Washington, DC – Twenty-five national faith leaders released a statement today calling on President Joe Biden to pursue an expeditious return to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), also known as the Iran nuclear deal. The statement was led by the Friends Committee on National Legislation (FCNL) and signed by a broad coalition of faith leaders and heads of faith-based organizations, including Protestant, Catholic, Evangelical, and Jewish leaders, as well as national heads of communion for multiple Christian denominations and the president of the National Council of Churches.
“We are deeply concerned by recent news reports suggesting that negotiations between Iran and the United States on a return to the JCPOA are on the verge of collapse, heightening the risk of war and nuclear proliferation. We strongly urge the Biden administration to remain at the negotiating table and have the courage to act boldly for peace,” the statement reads.
The statement highlights the benefits of the Iran nuclear deal as a tool of nuclear nonproliferation, as a means to prevent war, and as a moral act to end the humanitarian suffering caused by broad-based sanctions. It also calls on President Biden and his administration to recognize that “progress requires negotiation and compromise, not threats and intimidation.”
“The Biden administration should act urgently and seize the opportunity to prevent a war with Iran. Quakers, people of faith, and peace advocates around the country are calling on President Biden to recommit to the path of diplomacy and rejoin the Iran nuclear deal,” said Bridget Moix, FCNL’s General Secretary.
“The United States government must prioritize diplomatic efforts in order to ensure conflicts are resolved in a peaceful and comprehensive manner,” said Rev. Dr. Mae Elise Cannon, Executive Director of Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP). “War with Iran would disproportionately impact those who are already vulnerable and have a devastating and destabilizing impact throughout the Middle East.”
“Jewish tradition commands us to make an offer of peace before declaring war,” said Rabbi Jill Jacobs, CEO of T’ruah: The Rabbinic Call for Human Rights. “By walking away from the Iran deal, the US helped allow Iran to move closer to building a nuclear weapon that threatens Israel and other neighbors. Although not a permanent solution, reinstating an Iran Deal is the best start to ensure the protection of human life.”
“God’s priority for peace is paramount, favoring the use of wise restraint and sound cooperation that gives significance to the possibilities of peace through non-violent means for all people. As a church community, the ELCA sets a high priority on non-violent and peaceful resolution to conflict for the well-being of our world and as a reflection of God’s intent for our lives,” said Rev. Amy Reumann, Senior Director for Witness in Society for the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. “Reestablishment of the JCPOA would be a positive step forward in making our world more secure and peaceful. We also urge President Biden to act to expand that well-being through lifting economic sanctions that harm the Iranian people in their daily lives.”