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FCNL Condemns Assassination, Urges Congress to Oppose Escalation of Deadly Conflict with Iran

In response to this week’s assassination of an Iranian military leader by the United States, Friends Committee on National Legislation’s Executive Secretary Diane Randall released the following statement:

The Trump administration’s assassination of the military commander of Iran’s Quds Force is a dangerous escalation of the confrontation with Iran that will lead to more bloodshed, further destabilize Iraq, and expand conflict and instability throughout the Middle East.

FCNL condemns the assassination of Maj. Gen. Qasem Soleimani and other pro-Iran militia leaders. We are opposed to all killings and condemn the killings of hundreds of Americans and other civilians by Iran’s Quds Force and their militia allies. The only way to de-escalate tensions and resolve our differences with Iran is through diplomacy.

As a Quaker organization, we hold firm to the faith that war is not the answer; neither is assassination or mass killings of innocent civilians. We believe the origin of this crisis lies with the Trump administration that has withdrawn from the international nuclear agreement with Iran, undermined diplomatic efforts, and escalated economic and military pressure on Iran. And with Congress’ failure to act to explicitly reject war with Iran and insist on diplomacy.

Make no mistake, Congress has not authorized war with Iran. But in December 2019, Congress struck language from a military policy bill that would have explicitly denied authorization for a war with Iran. That legislative language would have repealed the outdated 2002 Authorization for War with Iraq, which the administration may be using to provide legal cover for this assassination.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Rep. Eliot Engel (NY), Sen. Chris Murphy (CT) and other members of Congress who have stated that Congress did not authorize this escalating war with Iran are correct. Congress should – as many members are already declaring – demand a full briefing on the attack and hold public hearings on the escalation of violent conflict with Iran. But Congress’ core concern should be stopping a destructive war. That is why we urge Congress to swiftly pass legislation taking away any legal justification and explicitly prohibiting funding for war.

Truly, these escalating acts of war will not end what has been an endless war in Iraq and other countries in the Middle East. This recent assassination will only unleash a new cycle of the deadly conflict at the cost of millions of peoples’ lives and livelihoods. It will be answered with violence and war, not peace.

Congress has the power to stop the march to war with Iran and return our nation to the path of diplomacy and international engagement – that is the only way to prevent war. It must exercise its constitutional authority now.

To view Randall’s full statement, click here.

View source version on businesswire.com: https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20200103005324/en/

Contacts

Timothy J. McHugh
Friends Committee on National Legislation
media@fcnl.org; 202-903-2515