There is growing celebration across the aisle over the now-steadfastly in place sanctions regimes against the undoubtedly dastardly authoritatarian regime in Iran. Alas, we must ask ourselves, as the impact of these sanctions hit hard at the local scale of the household, causing hunger, economic disarray among families, serious food insecurity and greater difficulties for an already deeply-challenged Iranian opposition, whether another way forward toward ending the worrisome proliferation of nuclear weapons across the region, and the globe exists? In light of the concerted efforts of both parties in the US to sanction the activities of the Iranian government toward the pursuit of nuclear capacities, is now not the opportune time to demand of our legislators their efforts toward creating a nuclear-weapons free Middle East, excluding no country in the region from this goal, forcing nuclear weapons off the table vis-a-vis aid contingency compliance with the Nuclear Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and the forging of a new regional treaty, cultivated with the countries of the region and through a multilateral effort including the European Union, Russia and China
We can avert Iraq-style starvation, sky-rocketing infant mortality in Iran (as detailed below by Glenn Greenwald) through such an agenda. The time is not for disregarding the humanity of all peoples of the region, nor their security by selectively sanctioning and green-lighting nuclear weapons programs by some and not others. In fact, note Israel, India nor Pakistan face grave sanctions regimes for their nuclear energy and weapons programs. Moreover, full nuclear weapons arsenals maintained in the US, UK or across Europe did not, and cannot, prevent past, and heavens forbid, future 9/11s, London Tube bombings, Madrid bombings, nor the rocketing of Southern Israel from Gaza.
Please stay tuned for an update on my efforts through the First Unitarian Church of Providence’s Legislative Ministry, and hopefully, through the RI Unitarian Universalist Legislative Ministry to call to action our RI congressional delegation in support of such efforts.
In the interim, please read Glenn Greenwald’s detailed piece on the impact of sanctions in Iran, felt not by the regime and its supporters, but by common Iranians.
Kevin M. DeJesus, PhD
Post-Doctoral Research Associate
Rhode Island College/Multi-University Research Initiative
Kevin M. DeJesus can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org