WASHINGTON – U.S. Labor Against War (USLAW), the grassroots organization that, a decade ago, led the successful drive to force organized labor to oppose George W. Bush’s Iraq War, is campaigning for unionists and leaders to back the proposed agreement that curbs and rolls back Iran’s nuclear development program.
In a statement posted on its website, USLAW says nuclear experts forecast the pact would halt the Iranian program. It’s asking for signatures by Aug. 30. The Steelworkers have already become the first union to openly endorse the agreement, which the U.S. and the world’s top five other powers worked out with the Iranians.
The GOP-run Congress must vote on a resolution disapproving the nuclear deal by mid-September. But Obama could veto the resolution, and he would need one third of the members of either the House or the Senate to uphold his veto.
USLAW says the agreement “will make it extremely difficult if not impossible for Iran to ever develop a nuclear weapon.
“This deal is not based on trust,” their statement declares. “Iran will be subject to the most rigorous and intrusive monitoring, inspections and verification regime ever required of any country in the world,” they contend. Attachments add supporting details.
“If there is a violation of any of its terms, there is a provision for ‘snapback’ sanctions that cannot be blocked by any other country. And ultimately, the U.S. still has a military option. But as a consequence of these rigorous inspections, it would also have a very precise target list” in Iran, USLAW says.
USLAW says the alternative to implementing the Iranian nuclear deal is another war in the Middle East.
“Sanctions now in place would collapse,” it predicts. “Iran would accuse the U.S. of bad faith bargaining and would refuse to return to negotiations. U.S. partners would walk away. Iran would be free to pursue any nuclear program it wants without any inspections. The U.S. rather than Iran would be internationally discredited and isolated.
“As trade unionists, we’ve learned a few things about negotiations. When you have achieved your primary objective, raising the ante by adding new conditions is a perfect way to sabotage a good agreement. Rather than something better, you almost certainly will end up with something worse…or no agreement at all.
“We know from our own experience that any party that enters into negotiations with the objective of complete surrender by the other side seeks conflict rather than compromise. In labor negotiations, that usually means a strike or lockout. In diplomatic relations, that means war. We’ve had 14 years of war. It has not worked,” USLAW declares.
Photo: President Obama is agressively promoting the landmark Iranian nuclear accord, rejecting claims that it leaves Iran close to a bomb and arguing that the unacceptable alternative to diplomacy is war. | Carolyn Kaster/AP