This WAW project is exemplified by the slogan: “Iran next? No war, no way!” Our goal is to avoid military action against Iran by the U.S. or any other country and to see diplomacy and negotiation used as alternatives. We don’t dismiss the provocative statements by Iran’s leaders about international relations, or accept the human rights abuses of the Iranian government, but we know that war is not the answer. War is disproportionately harmful to civilians, especially women and children, and does not lead to lasting peace. Our president and Congress need to go more than halfway to find avenues to peace with Iran; this will save many lives and avoid the crippling cost of another unnecessary war.
A core group of volunteers plan and carry out programs each year that you will read about on these Iran project pages. We are supported and complemented by a larger group of WAW members who support our plans and are likely to attend the films, speakers, demonstrations, and meetings with U.S. elected representatives that we organize every year. We work closely with other peace organizations to co-sponsor and promote these Iran events. The public is always invited to attend and ask questions or offer insights.
Call to Action
Iran elected a new president, Hassan Rouhani, in June 2013. Dr. Rouhani campaigned on the promise to “pursue a policy of reconciliation and peace.” His election opens new doors for diplomacy by the U.S. and other countries. Join our campaign to demand U.S. diplomacy with Iran toward a more peaceful Middle East. Here’s what you can do:
- Contact your U.S. Senators and Congressperson. Consistent lobbying of Congress, and of the White House and State Department, is needed to encourage a positive atmosphere for nuclear negotiations and other diplomatic and regional agreements with Iran.
- See our Resources/Links section below for excellent background material and talking points for legislative work and educational outreach.
- Follow our contingency plan in case of attack on Iran by the U.S. or another country.
- Donate to WAW to support Iran Project expenses: payable to Women Against War. Memo line: Iran Project. Mail to WAW, PO Box 942, Saratoga Springs, NY 12866-0942.
We met with Congressman Paul Tonko on February 21, 2013, and Congressman Chris Gibson on March 28, 2013, as well as staff in the offices of Senators Schumer and Gillibrand in June and July 2013, to promote peace and diplomacy with Iran and to offer background information on Iran, the effects of sanctions on women and their families, and the costs of another war. See our Talking Points under Project Resources/Links below.
The Iran project has engaged author and journalist Stephen Kinzer to speak in our area in April 2014 about U.S. policy toward Iran and the Middle East.
Ongoing and Past Community Events
A dozen Women Against War members celebrated Mother’s Day 2006 by handing out fliers at the annual Tulip Festival celebration in Albany’s Washington Park. Decked out in pink and wearing signs saying “No Attack on Iranian Mothers and Children” and “Mothers’ Day of Peace,” these women sparked the beginning of our Iran project.
Keep U.S. Out of Iran Billboards
Two commercial billboards in prominent locations in the Albany area in 2007 and 2008 encouraged citizens to take action to prevent war with Iran. We demonstrated at our billboard sites, which drew press coverage.
Iran Film Festival
Three acclaimed feature-length Iranian films were shown at Siena College in October and November 2011, with moderators and discussion leaders who know Iran. Co-sponsored by WAW and Siena College’s Peace Building Through the Arts program.
Outside Speakers About Iran: Trita Parsi, founder of the National Iranian American Council, and author and expert on U.S.–Iran relations, spoke at both the New York State Writers Institute and Siena College in November 2012. We also scheduled him for an interview with SienaTV and a meeting with the Times Union editorial board. WAW co-sponsors included Fellowship of Reconciliation, three academic programs at Siena College, and two groups at the University at Albany.
Demonstrations: the Iran Project organizes demonstrations every year in high-visibility locations including at the annual Food Festival at the Empire State Plaza, at Wolf Road and Central Avenue, and at farmers markets. We also take part in general anti-war events where we display our banners and photos of Iranians.
Rick Steves’s Travel Video on Iran: We arranged to show this video, with its stunning photography from Iran and interviews with ordinary Iranian citizens, at libraries in the area, which publicized the screenings to their patrons and the public. Our Iran travelers often served as discussion leaders after the films. Rick Steves is known for his excellent travel videos of Europe, but he took a side trip to Iran because he thought we should know people before we decide to bomb them.
Lobbying elected representatives: The Iran Project is always active in lobbying Congress and the president to support patient diplomatic negotiations with Iran rather than sanctions or military action. Consistent lobbying of Congress, the White House, and State Department is needed to encourage a positive atmosphere for nuclear negotiations and other diplomatic and regional agreements with Iran.
Waging Peace Blog: Women Against War bloggers and guest writers post many Iran-related essays on the Waging Peace blog (see the right-hand sidebar on the blog page under “Categories” and “Archived Articles” to find Iran subjects).
At least five local women who are active with Women Against War have traveled to Iran and are available to speak about their experiences:
- Diane Reiner, 2005 visitor as member of a citizen diplomacy delegation
- Leila Zand, a native of Iran who is a staff specialist on Middle East policy with the Fellowship of Reconciliation (FOR) and organizes FOR delegations to Iran
- Priscilla Fairbank, December 2007 FOR delegation member to Iran
- Barbara Spring, December 2007 FOR delegation member to Iran
- Alice Brody, 2010 visitor as member of a two-person Global Exchange delegation
To request an appearance by any of these speakers, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Videos About Iran
- Diane Reiner’s video, People of Iran
- Ymani Simmons’s video, A Doorway to Persia
- Rick Steves’s travel video
- Iran Project Talking Points for meeting with Congressional or Senate representatives in 2013.
- Iran Project Leaflet used at demonstrations in summer 2013.
See Resources/Links on the right for more links.