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Iran in the Crosshairs: ‘Stop the march to war’

By staff

Representative Keith Ellison speaking at October 19 forum on Iran.

Minneapolis, MN – More than 175 people came to the event “Iran in the Crosshairs” on Oct. 19 to hear from anti-war activists and Congressman Keith Ellison (Fifth Congressional District of Minnesota) about how to stop the U.S. march to war.

Margaret Sarfehjooy with Women Against Military Madness laid out the context of U.S. war threats and sanctions on Iran. “Our crippling sanctions on Iran have already resulted in deaths caused by lack of medicine, according to an official from the Tehran Thalassemia Association. The Iranian Hemophilia Society announced in August that ‘the lives of tens of thousands of children are being endangered by the lack of proper drugs caused by international economic sanctions.’”

Representative Keith Ellison spoke about the atmosphere of war in the U.S. Congress and about the pressure he is under to support war. He explained that anyone who proposes a sanctions bill gets a hearing and that everyone in Congress is pressured to vote for any kind of sanctions.

Ellison has voted against sanctions on Iran twice and he explained his votes. He didn’t promise to vote against sanctions on Iran in the future, but he did say, “It’s easier to vote no if you know you have the backing of your community.” He did promise, “I’m not going to vote for sanctions that will make it harder for the U.S. to talk.”

Ellison concluded that he thinks the U.S. is on a path to war with Iran and that he sees pushing sanctions as leading the U.S. to war.

Meredith Aby of the Anti-War Committee concluded the event with an impassioned appeal for action, “We need to be a voice for peace and justice. We cannot be passive. We cannot assume that our leaders will do the right thing. The threat of war and the impact of sanctions already in place on Iran are very real. When we are silent we send a message that the status quo is acceptable and we know that there is a real possibility of war and we can’t be quiet about this. We need to raise the demand of no war with Iran on the national and state level.”

The Minnesota Peace Project, the Twin Cities Peace Campaign and Women Against Military Madness sponsored the event.

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