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February 25, 2011
(photo by Madelyn Hoffman)

Joanne LandyMy name is Joanne Landy, and I am Co-Director of the New York-based Campaign for Peace and Democracy.

CPD brought together this group of peace and human rights activists to present our statement “End the War Threats and Sanctions Program against Iran, Support the Struggle for Democracy inside Iran,” along with the names of 1164 individuals who signed the statement

After our meeting with you, we will go to the Iranian Mission to the UN, where we will call on the Iranian government to end the horrific repression of its own citizens.

We are inspired by the wave of democratic revolutions, uprisings and protests that are sweeping across North Africa and the Middle East, often against dictatorial governments that have been sustained by U.S. military and economic support.

The focus of today’s visit is Iran, and we have not forgotten that the brutal Shah of Iran was also supported by our government.

We are here today to state publicly that we want the U.S. to have a democratic, just and peaceful foreign policy. Our government doesn’t speak in our name when it responds to Iran in a bellicose and hypocritical manner. Specifically, we are here to ask the U.S. government to:

  • Withdraw the threat, contained in the Obama Administration’s April 2010 Nuclear Posture Review, to use nuclear weapons against Iran
  • Cease any support for acts of sabotage or military intervention in Iran.
  • Pledge that the administration does not consider the military option to "remain on the table."
  • Initiate both nuclear and conventional disarmament, encompassing missile “defense” as well as more obviously offensive weaponry.
  • Support a Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone in the Middle East, to include Israel
  • Revoke the Comprehensive Iran Sanctions, Accountability, and Divestment Act of 2010 and stop pressing others to impose crippling sanctions, which will harm the Iranian people.
  • End its wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan.

As we note in our statement, and as Steve Shalom will argue in a moment, both war threats and the U.S. comprehensive sanctions policy undermine rather than help the cause of democracy in Iran.

And they also undermine the prospects for real peace in the Middle East.

I am giving you now a packet containing:

  • Our statement “End the War Threats and Sanctions Program against Iran, Support the Struggle for Democracy inside Iran”
  • A list of the signers of the statement, with their affiliations
  • Short bios on the members of this delegation
  • The press release announcing this visit and our visit to the Iranian mission when we are finished here.