The Honorable Senator Ron Wyden
Sent via email
Dear Senator Wyden:
We are writing to both congratulate you on being named the winner of the 2015 Vollum Ecumenical Humanitarian Award from Ecumenical Ministries of Oregon (EMO) and to personally take this opportunity to urge you to oppose S.615, the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act of 2015.
Both of us have been deeply honored in the past to have our ministries recognized by EMO. Rev. Lore was given the 2013 Ecumenical Ministries of Oregon Award for Justice and Rev. Currie was given the 2003 Vollum Ecumenical Humanitarian Award. We agree you are deeply deserving of your award for opposing torture and standing up for human rights.
As for Iran, we strongly agree with J Street, which has stated:
“With the critical details of a comprehensive agreement yet to be worked out, it is more important than ever that Congress not take actions that will undermine America's negotiators at the table. There must also be no question that, if a final agreement ultimately cannot be reached, the United States is not to blame. We therefore continue to oppose new sanctions legislation currently before the Senate, and remain committed to working with Senators and Members of Congress toward legislation that provides for robust and responsible Congressional oversight of Iranian compliance with any agreement reached.
The diplomatic path being pursued by the United States and its international partners remains better than all the other alternative approaches to dealing with Iran. Military action would delay but not completely destroy the Iranian program, while dragging the United States and Israel into a costly and bloody war.”
S.615 would undermine President Obama’s diplomacy. We have already seen U.S. Senator Tom Cotton publically argue for a bombing campaign against Iran, despite wisdom from current and former military advisors to both political parties who state such action would fail and provoke a larger conflict.
The National Council of Churches “has long advocated for engagement with the Iranian Government, especially with regard to the nuclear question, as engagement is the best means to achieve lasting peace and reconciliation.” We concur.
How members of the Senate vote on this issue may determine whether or not we go to war with Iran – a war that is avoidable if diplomacy is given every chance, as the president has asked.
As clergy in Oregon deeply committed to peace, we urge you to publically oppose S.615 in the strongest possible terms.
Rev. Kate Lore
Minister for Social Justice
First Unitarian Church, Portland
Rev. Chuck Currie
Director, Center for Peace and Spirituality
Pacific University | Oregon