New Senate legislation calls for the U.S. to militarily support a hypothetical Israeli attack on Iran. As Col. Wilkerson, former chief of staff to Colin Powell, states: "resolutions like S.Res.65 would call for the U.S. to surrender to another country the right to sweep the U.S. into a disastrous war."
Thanks to the hard work of a coalition of pro-diplomacy organizations and members of Congress, the final version of the annual defense authorization act includes the crucial phrase: "nothing in this Act shall be construed as authorizing the use of force against Iran."
On 2/25/2013, Retired Ambassadors Bruce Laingen and John Limbert called on the U.S. and Iran to learn from the lessons of the 1979 crisis rather than be held hostage to the ever-escalating cycle of confrontation that has defined U.S.-Iranian relations for decades. On the eve of the P5+1 talks in which diplomats from the United States and Iran met in Almaty, Kazakhstan, the Ambassadors called for broadening the scope of negotiations with Iran beyond the nuclear issue to advance a diplomatic solution. FCNL co-organized this event.
While Congress passed an unprecedented round of aggressive sanctions opposed by FCNL, our advocacy efforts were successful in preserving an exemption for humanitarian goods. FCNL led a coalition letter signed by eleven national organizations, urging Senator Tim Johnson (SD), Chairman of the Senate Banking Committee, to keep channels open for Iranian civilians to access food, medicine, and other humanitarian goods and services in the pending sanctions legislation. Senator Johnson issued a landmark statement during the debate, supporting the humanitarian exception to U.S. sanctions.
77 members of Congress supported Rep. Barbara Lee's pro-diplomacy amendment to the military authorization bill to appoint a Special Envoy for diplomacy with Iran, lift the ‘no contact ban’ that currently bars U.S. and Iranian diplomats from speaking, and prohibit a pre-emptive attack on Iran without congressional authorization. Did your rep. vote YES for diplomacy?
FCNL Statement of Legislative Policy
"We support active non-violent responses to prevent or transform violent conflict at all levels.
The cycles of violence perpetuated by acts of terror and the armed overthrow of governments serve as warning against the use of force, while the examples of nonviolent movements for change provide concrete alternatives.”