A number of U.S. veterans have said that the imposition of sanctions on Iran is not a solution to the country’s nuclear issue and proposed that efforts should be made to establish a nuclear-weapons-free zone in the Middle East to remove the threat of nuclear weapons proliferation in the region.
“The real solution lies not in selective targeting of Iran with sanctions and threats of war, but in complete removal of all nuclear weapons from the Middle East region,” U.S. veterans said in a statement published on the website Veterans For Peace on July 26.
Veterans For Peace is a U.S. organization founded in 1985. Made up of male and female U.S. military veterans of World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, the Persian Gulf War, and other conflicts, as well as peacetime veterans, the group works to promote alternatives to war. The organization has opposed the military policies of the United States, NATO and Israel, and has opposed military actions and threats to Russia, Iraq, Afghanistan, Iran, Libya and Syria.
Following are excerpts of the text of the statement:
We are once again on the verge of another disastrous war in the Middle East. The United States and its allies in Europe and the Middle East, especially Saudi Arabia and Qatar, are consciously pushing Syria toward a destructive civil war. The objective is to bring down (the Syrian government), an ally of the Iranian government, as a stepping-stone toward further isolation of Iran and preparation of the ground for a military attack on that country.
At the same time, the United States, European Union and Israel are using Iran’s civilian nuclear program as an excuse to impose devastating economic sanctions against the people of Iran.
This is nothing but a clear declaration of economic war on Iran. These devastating sanctions are not an “alternative” to war; they are part and parcel of a war aimed at forcing (a government change) in Iran as an integral part of the U.S. plan for a “Greater Middle East.”
All this is being done in the name of removing the threat of nuclear weapons proliferation in the Middle East. But this is just a cover. Iran is already surrounded by the U.S. and Israeli nuclear weapons. The very forces that are threatening Iran over its civil nuclear program are themselves responsible for nuclear weapons proliferation in the Middle East. A U.S./Israeli military attack on Iran will have disastrous, unpredictable consequences for the peoples of the Middle East region and the world, and will be a serious threat to peace and security of all nations.
The real solution lies not in selective targeting of Iran with sanctions and threats of war, but in complete removal of all nuclear weapons from the Middle East region. The Middle East, like Latin America and Africa, must be declared as a Nuclear Weapons Free Zone. The nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) calls for both the liquidation of nuclear weapons by states and the discouragement of non-nuclear states from obtaining or developing nuclear weapons; and the UN General Assembly has repeatedly called for the establishment of a Nuclear-Free Zone in the Middle East. As an urgent response to the nuclear crisis in the Middle East, the 2010 NPT Conference has called for the convening of a Conference in December 2012, in Helsinki, Finland, for the establishment of a WMD-Free Zone in the Middle East. This initiative must be supported and its success must be guaranteed.