by David Lentz
In November, the IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency) confirmed that Iran is far advanced on the path to making nuclear weapons. Since then, the United States and European Union have both authorized (but not yet implemented) significantly increased sanctions targeted against Iran's main source of income, its oil industry. Iran has retaliated by threatening war and publicly offering its nuclear "know how" to African nations.
Over the past weekend, several news outlets reported that Iran has created underground nuclear facilities that would be hard to take out by an air strike, and sentenced Amir Mirzaei Hekmati, a young American, to death for espionage.
According to many experts Iran is less than a year away from having a nuclear bomb. The Community Relations Committee’s Stop Iran Now Task Force has advocated strongly for the U.S. government to take immediate and vigorous diplomatic action in the form of crippling sanctions to deter Iran. We have publicly demonstrated at Honeywell's headquarters in New Jersey, urging it to cease doing business with Iran. We have taken strong positions to put economic pressure on Iran so that we can avoid what we consider the worse case scenario: military operations to stop Iran — be it Israel or the United States.
What options do the U.S. and its Western allies have now? Will the increasingly harsh sanctions be implemented and can they work? Is the U.S. increasing its military presence in the Persian Gulf as a show of force? Is a military option the only one? These are issues and concerns that the Stop Iran Now Task Force will be monitoring and we will keep the community updated. More importantly, the Task Force is continually involved in educating and engaging the community in lobbying, both at state and national legislative levels, for passage of bills that would prevent the fundamentalist government of Iran from reaching its goal.
To this end we ask that you join us for an important briefing at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, February 8, by Patrick Clawson, an expert on Iran and director of research at The Washington Institute, where he directs the Iran Security Initiative. The briefing will take place at the Alex Aidekman Family Jewish Community Campus in Whippany.
The CRC is also working with New Jersey State legislators to introduce an Iran Business Compliance Act. If passed, the act will require that any company conducting business with New Jersey certify it is not doing business with Iran’s energy and oil sector. We will soon be asking members of the MetroWest community to reach out to their legislators.
We hope you will read and respond to our action alerts. Stopping Iran is a local and global concern. We must do all we can — right now!