelve Iran Resolution; Iranian.com - NIAC beats AIPAC; Washington Times - Dems bury resolution due to war fears; IPS - Iran Resolution Shelved in Rare Defeat for "Israel Lobby"]
NIAC is a Washington, DC-based 501 c(3) non-partisan, non-profit organization dedicated to advancing the interests of the Iranian-American community. NIAC is funded through donations from the Iranian-American community as well as grants from the Pluralism Fund, the Kenbe Foundation, the Ploughshares Fund, and the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, among others. For more information about the organization, please visit www.niacouncil.org, email us at email@example.com or send a fax to (202) 386-6409.