I am Jewish and among my passions are peace and social justice. I went to Washington, D.C. Feb. 3-4 as a member of a delegation supporting diplomacy with Iran.
I don’t want any Americans to ever have to say they are veterans of the Iran War. I have seen the physical and psychological battles our veterans face long after they come home from war. I am a volunteer at the Green Valley Food Bank and Southside Presbyterian Church, where homeless people get meals and other needed resources.
The peace delegation, organized by Berim.org and Win Without War, was made up of 20 delegates from 12 states. We met with 40 members of Congress to deliver the message: Support peace and diplomacy with Iran, and do not lead the United States down another path to another unwinnable war in the Middle East.
The United States and Iran have not had direct talks in almost 35 years. But when the country elected President Rouhani last year, a door opened. He sent a clear message about talking directly with the United States to reach an agreement on Iran’s nuclear enrichment program. The United States has imposed sanctions on Iran to get them to the negotiating table.
Unfortunately, some lobbying groups and members of Congress are trying to hinder diplomacy with efforts such as the Menendez-Kirk Senate bill, which would allow the Senate to impose further sanctions on Iran while talks are going on between the two countries.
The United States has a major opportunity to assist the leadership of Iran as it tries to change course, if for no other reason than to not add veterans of another war to the lines of our food banks and soup kitchens.
—Steven Teichner, Green Valley