Thursday, July 24, 2008

California Labor Federation Opposes Military Attacks on Iran

On July 23, 2008, the California Labor Federation passed a resolution opposing the controversial concurrent resolutions H.Con.Res. 362 and S.Res. 580. The resolution also calls for a deescalation in the confrontation with Iran. It also urges the AFL-CIO and Change to Win to take similar actions. Below is the full text of the resolution, a copy of which will be delivered to Nancy Pelosi, the Speaker of the House; Harry Reid, the Senate Majority Leader; and the entire California Congressional Delegation.

Resolution to Stop Escalating the Confrontation with Iran and Reduce the Danger of Another Military Conflict in the Persian Gulf

WHEREAS, the Bush Administration appears intent on ratcheting up tensions with Iran over development of its nuclear energy capabilities, and this escalation has raised the danger of a miscalculation or provocation that could result in military conflict between the U.S. and Iran, possibly involving Israel as well; and

WHEREAS, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has found no violation of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NNPT) and no evidence has been presented to demonstrate that Iran is in violation of any international treaties; and

WHEREAS, Iran, as a signatory to the NNPT, has a right to pursue the pursue the development of nuclear energy for peaceful uses, including uranium enhancement, and IAEA has found Iran to have met all the treaty requirements to which it is subject; and

WHEREAS, Rep, Gary Ackerman (D-NY) has introduced a resolution in the House, which is cosponsored by 231 other members of Congress, and a concurrent resolution has been introduced in the Senate by Sen. Evan Bay (D-IN) cosponsored by 33 other senators that calls upon the president to immediately impose additional sanctions on Iran, including prohibiting the export to Iran of all refined petroleum products, and imposing stringent inspection requirements on all persons, vehicles, ships, planes, trains, and cargo entering or departing Iran; and

WHEREAS, such an embargo can be construed under international law as an act of war, and in an atmosphere of rising tensions could trigger military confrontation and conflict; and

WHEREAS, under circumstances of increasing danger of military conflict with Iran the price of oil has been driven even higher on the international market; and an embargo enforced against Iran by the U.S. Navy could lead Iran to cut off oil shipments through the Strait of Hormuz, through which one-fifth of the world supply of oil is transported, resulting in a huge additional increase in the price of oil, while driving into the conflict all the other nations affected by the cutoff; and such conflict could quickly spiral out of control in a wider regional war; and

WHEREAS, the Congress has already given the president unlimited authority to initiate military actions anywhere in the world under the 2003 resolution adopted at the outset of the invasion of Iraq, and thus the president will feel no obligation to bring a decision about whether to launch an attack on Iran to the Senate for ratification as required by the Constitution;

THEREFOR, BE IT RESOLVED that the California Labor Federation calls upon members of the House and Senate to reject H.R. 362 and S. 580, and to make clear to the president that he has no unilateral authority to initiate unprovoked military action against Iran or an embargo which could easily result in military conflict with Iran, or to support in any way such actions initiated by Israel or any other country, and that the United States should pursue instead conflict resolution through diplomatic alternatives in conjunction with the IAEA and the United Nations.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that a copy of this resolution be communicated to the Speaker of the House and Majority Leader of the Senate, and all House and Senate members in the California Congressional delegation, and further, that copies also be forwarded to the AFL-CIO and Change to Win to urge that they too take such actions.

Approved at the California Labor Federation Convention July 23, 2008

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