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Support the people of Iran | Letter

Even before COVID-19, U.S. sanctions on Iran were the source of immense suffering. In addition to generally fueling poverty and stifling the country’s economy, new U.S. sanctions announced on October 8 will only make it far more difficult for people in Iran to access critical medical equipment and humanitarian aid.

Maximum pressure has meant maximum failure. U.S. sanctions only serve to strengthen hardliners in the Iranian government by allowing them to deflect blame for their people’s suffering, rally support against an external threat, and justify the repression of grassroots peoples’ movements for systemic change.

We are members of the San Juan Islands Advocacy Team through Friends Committee on National Legislation and are working to end endless wars. On Wednesday we had a briefing with Trita Parsi, an expert on U.S.-Iranian relations. He described the dire conditions in Iran and how further sanctions could put them over the tipping point and possibly lead to an “October Surprise.” The last thing we need during the COVID pandemic is another war.

To truly support the people of Iran, the U.S. must end its deadly sanctions. We urge Representative Larsen and Senators Cantwell and Murray to publicly speak up against the ‘maximum pressure’ campaign. It’s time to re-engage in good-faith, multilateral diplomacy.

Linda Ellsworth, Orcas Island

Iris Graville, Lopez Island

Jerry Graville, Lopez Island

Charles Janeway, Lopez Island

Ron Metcalf, Lopez Island

Tom Rawson, Orcas Island

Kim Secunda, Orcas Island