Bush should seek dialogue, not confrontation, with Iran
Imam Mohammad Ali Elahi
Faith and policy
Tuesday, October 30, 2007
As citizens of this blessed and beautiful land, Americans are called
to save our country and the rest of our human family from a possible
"World War III." The declaration last Thursday by the Bush
administration of the harshest sanctions against Iran since the 1979
Islamic Revolution and calling Iran "the world's leading state sponsor
of terrorism" foreshadows a new tragedy in the Middle East.
Tens of thousands of Americans staged anti-war rallies across the
country to condemn President Bush's warmongering policies in Iraq. On
Iran, we should follow the lead of these American patriots, who would
love to see their country become a source of hope and human harmony
rather than of fear and intimidation.
There are bigger issues than Iran. There is turmoil in Pakistan;
terrorism continues in Turkey; 93 percent of the world's heroin comes
from Afghanistan; Israel brutalizes Gaza, and another confrontation
brews in Lebanon, while the Iraqi mess and misery continue.
But the administration beats the drums for another war in the region.
The head of the U.N. nuclear watchdog agency said on CNN on Sunday
that he had no evidence that Iran is building nuclear weapons. He
expressed concern about the escalating rhetoric and how the United
States is adding fuel to the fire.
In slapping sanctions on Iran, the administration is isolating itself
and putting the U.S. economy at risk. Russia, China, the non-aligned
countries and the Muslim world all call for dialogue and reject war
against Iran. Many Americans consider any pre-emptive attack on Iran
to be immoral and illegal. Former President Jimmy Carter recently told
CBS that diplomacy, not military action, is the best approach with Iran.
Bush is ignoring James Baker's Iraq Study Group and all voices of
wisdom, including Michigan's U.S. Sen. Carl Levin and U.S. Reps. John
Dingell and John Conyers.
Why would we deny Iran, with a population of 75 million, from having a
peaceful nuclear facility for generating electricity like many other
nations? This is Iran's right under the Non-Proliferation Treaty.
Israel never even signed the treaty, yet it is the only Middle East
power with the ability to launch atomic weapons.
When asked by a Counterpunch newsletter writer why the clause
forbidding war on Iran without congressional approval was taken out of
the recent congressional supplemental funding for the Iraq war, U.S.
Rep. Michael Capuano answered, "AIPAC!" for the American Israel Public
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was not allowed to go to Ground
Zero to pay respect to the victims of the Sept. 11 attacks, yet he
invited the U.S. president to go to any university in Iran and talk to
the academic community. Our country needs to end this antagonistic
policy of confrontation, isolation and insult.
After all, Iran has pledged $560 million over five years for helping
to rebuild Afghanistan. Afghan President Hamid Karzai has said, "So
far, Iran has been a helper and a solution." And Iraqi Prime Minister
Nouri al-Maliki recently said Iran has a "positive and constructive"
role in helping improve security in Iraq.
It's time to talk and walk the truth. The United States cannot afford
another war. To protect the integrity and security of our nation,
Americans must promote dialogue and understanding rather than
Islamophobia and false accusations. May the Lord lead us on the
journey to justice and peace.
Imam Mohammad Ali Elahi heads the Islamic House of Wisdom in Dearborn
Heights. Please e-mail comments to letters @ detnews.com. [You can be
sure that CAMERA and the psycho Zionist retirees will write in.]
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