Citizens International

CI Workshop: “Stop the War and End the Sanctions on Iran”

Kuala Lumpur, 4th April 2012: A coalition of civil society organisations and concerned individuals strongly condemned the United States and Israel for threatening to attack Iran.  In a statement issued after the workshop on the theme “Stop the War and End the Sanctions on Iran”, the coalition also deplored the crippling sanctions imposed by the US on the people of Iran and the pressure applied by it on other states to cut off economic relations with Iran.

The workshop, organised by Citizens International, was attended by 13 NGOs from Malaysia and Indonesia and individuals including the Malaysian Member of Parliament Datuk Kamaruddin Jaafar. The proceedings were facilitated by Azmi Abdul Hamid, chairman of the Coalition of Malaysian Muslim Non-Governmental Organisations.

In his presentation on the background to the conflict, the Director of Citizens International Mohideen Abdul Kader accused the US and Israel of targeting Iran for regime change under the pretext of stopping the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.

He said that the allegation by the US, Israel and some European countries that Iran is developing nuclear weapons has been proved to be baseless and untrue. Reports by intelligence agencies of the US and Israel have categorically stated that Iran is not developing nuclear weapons, and has not taken a decision to do so.

Despite extensive and intrusive inspection by the International Atomic Energy Authority (IAEA) inspectors, they have not found any evidence of Iran developing nuclear weapons. In 2007, the former Director General of IAEA Dr Mohammad El-Baradei said, “We have not come to see any undeclared activities or weaponisation of their programme.”

The coalition criticised the current Director General of IAEA Yukiya Amano for compromising the independence and integrity of the organisation to promote the geo-political interest of the US and Israel. He, without any evidence, claimed that Iran may have experimented   with military research before 2004 and these may have continued since.

His claim is contradicted by what El-Baradei had said earlier and the latest IAEA finding that there is no evidence of Iran developing nuclear weapons. His statement, therefore, is purely speculative and made to influence world public opinion to support the draconian sanctions imposed by the US unilaterally on Iran.

Amano is indebted to the US and the West for becoming the DG of IAEA. According to WikiLeaks, after his appointment, he thanked the US for having supported his candidacy and pledged that “he was solidly in the US court on every key strategic decision, from high-level personnel appointments to the handling of Iran’s alleged nuclear weapons program.”

The coalition accused the West of hypocrisy and double-standard in trying to stop the proliferation of nuclear weapons. Israel has surreptitiously developed, and now possesses, more than 200 nuclear weapons with sophisticated delivery systems in the air, sea and land. It is not a party to the Non- Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and therefore not subject to inspection by the IAEA while Iran is and subject to intrusive IAEA inspections.

Israel has committed aggression against neighbouring states and repeatedly threatened to use nuclear weapons. The US and the West, while closing their eyes to the unlawful activities of this rogue nation, have imposed crippling sanctions on Iran for exercising its lawful right to enrich uranium for power generation and medical use.

Iran has not been a threat to the peace or committed breaches of the peace or acts of aggression but Israel is the real threat to world peace given its past acts of aggression and violation international law. Therefore the UN Security Council, exercising its powers under Article 41 of the United Nations Charter, should have imposed sanctions on Israel and not Iran.

The sanctions, in the words of US congressman Gary Ackerman, are intended “to inflict crippling, unendurable economic pain”. Obviously, the US hopes that economic hardship and deprivation would force the Iranian people to rise up and overthrow their government. It will be deeply disappointed because the Iranian people’s will to resist US-Israeli aggression will harden with suffering as we saw during the war launched by Saddam Hussein and supported by the West and the Gulf States.

If the sanctions do not bring about regime change, war would inevitably follow as in Iraq that would cause a conflagration leading to the loss of millions of lives, destruction of the environment and a debilitating impact on the global economy.

Threats of war and imposition of draconian sanctions intended to bring down the government of a sovereign nation are crimes under international law but the international community is doing nothing to prevent these crimes. On the contrary, many of them are colluding with the US to cripple the Iranian economy and cause great hardship and suffering to its people.

It is a great shame that members of the Islamic Organisation of Cooperation (OIC) like Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States, instead of helping Iran as they are required to do under the OIC charter, are supporting the illegal US sanctions on Iran.

The coalition applauded the decision taken at the recent meeting of BRICS, the group of nations made up of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, not to comply with the US sanctions and stop importing Iranian oil.

The coalition called on the Malaysian Government not to cave in to the pressures from the US and to revoke its instructions to Petronas to stop all oil imports from Iran and to promote the sale of palm oil and other essential products to it.

It called on the Organisation of Islamic Conference to condemn the US-Israeli threats of war on Iran, and to call on its members to defy the US call for sanctions and to strengthen economic ties with Iran. The OIC should initiate action in the United Nations to prevent the threatened war and to lift the economic blockade orchestrated by the US.

It appealed to chambers of commerce, trade unions, cultural, educational, religious, youth, student organisations and NGOs in Malaysia and Indonesia to forge close links with similar bodies in Iran and promote joint activities.

Further, it appealed to members of the public in Malaysia and Indonesia to express solidarity with our sisters and brothers in Iran by purchasing Iranian products and boycotting US products.

The workshop also adopted a Plan of Action to lobby the United Nations, OIC, and national governments as well as to mobilise international civil society to stop the war and sanctions on Iran.

Endorsed by:

  1. Citizens International
  2. Universal Justice Network
  3. TERAS
  4. ABIM
  6. Jama’iy Perak
  7. Citizens Want Peace Indonesia
  8. Salimah
  9. Ilmuan
  10. Syura
  11. GAMIS
  12. Teachers Working Group Indonesia
  13. Paham Keadilan
  14. Prihatin Malaysia
  15. Assyakirin Network of Friendship
  16. Wehdah
  17. Strategic Point Indonesia
  18. Perantau
  19. MP YB Dato Kamaruddin Jaafar
  20. NADI (Nusantara for Peace and Justice)