05/24/2019, 11.44
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US Pacifists in Congress: no war with Iran. But Washington sells arms to the Saudis

Dozens of associations and NGOs launch an appeal to Congress to stop the escalation of tension. The danger is a repeat of 2003, with the manipulation of reports and intelligence documents to justify conflict. The Trump administration wants to bypass the Congress veto and sell 7 billion in weapons to Riyadh and Abu Dhabi.

Washington (AsiaNews / Agencies) - Dozens of pacifist associations and pro-human rights NGOs in the United States have signed an open letter to Congress, urging parliamentarians to prepare urgent measures to avert war with Iran. This happens in a context of growing tension, with the White House "hawks" led by national security adviser John Bolton pushing for the military operation.

62 signatories of the appeal write Congress cannot be complicit as the playbook for the 2003 invasion of Iraq is repeated before our eyes." The reference, not too implicit, is to the propaganda campaign fielded by the then Bush administration to justify the attack on Saddam Hussein, including the accusation - proved unfounded - of Iraq possessing chemical weapons.

The White House under Trump's leadership, they continue, has increasingly politicized intelligence on Iran's nuclear program, and falsely asserts ties between Iran and al-Qaeda. Worryingly, the administration does not perceive that it is constrained by the lack of Congressional authorization for war with Iran, and has even suggested that the 2001 authorization to use military force could be twisted to green light strikes against Iran."

Signatories include: Veterans Against the War; Americans for Peace Now; Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists; Center for International Policy; Council on American-Islamic Relations; Federation of American Scientists; Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns; Jewish Voice for Peace; Presbyterian Church Usa and United for Peace and Justice.

The possible conflict between the Islamic Republic and the United States is a dominant concern for international diplomacy. The escalation in tension was triggered by US President Donald Trump’s 2018 decision to pull out of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) ​​agreed by his predecessor, Barack Obama, and imposed the toughest sanctions on Iran in history.

Meanwhile, the confrontation between the White House and Congress is enriched by a new chapter: US Congress sources report that the State Department has not respected the deadline [yesterday] for explanations regarding a "politicization" of the annual arms report, to put Iran in a bad light and promote war.

According to critics, the US administration's document – influenced by Bolton and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo -  "distorts" information about the Islamic Republic "to justify military action". Diplomatic and parliamentary sources add that the report painted Iran "as obscurely as possible" and manipulated intelligence to justify the war "like the George W. Bush administration" in 2003.

Finally, on the subject of weapons, the Trump administration is trying to bypass Congress to finalize a contract to sell arms to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (Eau) for a total value of 7 billion dollars. Pompeo and State Department officials are pushing the accelerator to obtain an "emergency provision" which, in fact, would allow the parliamentary sale veto to be overcome. Republicans and Democrats have repeatedly expressed opposition in the recent past, because the weapons are then used in the conflict in Yemen and end up hitting the civilian population to a large majority. And it is possible that they will be used against Iran in the future.

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