Letter to the editor: Not too late for diplomacy
To the editor:
The escalation of military strikes between the United States and Iran feels like a bad dream in which a disaster is unfolding, and, in a state of paralysis, one is unable to stop it.
In 2015, an international nuclear treaty with Iran was brokered (JCPOA), guaranteeing that Iran would cease its development of nuclear weapons and would submit to periodic inspections.
In 2018, the Donald Trump administration withdrew from this treaty, even though Iran was in compliance, imposed crippling sanctions on Iran and carried out the targeted killing of Gen. Qasem Soleimani, the Iranian officer responsible for extraterritorial and clandestine military operations. An escalating series of military actions ensued between the U.S. and Iran, which continue to this day.
Presently, the U.S. and Iran are negotiating to re-enter the 2015 treaty. However, the U.S. has not agreed to lift economic sanctions, and it has ordered two military strikes on Iranian-backed militias in Iraq as occurred during the three previous administrations. President Joe Biden has acted without consultation with Congress, even though our Constitution clearly states that Congress alone has the authority to declare war.
We are in a special historical moment. It is not too late for real diplomacy to begin. Congress could reclaim its constitutional authority, and the U.S. could lift some of the sanctions as a good-will gesture. After all, they were imposed without cause. The U.S. could take a decisive step away from this suicidal drift toward yet another war in the Middle East.