Dianne Feinstein Initiates Pro-Iran Diplomacy Letter in Senate

Following on the wildly successful pro-diplomacy letter led by Reps. Charlie Dent and David Price, California Senator Dianne Feinstein is circulating a letter, below, urging President Obama to reinvigorate US efforts to engage Iran in the wake of Iran's recent presidential election. Write to your Senators today!

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Dear President Obama:

We urge you to seize the opportunity presented by the upcoming inauguration of Iran’s new president, Dr. Hassan Rouhani, by reinvigorating diplomatic efforts to secure a verifiable agreement that ensures that Iran does not develop nuclear weapons.

Since 2010 Congress has worked with your Administration to increase U.S. and international sanctions against Iran. The impact on Iran’s economy has been significant: the value of the Iranian rial has plummeted against the U.S. dollar since 2011, unofficial estimates of inflation range as high as 70 percent, exports of oil have been halved, Iranian oil production has declined 35 percent to 2.6 million barrels per day, the Iranian economy declined by as much as 8 percent between March 2012 and March 2013 and is set to decline further in the next year, and unemployment estimates range as high as 20 percent.

With economic and political difficulties facing the Iranian people, the election of Dr. Rouhani is a clear demonstration of their desire to step away from the policies of his predecessor. Dr. Rouhani campaigned on the notion of repairing Iran’s relationship with the West, he criticized the Ahmadinejad government’s posture in nuclear negotiations, and he strongly and appropriately condemned Ahmadinejad’s abhorrent comments directed at Israel as hate rhetoric. Rouhani has also publicly warned that developing a nuclear arsenal would not provide Iran security dividends and has indicated Iran’s readiness to increase the transparency of its nuclear program. These events, taken together, provide an opening for negotiation.

As a result, we believe the U.S. should reinvigorate diplomatic efforts to determine whether Dr. Rouhani is truly willing to engage the international community. Doing so is the only way to reach a verifiable agreement, including limits on Iran's enrichment and other sensitive nuclear activities and greater cooperation with the IAEA, that ensures that Iran will not develop nuclear weapons.

We believe that the United States should make it clear that existing bilateral and multilateral sanctions against Iran can only be lifted through progress at the negotiating table, and only if Iran takes proportionate steps that would sufficiently demonstrate its commitment to forgoing nuclear weapons. While a comprehensive resolution to the nuclear impasse may prove elusive in the near term, presenting Iran with intermediate measures to make progress could be the best approach for determining whether the Iranian government is serious.

Our nation’s security and the stability of the Middle East depend upon the resolution of this long standing dispute. As you examine America’s options on Iran over the next several months, we stand ready to work with your administration toward a peaceful settlement.

Sincerely,

Dianne Feinstein

U.S. Senator

This is our first opportunity to gain the support of the Iranian people in cooling things down. Opportunities like this must be taken advantage of when they come!

This is our first opportunity to gain the support of the Iranian people in cooling things down. Opportunities like this must be taken advantage of when they come!

I'm less than impressed and not at all impressed with Mr. Rosenfeld's comment.

The Iranian people and their nuclear project are operating within their sovereign borders and within the four corners of NPT. The United States, on the other hand, is attempting to impose its agenda on Iran, and has held a distorted interpretation of the NPT almost since its inception.

I share the hope that cooler heads can prevail and a rapprochement can be achieved between Iran and the US. But that will require that the US climb down from its illegal, immoral, and hubristic high horse.

No sale, Ms. Feinstein.
Your gloating recitation of the woes that USIsrael have inflicted on Iran is just plain ugly. It disgusts me. You should be ashamed.

And Mr. Rosenfeld, whyever would you expect the Iranian people to join the US -- their oppressors? It's time for the US to cool down.

Solon - your comments are unhelpful, historically inaccurate for the most part, and do not match your nom de plume by a long shot.

The major oppressors of Iranians have been Iranian religious and political leaders. With recent changes in Iran, now is the time to make our best diplomatic efforts to avert what none of us should want - more violence.

Well said. The question is whether this is the best we can hope for from the Senate (I'm sure it's the best we could ever hope for from Feinstein) and thus we should - with appropriate comment - ask other Senators to sign onto it or whether to hold out for something with a less imperial attitude (no, I'm not so naive as to want to hold out for asking Iran to make it clear that it's not pursuing nuclear weapons development if Israel agrees to get rid of its own, though in a more ideal world that would be the logical way to approach things).

(The above was entered as a reply to Solon, despite its curious positioning here.)

Lets not waste this opportunity to move closer to peace with Iran. War never resolves anything.

REALITY CHECK.

I would not assume to tell anyone whether they should support this letter. I would, however, without hesitation tell anyone that they should give this letter -- and all its unwritten implications -- very serious thought and consideration before making that decision.

This letter, though it may be the best that one can hope for from our Senate as Todd mentioned, is a disgusting and inadequate starting point for a new and more positive relationship with Iran.

We should realize that through the draconian sanctions and US (and US-Israeli) covert operations we are ALREADY at war with Iran. There should be no doubt that if Iran carried out against the US the kinds of operations that the US has launched against Iran -- like infecting government computers with sabotage viruses -- those would be called acts of war against the United States.

Therefore there is no question of whether we SHOULD go to war with Iran but rather how to reverse the war that has already been started by the US, Israel and other “Western” nations.

A better way to start with a new slate would be for the US to call for an end to the current sanctions accompanied by acknowledgements and apologies for the crimes already committed by the US against Iran from the overthrow of their fledgling democracy in 1953 and the installation of the dictatorship of the Shah – whose secret police SAVAK, trained by the US CIA and the Israeli Mossad, murdered and tortured tens of thousands of Iranian citizens – to the shooting down of an Iranian A-300 civilian airliner killing all 270 people on board by the US Navy’s Aegis guided-missile cruiser USS Vincennes and the awarding of a Legion of Merit medal to William C. Rogers III, the Captain who was in command. And that’s just for starters.

In spite of this long and shameful criminal history of the US and the “international community” against Iran, the process will involve a test as to whether “Dr. Rouhani is truly willing to engage the international community” (read all of the former European colonial powers plus the United States).

Perhaps a better test would be for the members of the international community to acknowledge the sovereignty of the nation and government of Iran.

The implicit Western arrogance in this letter is exemplified by the statement, “We believe that the United States should make it clear that existing bilateral and multilateral sanctions against Iran can only be lifted through progress at the negotiating table, and only if Iran takes proportionate steps that would sufficiently demonstrate its commitment to forgoing nuclear weapons.”

This statement reinforces the inappropriate and racist Western assumption that Iranians are children and underlings and the US and the “International Community” are the superior adults and teachers who the Iranians must answer to. Never mind that Iran is the offspring of one of the oldest civilizations in the world.

This sentence tells us that Iran is expected to obediently and submissively jump through whatever hoops the “international community” chooses to hold up just to participate in the “diplomatic” process and that the West will determine if Iran has jumped high enough to merit the removal of SOME sanctions which – if imposed on the nations of the ”international community” – would be called acts of war.

Iran has to accept demeaning insults and condescending derision to play. It almost seems as if it is set up to discourage the Iranians from participating. And if they refuse, it will, of course, be their fault.

That brings me to the most frightening thing about this letter: It has been put forth by Senator Dianne Feinstein who almost certainly wouldn’t put it out without Israel’s blessing.

That should cause us to remember that the US and its friends in the “international community” usually like to create the pretense of exhausting all peaceful alternatives before starting a war that is already planned.

It should also cause us to remember that none of the threats of war against Iran are actually connected to any real or reasonable threat of an Iranian nuclear weapon. The US knows, as does Israel, that Israel has -- in its Dolphin class nuclear-capable submarines provided to Israel by “International Community” member Germany -- a second strike capability that would insure the total destruction of Iran if any attempt was made by Iran to launch a nuclear weapon against Israel. The US and Israel both realize that any nuclear weapon in the hands of the Iranian military is ONLY useful as a deterrent. And there is no clear evidence that the Iranians are planning to build one.

This means that the whole Iranian nuclear threat show is a sham that is probably being used to set the stage for and justify either:

1.) Prevention of any Iranian nuclear OR conventional capability to deter unlimited Israeli aggression in the region or

2.) Regime change to install a Western puppet in the only nation

a.) that borders both the oil and gas rich Caspian Sea and the Indian Ocean and

b.) that has the location and capacity to provide oil and gas to Europe via a southern route that would marginalize Russia by diminishing European dependence on Russian oil and gas and thus Russia’s importance and influence in Europe.

But we don’t hear about those very real possibilities on the Evening News.

Eduardo Cohen is the current Chair of the Veterans for Peace National Working Group on Palestine and the Middle East.*

*For identification purposes only.

Eu tambem compartilho que uma esperança de um futuro melhor de relações entre o Irã e os EUA com um futuro de democracia politica aberta ao mundo

Perhaps you could point to the "historical inaccuracies" Wolf.

And also cite the legislation that enables an alien force to invade a sovereign state to redress what you call domestic oppression.

AND make the "slam dunk" connection between that agenda and the baseless charge that Iran seeks a nuclear weapon.

For historical accuracy, I consult:
goingtotehran.com

for understanding of the ways US and Israel have systematically and systemically distorted the NPT, I rely on armscontrollaw.com

I learned about the history of the creation of NPT from Richard Butler, at whose dining room table the 1995 extension of the Treaty was negotiated, in this symposium:
http://mediasite.dsl.psu.edu/Mediasite/Play/b5235dd4169346f98923ff19025b73e21d

What are your sources, Wolf, whose comment DOES match nom de plume.

I have written to my favorite Senator asking him to support respectful diplomatic negotiations with the leadership of Iran while distancing himself from the arrogant language of Sen. Feinstein's letter. I've encouraged him to press President Obama to reduce and, ultimately, end the sanctions that cause hardship for individuals and families in Iran.

Thank you for a thoughtful article.Too bad we must search for articles like yours are based on facts about our country's past dealings with the world. So much is never talked about. Most people in our country have little idea about what is going on (& why) when it comes to our foreign policies, as I'm sure you well know. Hopefully we can correct that along with the system that encourages our citizen's to be misinformed.

We can "move closer to peace" with Iran if we simply give up our program of global domination.

Thank you, Mr. Cohen.

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