Get out of Iraq and negotiate with Iran say churches

Get out of Iraq and negotiate with Iran say churches

By staff writers
2 Oct 2007

The US and its allies must "settle the dispute over Iran's nuclear programme through negotiations and not through the use of military force," stated the World Council of Churches (WCC) executive committee meeting in Etchmiadzin, Armenia.

In a "Minute on Iran and the Middle East regional crisis," the WCC governing body calls on the Council's member churches to "impress upon their governments" this "acute concern" and to encourage them to convey it to the US and its allies. "Threats to begin another war in the Middle East defy the lessons of both history and ethics," the committee says. "The region and its people must not suffer another war, let alone one that is unlawful, immoral and ill-conceived once again."

Referring to "the belligerent stance of the US toward Iran and [to the] Iranian threats against the US and Israel," the committee affirms that "negotiated solutions are the only path to peace for the Middle East". The minute recommends "US-Iranian and multi-party negotiations," and affirms that the stance "against attacking Iran seeks protection for all the populations involved, including the US and Israeli publics".

According to the WCC governing body, these negotiations "must include Iranian compliance with International Atomic Energy Agency and United Nations Security Council directives and US adherence to its 1995 pledge against nuclear weapons use against non-nuclear signatories of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) including Iran". On the other hand, Israel's "prompt and unconditional accession to the NPT as called for by the UN General Assembly" is also demanded.

"The withdrawal of all US forces from Iraq and the implementation of alternative Iraqi and multilateral political, economic and security programs" is one amongst a series of regional parameters for peace affirmed by the WCC governing body.

The full text of the WCC executive committee Minute on Iran and the Middle East regional crisis is available at: http://www.oikoumene.org/?id=4239

See also the WCC executive committee Statement on Iraq and its Christian communities:
http://www.oikoumene.org/?id=4238

Keywords: iran | iraq
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