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John Kerry: Talk to Iran About Syria

Over the holiday weekend, two major developments occurred on the Iran diplomacy front: the interim nuclear deal with UN Security Council members and Germany took effect, and UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon invited Iran to the second Syria peace conference, called Geneva II, which starts January 22. [1] [2]

If you've seen the news the last two days, you probably already know that Secretary of State John Kerry pressured Secretary General Ban to withdraw Iran's invitation to Geneva II purportedly because Iran never agreed to the terms of the Geneva communiqué, the outcome of the previous peace conference that Iran was also not invited to. [3]

But just last week, Kerry admitted that Iran was a “major actor” in the Syria conflict and that “no other nation has its people on the ground fighting in the way that they are.” [4] Given this, how can the US expect to secure a ceasefire without Iranian cooperation?

With real progress being made in the nuclear talks, now is the time to also talk to Iran about Syria.

Tell John Kerry to stop blocking Iran's involvement in the Syria talks and to work with Iran to secure a ceasefire to stop the killing.

http://www.justforeignpolicy.org/act/kerry-syria-talks

Thanks for all you do to help bring about a just foreign policy,

Megan Iorio, Chelsea Mozen, and Robert Naiman
Just Foreign Policy

Help support our work — make a $10 tax-deductible donation today!
Your financial support helps us create opportunities for Americans to agitate for a more just foreign policy.
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References:

1. “Iran begins enrichment cap as nuclear deal with world powers takes effect,” Barbara Slavin, Al Jazeera, January 19, 2014, http://america.aljazeera.com/articles/2014/1/19/iran-world-powersstartin...

TODAY: Call Your Senators Opposing New Iran Sanctions

Just days before the holiday recess, Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman, Sen. Robert Menendez, introduced S. 1881, the so-called "Nuclear Weapons Free Iran Act of 2013", which calls for further sanctions on Iran and imposes conditions on a final deal. If this bill goes to a vote and passes, it promises to destroy all the diplomatic progress President Obama has made with Iran so far. Leaders in Iran's Majlis are already warning that they will respond in kind to the passage of this legislation-and that Iran may opt out of talks altogether.

You can help prevent AIPAC and its friends in the Senate from sabotaging the Iran talks by making a two minute call today.

Here's what you do:

  1. Check whether your Senator is a current co-sponsor
  2. Call your Senators' offices in DC directly or use this toll-free number for the Capitol Switchboard, courtesy of the Friends Committee on National Legislation: 1-855-686-6927
  3. When the person in your Senator's office picks up, say, "I urge Senator ____ to oppose S. 1881, the Nuclear Weapons Free Iran Act of 2013, which would destroy the possibility of a diplomatic agreement with Iran by imposing new sanctions at this critical moment."
  4. When you're done, report your call below.

The Big Wins of 2013

2013 was a big year for Just Foreign Policy. Here's a brief summary of our greatest wins.

Preventing a US military strike on Syria. When President Obama announced his intention to bomb Syria, Just Foreign Policy was the first progressive organization to say that Obama should go to Congress to seek authorization. We initiated a petition to Congress to get them to demand that the President come to them. We also worked to get Democratic signatures on two Congressional letters to the same effect. When Obama announced he would go to Congress, we urged members to oppose authorization. Read more >

Getting the US to talk to Iran. This year, the Obama administration took major steps toward a comprehensive deal with Iran, something that we have been pushing for since our inception. Read more >

Going up against AIPAC many times—and winning. Starting with its failed fight to against Chuck Hagel's nomination for Defense Secretary, AIPAC has lost many a battle against us and our coalition partners this year. Read more >

Raising a $70,000 bounty on the TPP—and WikiLeaks publishing the text. Last year, we initiated a campaign to crowdsource a reward for WikiLeaks should it publish the draft text of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP). After attracting attention from mainstream media and techie sites alike, we had raised over $70,000 in pledges by the time WikiLeaks published the most controversial portions of the agreement in November. Read more >

Our Greatest Achievement

Over the last few weeks, we've been recalling our highest achievements of 2013. But our greatest success this year? You.

Yes, you are our greatest success. In 2013, Just Foreign Policy has increased its membership by a factor of three. This is not just a figure to boast about. It translates to real impact.

Last year, when we put out a call to action, we would usually get around 3,000 people to respond. This year, our petitions have attracted 15,000 to over 30,000 signatures. That's a huge difference.

When we act collectively, we are able to speak with a resounding voice. That translates to real wins. It's not a coincidence that 2013 has been our most successful year. It's all because of you.

But maintaining a membership this size requires more funding than we've needed in previous years. That's why we've set a goal of raising $25,000 by the end of December. And you know what? We're pretty confident that we can make it. But only if you help us get there.

So if you value what we do, help fund it. Will you make a $10 (or more!) tax-deductible donation to Just Foreign Policy?

http://www.justforeignpolicy.org/donate

If you would like to send a check instead, here's our address:

Just Foreign Policy
4410 Massachusetts Avenue, NW, #290
Washington, DC 20016

Thank you for all you do to promote a more just US foreign policy,

Megan Iorio, Chelsea Mozen and Robert Naiman
Just Foreign Policy

President Karzai, Stand Tall Against U.S. Pressure to Sign the Troop Deal

A key reason that many Americans are turned off by politics is that they don't experience news sportscasters who are on their side. The average American, if she read the New York Times, would feel like a Chicagoan watching the Cubs game on St. Louis TV. Her team hits a home run and the sportscaster is melancholy. Her team strikes out and the sportscaster does a dance. Who wouldn't be turned off?

The day after the budget deal, we should have had a National Day of Gloating Over Wall Street because Social Security once again evaded the knives of the Wall Street greedheads. The day after the U.S. didn't bomb Syria, we should have had a National Day of Gloating Over AIPAC and the Neocons. But the U.S. news media was so sad! No Social Security cuts. No new war. What is America coming to?

The Year AIPAC Lost—A Lot

For the last few weeks, we've been presenting some of the success stories of 2013. Today, we want to do something a bit different. Let's talk about some of this year's losses—AIPAC's losses, that is.

The American Israel Public Affairs Committee—known popularly by its acronym, AIPAC—has acquired a reputation as an organization that pretty much always gets what it wants. When it somehow doesn't—like in 2008 when our coalition got its Iran blockade bill shelved—it's a really big deal. So one of the most surprising—and exciting—things about 2013 was the sheer amount of times AIPAC failed to achieve its goal.

Let's go back to the beginning of the year. President Obama wanted Chuck Hagel for Defense Secretary. AIPAC didn't, and launched a major campaign against him. JFP, along with our coalition partners, pushed back. We won; AIPAC lost.

AIPAC sent 300 lobbyists to the Hill to push for US military strikes on Syria. We succeeded in delaying a decision long enough for a diplomatic deal to be reached. We won; AIPAC lost.

AIPAC did not want a rapprochement between the US and Iran in the wake of Hassan Rouhani's election. We encouraged diplomacy. 131 Members of Congress backed a reinvigorated effort to engage Iran. The Obama administration ended 30 years of silence by engaging in high-level talks that brought about an interim deal. We won; AIPAC lost.

AIPAC and its friends in Congress have been trying to nuke the Iran deal by pressuring Congress to pass new sanctions and other incendiary legislation. But Congress just ended its last session of the year—and no legislation passed. On top of that, we got Sen. Elizabeth Warren to back the interim deal during a Senate Banking Committee hearing. We won (twice!); AIPAC lost.

Victory! Sen. Warren Backs Interim Iran Deal (Video)

At a Senate Banking Committee hearing on December 12, Sen. Warren backed the interim Iran deal between the P5+1 and Iran.

Thank you, Sen. Warren, and thank you to the over 14,000 JFP supporters who signed the petition!

Watch the clip here.

Here's a transcript:

Senator Warren: (To Chairman Johnson) Thank you Mr. Chairman; (to Ms. Sherman and Mr. Cohen) thank you for being here.

WikiLeaks and FreeTPP

Last year, Just Foreign Policy started a campaign, called FreeTPP (http://freetpp.org), to crowdsource a reward for WikiLeaks should it find a way to leak the text of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Agreement. Over $30,000 in pledges came in in the first month alone. Over the following year, the campaign won numerous mentions from the media, including Moyers & Company and the Guardian, and made the front page of Reddit not once but twice.

By the time WikiLeaks released its first set of TPP documents—the full text of the most controversial chapter of the agreement, the intellectual property chapter, along with the negotiating positions of all parties—the award had shot up to nearly $75,000. With universal access to the draft text, those who opposed the TPP were better able to make their case to the public. We urged pledgers to follow through on their promise and donate to WikiLeaks.

But WikiLeaks was not done. Earlier this week, the whistleblower organization released a second set of documents detailing the positions of the twelve TPP countries on all thirteen of the draft agreement's chapters. The documents describe the pressure the US is exerting on other nations—and how close the negotiations are to failing.

There are many more transparency fights ahead of us. We plan to take some of them on in the new year. So if you like what we're doing, help support us.

We need to raise $25,000 by the end of December. Will you help us expand our work to make US foreign policy more transparent by making a tax-deductible contribution of $10 (or more!) to Just Foreign Policy?

http://www.justforeignpolicy.org/donate

If you would like to send a check instead, here's our address:

Just Foreign Policy
4410 Massachusetts Avenue, NW, #290
Washington, DC 20016

Thank you for all you do to make US foreign policy more transparent,

Megan Iorio, Chelsea Mozen and Robert Naiman
Just Foreign Policy

We stopped one war. We can stop another

This month, we're recounting the success stories of 2013. Last week, it was getting the US to talk to Iran. Today's win: preventing war with Syria.

Back in August when President Obama announced his intention to bomb Syria, Just Foreign Policy was the first progressive organization to say that the President should go to Congress to seek authorization. We mobilized the grassroots to urge their reps in Congress to demand that Obama come to them for approval. We then urged Congressional Democrats to sign Virginia Republican Scott Rigell's letter demanding the President come to Congress. We also worked with Rep. Barbara Lee's office to get a similar letter going for Democrats.

As a result of these efforts, 192 Members of the House went on record demanding that Obama come to Congress. The next day, President Obama announced that he would go to Congress for authorization.

The fight that resulted in Congress—and the resistance to another war that erupted on the streets across the US—delayed military action long enough for a diplomatic solution to present itself.

Just Foreign Policy was a first responder in the Syria fight. Because we're small, we can move quickly. And as we've proven, that comes in handy.

We need to raise $25,000 by the end of December. Help keep us in the game by making a tax-deductible contribution of $10 (or more!) to Just Foreign Policy today.

http://www.justforeignpolicy.org/donate

If you would like to send a check instead, here's our address:

Just Foreign Policy
4410 Massachusetts Avenue, NW, #290
Washington, DC 20016

Thank you for all you do to help prevent another US war,

Megan Iorio, Chelsea Mozen and Robert Naiman
Just Foreign Policy

Tell Congress TODAY: Don’t Help AIPAC Blow Up Iran Diplomacy

For seven years, we’ve been urging that the U.S. government resolve its differences with Iran through diplomacy. Now that the Obama Administration is finally making progress some in Congress are trying to blow up the peace train.

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor is planning to ignore the Administration's request, and–with the assistance of AIPAC, which is going to be on the Hill this week—to introduce a bill that would mandate new sanctions and try to tie the hands of U.S. negotiators by demanding that a final deal stipulate that Iran not be able to enrich any uranium at all–Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu’s demand, which everyone knows cannot be achieved through diplomacy.

Call your Representative NOW at 1-855-686-6927 and say:

I urge you to oppose Rep. Cantor’s legislation that would undermine diplomacy by imposing new sanctions and tying the hands of U.S. negotiators from reaching a realistic deal with Iran.

You can report your call below.

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