President Donald Trump’s threat to withdraw U. S. approval of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) might please the hawkish political elements in both Tehran and Washington, but it will hurt the interests of the Iranian people and dim their hope of reintegrating Iran into the international political economy. It is understandable that Middle Eastern states and prompters of world peace are concerned with Iran’s military and sectarian influence in the region, but efforts to contain Iran requires a political and diplomatic strategy. In pursuit of this goal, discarding a nuclear agreement approved by the United Nations Security Council and European Union is counterproductive. For nuclear non-proliferation is qualitatively a different challenge facing the international community than the problem of struggle for power in a particular region. Given Middle Eastern autocratic rulers and involvement of world powers in the region, a nuclear arms race in the Middle East can lead to unprecedented international catastrophe.
The International Atomic Energy Agency has repeatedly confirmed Iran’s compliance with its JCPOA obligations. The United States should do the same. Peoples of the Middle East are suffering from tragic consequences of war and violence of their dictatorial governments. Abandonment of JCPOA is bound to aggregate their suffering.
We, the undersigned, a group of Iranians committed to peaceful transformation of Iran’s theocracy to a secular pluralist republic, consider the success of JCPO as a positive impact on the regional security. We categorically oppose Iran’s interference in the internal affairs of Syria, Iraq, Lebanon and Yemen. Tens of millions of Iranians live in poverty, but their sectarian and so called pro-Islamic awakening rulers have given tens of billions of dollars in military and economic aid to Bashar al-Assad, one of the most cruel despots in the history of the region.
We believe the defense or promotion of Iran’s national interest calls for a paradigm change in Iran’s foreign policy. That is to say, putting an end to the pathological idea of exporting the Islamic revolution, stopping the hostile activities of the Quds force, ending the sectarian propaganda of the Shi’ite clerics and terminating the absurd propaganda calling for the destruction of Israel.
If Western countries are genuinely interested in peace in the Middle East, they should stop supporting the growing militarization of the region and try to reduce tension through diplomacy and mediation. Instead of imposing the kind of economic sanctions that impair the lives of ordinary people, they should normalize trade relations and create secure environment for international investment.
May 8, 2018
National Front – Organizations Abroad
United Republicans of Iran
Union for Secular Republic and Human Rights in Iran
*This statement has also been signed by 7 institutions and more than 100 individuals.