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Open Colorado Letter to Prominent Colorado Personalities Asking For Public Support of the JCPOA (the Iran Nuclear Deal)

January 3, 2021

_____________________________________________________________

(Note – The letter below is signed by more than 75 signators, among them many well known public personalities. five members of the Colorado State Legislature, numerous academics, a number of rabbis, some present and former labor leaders, several retired military and a number of prominent peace activists.

Letters like this to elected officials are appearing all over the country.

In one, drafted by the Imams of Shi’ah Communities in Wayne County Michigan to President Elect Joe Biden, they write

“…We would like to show our support for your policies of honoring internatinoal treaties and returning to a more engaging foreign policy, especially the 2015 Iran Nuclear Deal (JCPOA) signed under President Obama. We believe that this deal, if honored in its totality, would reduced tension in the volatile region of the Middle East and will result in a stable Gulf Region. Indeed, by reinstating the nuclear treaty and lifting sanctions on Iran, you will be giving life to a major diplomatic agreement whose primary goal is to reduce the prospect of a global crisis and ultimately peace. We hope that your administration would take the bold steps necessary to bring stability and peace not only to our country, but globally.”)

_____________________________________________________________

Colorado Letter:

Dear ,

We represent multiple groups and numerous individuals in Colorado who support the incoming Biden-Harris administration’s commitment to return to compliance with the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), or Iran nuclear deal, in tandem with Iran. These measures were initially agreed to by the P5+1 (China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States, plus Germany), and Iran on July 14, 2015. They became effective on January 16, 2016, securing an international agreement that effectively cut off pathways to an Iranian nuclear weapon. The JCPOA was unanimously endorsed by the United Nations Security Council.

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) verified that Iran was in compliance with all terms of the JCPOA until May 2019, a year after the United States withdrew from the deal and reimposed sanctions. Following the Trump administration’s maximum pressure campaign and 2018 unilateral withdrawal from the JCPOA, Iran gradually ceased complying with limits under the accord. Iran’s nuclear program is now advancing without effective restraints, tensions have risked boiling over to war, threatening Israel and the rest of the Middle East as well as American interests and citizens. Meanwhile, the Iranian people are caught between government repression and punishing sanctions.

Iran’s steps outside of the JCPOA are reversible, and, according to Iran’s official position, they will return to compliance with their obligations if the U.S. does the same. President-elect Biden has diminished leverage and a short window to reverse this damage ahead of Iran’s June 2021 elections. The best and only option for Biden is to uphold our prior commitments, return to the deal and seek to engage Iran in follow-on negotiations

We recognize that there are significant disputes between the U.S. and Iran, including over regional security and human rights in Iran. However, such tensions are worsened by sanctions and military threats, whereas diplomacy has succeeded on the nuclear issue. Restoring the JCPOA provides a sound platform for further diplomacy to address the full range of areas of disagreement between the US and Iran.

We ask that you make a public statement in support of President-elect Biden taking all diplomatic measures necessary to re-enter the JCPOA, which includes lifting “non-nuclear” sanctions imposed to frustrate attempts to re-enter the deal.

Signed,
● Coloradans for Middle East Diplomacy & Peace
● J Street – Colorado Chapter
● Friends Committee on National Legislation (FCNL) – Colorado Advocacy Team
● National Iranian American Council – Colorado Chapter
● Physicians for Social Responsibility Colorado
● Veterans for Peace – Chapter 79, Denver
● Veterans for Peace – Chapter 983, Colorado Springs
● Veterans for Peace – Chapter 120, Boulder
● Nader Hashemi (Director of the Center for Middle East Studies at the University of
Denver’s Korbel School of International Studies)
● Andrea Stanton, Ph.D. (Chair of Department of Religious Studies/Associate
Professor of Islamic Studies at the University of Denver)
● Rob Prince (Commentator of KGNU’s Hemispheres – Middle East Dialogues weekly
radio show)
● State Representative Mike Weissman (HD-36)
● State Representative Jonathan Singer (HD-11)
● State Representative Steven Woodrow (HD-6)
● State Representative Dafna Michaelson Jenet (HD-30)
● State Representative Karen McCormick (HD-11)
● Mike Cerbo (Former Executive Director of Colorado AFL-CIO; former State
Representative HD-2)
● RTD Board Director Paul Rosenthal (former State Representative HD-9)
● David Sanger (Past President of the American Federation of Teachers Colorado)
● Olivia Abtahi (filmmaker and author of Perfectly Parvin )
● Robert Preuhs, Ph.D. (Chair of the Department of Political Science at MSU Denver)
● Rabbi Eliot Baskin
● Jeremy Kaplan, MD
● Judith Steinberg, J Street National Board
● Sheila Rucki (Professor of Political Science and President of the Faculty
Federation at MSU Denver)
● A. Marie Ranjbar (Assistant Professor of Geography at the University of Colorado,
Boulder)
● Morteza Karimzadeh (Assistant Professor of Geography at the University of
Colorado, Boulder)
● Masoud Aghajani (Postdoctoral Mechanical Engineering Research Associate at
the University of Colorado, Boulder)
● Ellen Brock
● Joe Bryan (Associate Professor of Geography at the University of Colorado,
Boulder)
● Mara Goldman (Associate Professor of Geography at the University of Colorado,
Boulder)
● Emily Yeh (Professor of Geography at the University of Colorado, Boulder)
● Neda Shaban (Department of Geography at the University of Colorado, Boulder)
● Adam Rovner, Ph.D. (Director of the Center for Judaic Studies at the University of
Denver)
● Rebecca Galemba (Associate Professor at University of Denver’s Korbel School of
International Studies)
● Thomas Zeiler (Professor of History and Director of the International Affairs
program at the University of Colorado, Boulder)
● Mark Belkin (Former Director of Organizing and Communications at United Food
and Commercial Workers, Local 7; Executive Committee Member of J Street
Colorado)
● Joe Drexler (Retired Head of Strategic Campaigns of United Steelworkers Canada;
Retired Director of Industry and Corporate Affairs at ICEM Global Union
Federation)
● Jason Moses (Co-Chair, J Street – Colorado Chapter)
● Nancy Reichman (Co-Chair, J Street – Colorado Chapter)
● Merrill Glustrom (Co-Chair, J Street – Colorado Chapter)
● Reggie Gray
● John Kane (Professor Emeritus of Religious Studies at Regis University)
● Kevin Amirehsani (Chair, National Iranian American Council – Colorado Chapter)
● Dr. Bob Knott (National Iranian American Council – Colorado Chapter)
● Bob Kinsey (2008 and 2010 Green Party candidate for US Senate)
● Byron Plumley (Founder of the Peace Studies Department at Regis University,
former head of the Colorado office of the American Friends Service Committee,
Loretto Peace Committee)
● Dr. Nicolas A. Jackson
● Shirley Whiteside
● Eva Hutt
● Rabbi Caryn Aviv, Ph.D.
● Rabbi Brian Field
● Reverend Susan McKee
● Heather Oginsky
● Sara Avery (Coordinator, Friends Committee on National Legislation Colorado
Advocacy Team)
● Daniel Talero (Clean energy and sustainability consultant)
● Simone Shenassa
● David Ruchman
● Lisa R. Hartman, J Street Colorado
● Daniel Recht, J Street Colorado
● Howard Bellowe, J Street Colorado
● Faye Diamond, J Street Colorado
● Greg Diamond
● Leslie Glustrom
● Matt Young, J Street Colorado
● Edward A Stein
● Mary Hey (Founder of the Soviet Sister City Project, now Boulder-Dushanbe Sister
Cities)
● Jim Halderman (Chair, Rotary International Peace Committee, District 5450)
● Mark Pfundstein (Retired Military Intelligence Professional)
● Rev. Judith Smith Ray
● Erik Braaten
● Zari Banki-Cardenas
● Paul & Nancy Oberman, J Street Colorado
● Rabbi Rachel Kobrin
● John Huyler, former Lieutenant, U.S. Navy

Media Contact: sara.avery@gmail.com

6 Comments leave one →
  1. January 3, 2021 7:53 am

    Initiatives such as this are very important, and are one concrete step towards resuming efforts at a peaceful and just settlement of other regional conflicts and towards universal nuclear disarmament. – Michael A. Dover, Cleveland

  2. Margy permalink
    January 3, 2021 11:23 am

    Bravo, Colorado!

  3. William Watts. permalink
    January 3, 2021 1:47 pm

    Very good. Gives hope.

  4. Robert G Davis permalink
    January 8, 2021 8:33 pm

    I Robert G. Davis, military veteran wholly supports the JCPOA and President-elect Biden administration for restoration of diplomatic ties with Iran. This includes lifting “non nuclear” sanctions.

    • January 9, 2021 6:52 am

      Robert – wow… thanks. Will add your name to the list. Am deeply grateful for your support…

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