High Tensions in the Persian Gulf Require ‘Maximum Restraint,’ Not ‘Maximum Pressure’

 In Iran, Saudi Arabia, Trump Administration

Washington, D.C. — June 14, 2019 — In response to heightened tensions in the Persian Gulf resulting from recent attacks on oil tankers and escalatory U.S. policies towards Iran, Jon Rainwater, Executive Director of Peace Action, released the following statement:

“Recent attacks on oil tankers in the Persian Gulf and the resulting increase in tensions in the region are deeply concerning. Contradictory reports and accusations surrounding these incidents highlight the need for thorough, independent UN investigations.

“If an independent investigation were to find that Iran is in fact responsible for any of these attacks, that is all the more reason to pursue diplomacy with Iran to immediately deescalate tensions and reduce the risk of war. Sadly, the administration has refused to engage in good-faith diplomacy, opting instead for threats, military posturing, and crippling economic sanctions that all make productive dialogue with Iran improbable.

“It’s critical to remember that the Trump administration’s policies towards Iran, beginning with the unilateral U.S. withdrawal from the Iran Nuclear Agreement despite Iran’s verifiable compliance, are responsible for this crisis. It’s fair to say that Trump’s policy of ‘maximum pressure’ on Iran is achieving the opposite of its stated objectives—creating increased conflict and roadblocks rather than channels for renewed diplomacy. The administration should take this opportunity to reevaluate its policies and pursue a strategy of ‘maximum restraint’ as our European allies have called for. In the meantime, Congress should work to ensure that the president respects its constitutional authority over war by passing legislation to prevent an unauthorized war with Iran.”


Founded in 1957, Peace Action (formerly SANE/Freeze), the United States’ largest grassroots peace and disarmament organization, with over 100,000 paid members and nearly 100 chapters in 36 states, works to abolish nuclear weapons, promote government spending priorities that support human needs, encourage real security through international cooperation and human rights and support nonmilitary solutions to international conflicts. The public may learn more and take action at www.PeaceAction.org.

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