HARTFORD, Conn. – Connecticut residents unfurled a long stream of petitions calling on one of their two Democratic senators, Richard Blumenthal, to support the peace agreement with Iran.
Gathered in front of the senator’s Hartford office, over 80 demonstrators chanted “Hey Hey, Ho Ho, Peace, yes! war, no!” and “All we are saying is give peace a chance,” along with other slogans.
The Greater New Haven Peace Council and MoveOn hosted the rally. A speaker from the Peace Council pointed out that the question of war vs. peace was at stake. “Opponents to the Iran agreement have repeatedly called for military attacks on Iran,” he said.
The agreement requires Iran to refrain from seeking nuclear weapons, calls for strict inspections of its nuclear facilities, and allows Iran, under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, to develop nuclear power for peaceful purposes. In return, economic and political sanctions on Iran will be lifted.
“Those who oppose this agreement, like Dick Cheney and Joe Lieberman,” said Tom Swan, executive director of Connecticut Citizens Action Group, “are the same actors that lied the U.S. into attacking Iraq 12 years ago. The U.S. initiated that war over the false claim that Iraq had nuclear weapons.”
Marta Daniels, a long time peace activist and writer, reminded demonstrators of the success of the Nuclear Weapons Freeze Campaign that 30 years ago took on President Ronald Reagan. “We changed the conversation then and we’re changing the conversation now.”
The United States, four other major nuclear weapons states [Russia, China, United Kingdom, and France] and Germany negotiated for over two years with Iran to reach the agreement.
Republicans and some Democrats trying to torpedo the agreement are reacting to pressure applied by pro-war interests who have amassed multimillion dollar war chests and unleashed armies of lobbyists. If Congress is able to pass legislation killing the agreement, President Obama has vowed to veto it. Then, for the agreement to take effect, 34 Democrats in the Senate need to vote to sustain the veto.
Every senator’s support, therefore, is seen as critical. Blumenthal’s six other Congressional colleagues, including Sen. Chris Murphy, have already announced their support for the agreement.
People are being urged to call Sen. Blumenthal: 860-258-6940.
Photo: Connecticut residents present petitions to Sen. Richard Blumenthal in support of the peace agreement with Iran. Henry Lowendorf/PW