Humanists Call For Restraint, International Consensus on Iran
For Immediate Release
(New Orleans, LA – June 7, 2012) – The American Humanist Association is urging restraint and international consensus before the United States government exercises any military options in dealing with Iran. A planned meeting later this month in Russia between Iran’s negotiators, the U.S., Britain, France, Russia, China and Germany gives special relevance to the AHA Board of Directors adopting the following resolution during the AHA’s 71st Annual Conference being held this week in New Orleans, LA.
The American Humanist Association urges leaders of the US, Iran, Israel, and the international community to intensify their commitment to peaceful and cooperative relationships in the Middle East. Threats of a pre-emptive strike against Iran are unwise and unwarranted, especially at this time while efforts to negotiate a resolution are underway. The American Humanist Association affirms the consensus of the international community that humanity should seek nuclear disarmament and that nations should not develop nuclear weapons capabilities if they do not already have them. The AHA Resolution on Global Community and International Affairs (2008) affirms support for the United Nations, and its efforts along with other kinds of multi-national efforts to seek peace, and it affirms the necessity of the nuclear non-proliferation regime for the safeguarding of humanity. Regarding the possibility of military action, this resolution also affirms that military intervention to pursue humanitarian ends can be justified against a sovereign nation only if all non-military means have been exhausted, and an international consensus agrees on military options. This statement is made in the current context of an absence of UN and multinational consensus on military options, and no major military offensive against any nation has been undertaken by Iran. We therefore urge the cessation of heated rhetoric by all sides about confrontational tactics or military escalation.
Iran’s nuclear program has been an international concern for many years because of a refusal to allow the International Atomic Energy Agency to monitor its activities. Negotiations with Iran have been going on since at least 2003. Iran claims its program is solely for nuclear power–having opened its first plant in 2011–but there are concerns the country is also engaged in a nuclear weapons program. Israel has for many years threatened to attack Iranian nuclear facilities and Iranian officials said they would retaliate. Recent rhetoric has been increasingly aggressive, causing an increase in attention from the international community.
“The board of directors engaged in lengthy discussions over several months in taking a humane, ethical position that can be embraced by the entire country, not just humanists,” American Humanist Association Executive Director Roy Speckhardt said. “The need for restraint by everyone is paramount while an international effort is underway to reach a solution without military action.”
The American Humanist Association (www.AmericanHumanist.org) advocates for the rights and viewpoints of humanists. Founded in 1941 and headquartered in Washington, DC, its work is extended through more than 140 local chapters and affiliates across America. Humanism is a progressive philosophy of life that, without theism, affirms our responsibility to lead ethical lives of value to self and humanity.