Last November, CEO Stephen Dinan and I attended “lobby day” in DC with Friends Committee on National Legislation (www.fcnl.org), a 70-year old organization that works by talking directly to elected representatives about a broad range of injustices. The focus of lobby day was the Iran nuclear deal, an issue that, at the time, was largely flying under the media radar.
As you know, it’s now front-page news, with critics spending millions of dollars to undermine nearly two years of international diplomacy.
So, what’s the deal with the deal?
This multilateral (US, UK, China, France, Russia and Germany) nuclear deal dramatically shrinks Iran’s nuclear capabilities by retiring the majority of their centrifuges, shipping out most of its uranium stockpile, and reducing how highly it enriches uranium. It increases Iran’s “breakout time” (to build a weapon) from 2-3 months to a year or more. It requires nuclear inspectors to be allowed to inspect suspicious sites on demand. The deal keeps economic sanctions in place against Iranian support for terrorism.
If congress rejects this deal when it votes in September, it is very unlikely there will be another deal.
The only other option on the table is war.
If you want peace and not more military conflict and bloodshed, NOW is the time to voice your views to your elected representatives. NOW is the time to prevent war. Research has shown that phone calls, letters, and in-person visits to your representatives do play a very large role in how they vote.
It takes only a couple of minutes to call your representative at the Capitol Switchboard. Dial 855-686-6927 and ask to be connected to your Senator’s office.
An easy script, offered by FCNL:
1. My name is _______ and I’m a constituent from (city), (state). Please support the nuclear deal with Iran.
2. The agreement sets up the most extensive inspections plan in history, and it gives inspectors the access they need to make sure Iran doesn’t cheat. Without the deal, all the new inspections and restrictions on Iran’s nuclear program go away.
3. The deal is better than any other options, and it’s the best way to prevent a nuclear-armed Iran.
And then ask your friends and family to do the same. Let's be the peace that we want to see in the world.
The Shift Network is offering a number of Peace Ambassador Training scholarships (for the program beginning in January 2016) to the Shift peacemaker who encourages (and tracks!) the most number of your people who contact your representatives to support the Iran nuclear deal. For non-US readers, please let me know that you have published a letter-to-the-editor in a US newspaper explaining why you believe this issue is so important.
We’ll use the honor system, so please drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org to let me know what actions you have taken to support diplomacy. We will also publish your name in our next Catalyst.