Thursday, March 25, 2021

Anti-Nuclear Weapons Activists to Protest Senator Ben Cardin’s Refusal to Support Obama’s Iran Agreement

Baltimore Peace Action, 431 Notre Dame Lane, Apt. 206, Baltimore, MD 21212

Press Release – For immediate release – March 25, 2021   

Anti-Nuclear Weapons Activists to Protest Senator Ben Cardin’s Refusal to Support Obama’s Iran Agreement

CONTACT: Max Obuszewski 443-761-5899 [c] or mobuszewski2001 at Comcast dot net

                                Richard Ochs 443- 846-6638 or rjochs at Comcast dot net                                

WHO: Baltimore Peace Action [BPA] is part of Maryland Peace Action. Peace Action works for smarter approaches to global problems. If we want to address problems like war, the nuclear threat, poverty, climate change, and terrorism – the U.S. needs to work together, cooperatively, with other nations. Peace Action is the nation’s largest grassroots peace network with chapters and affiliates in states across the country. Through a close relationship with progressive members of Congress, the national organization plays a key role in devising strategies to move forward peace legislation.

WHAT:   Maryland Peace Action, CODEPINK, Prevent Nuclear War/Maryland and other anti-nuclear weapons groups have been dismayed that President Joe Biden has not re-entered the Iran nuclear deal--the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action [JCPOA] negotiated by the Obama administration.  This has resulted in groups opposed to the Iran nuclear deal time to try to influence the Biden administration to demand more concessions from Iran.  For example,  pro-Trump Rep. Mike Waltz, R-Fla initiated a letter, signed by 140 members of the House of Representatives, to Secretary of State Anthony Blinken. The letter was an attempt to influence the Biden administration not to re-enter the Iran nuclear deal.  The goal was to sabotage the JCPOA by requiring so many preconditions as to make it impossible for Biden’s team to negotiate the deal.   Then it was discovered that Maryland Reps. Anthony Brown, Kweisi Mfume, Dutch Ruppersberger and David Trone had signed the letter.  So demonstrations were arranged at the offices of Brown, Mfume and Ruppersberger. 

Senate Foreign Relations Committee chair Robert Menendez (D-NJ) has partnered with Trump’s favorite senator, Lindsey Graham (R-SC), to launch a similar effort in the Senate, and according to AIPAC, Senator Ben Cardin has agreed to sign this letter.  This is shocking, and contrary to the wishes of the people of Maryland, who want peace with Iran. Before Trump unilaterally and with no reason reneged on the deal, the treaty was working, diplomacy had succeeded. Without the treaty, the U.S. is on a very dangerous path, and time is short. Thus a protest has been organized, which will include a delivery of a letter, available upon request, urging the senator to re-think his position.

WHEN: Friday, March 26, 2021 from 3 to 4 PM

Between Lombard and Pratt Streets outside the senator’s office, 100 S. Charles Street, Baltimore, MD 21201  

WHY: Many Baltimore anti-nuclear weapons advocates heavily lobbied Senator Cardin to support the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.  Unfortunately, the lobby effort was unsuccessful as he voted against one of President Obama’s signature achievements.  Nevertheless, there is hope that Senator Cardin will meet with representatives of the various groups who support re-entering the Iran nuclear deal and agree to re-consider his decision to sign the Menendez-Graham letter.  In addition, there is a call for Cardin to ask President Biden to put an end to the devastating sanctions imposed on Iran by Trump—sanctions that have profoundly hurt the Iranian people, not the elites--and to support diplomacy.

The Guardian wrote this on March 8, 2021: “Senator Lindsey Graham has defended his refusal to abandon Donald Trump in the aftermath of the deadly attack on the Capitol, saying that though the former president has ‘a dark side … what I’m trying to do is just harness the magic.’” For Cardin to append his name to a letter organized by Lindsay Graham, aimed at undermining Biden, is a slap in the face to all Democrats who worked  to oust Trump and makes peace with Iran all the more difficult. 

"The master class has always declared the wars; the subject class has always fought the battles. The master class has had all to gain and nothing to lose, while the subject class has had nothing to gain and everything to lose--especially their lives." Eugene Victor Debs


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