A military conflagration with Iran, which would have severe economic, political and moral consequences for the U.S., has been averted thus far.
According to a flyer from the Colorado Coalition Against Attacking Iran (C-CAATI), some economic consequences of an attack on Iran would be:
--Sending the price of gas through the roof
--Destabilizing the American economy
--Diverting resources from critical domestic needs
The pretext for continued hostility by the Obama administration and Congress toward Iran has been that Iran has a nuclear weapons program. However, according to National Intelligence estimates regarding Iran, compiled by U.S. intelligence agencies, Iran does not have an active nuclear weapons program, nor is there hard evidence that Iran has decided to build one, according to a February 24, 2012, New York Times article, "U.S. Agencies See No Move by Iran to Build a Bomb," by James Risen and Mark Mazzetti. Despite this, over the last few years, the U.S. has led the world in securing devastating economic sanctions on Iran. According to a current sign-on letter to President Obama by Senator Diane Feinstein (D-CA): "The impact (of economic sanctions) on Iran's economy has been significant: the value of the Iranian rial against the U.S. dollar has declined more than 185 percent since 2011, unofficial estimates of inflation range as high as 70 percent, exports of oil have been halved ... the Iranian economy has declined by as much as 8 percent between March 2012 and March 2013 and is set to decline further in the next year, and unemployment estimates range as high as 20 percent."
The potential for a diplomatic solution, however, has increased with the June 2013 election of moderate President Hassan Rouhani in Iran. Recently 29 former government experts and military officials wrote to President Obama to "seize this opportunity to achieve diplomatic progress towards a peaceful resolution of the standoff."
U.S. Senator Diane Feinstein's sign-on letter urges President Obama to "seize the opportunity presented by the upcoming inauguration of Iran's new president, Dr. Hassan Rouhani, by reinvigorating diplomatic efforts to secure a verifiable agreement that ensures that Iran does not develop nuclear weapons."
Call Senators Michael Bennet at 202-224-5852 and 303-455-7600 and Sen. Mark Udall at 202-224-5941 and 303-650-7820 and ask them to sign on to Feinstein's letter and to push vigorously for a diplomatic solution to the Iran-U.S. stalemate.
War is not the answer.
Carolyn Bninksi is on the staff of the Rocky Mountain Peace and Justice Center.