1. Background
  2. Middle East & Iran

Greater Middle East


Since the U.S. overthrow of Iranian Prime Minister Mossadegh in 1952, our nation’s reliance on regime change and militarized approaches to Middle East policy has contributed to growing political instability throughout the region.

Schoolgirls smiling

Schoolgirls at Havez's tomb in Shiraz, Iran. Paul Keller / Flickr

The “War on Terror” policies and the 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq have inflicted large-scale violence and unleashed sectarian tensions wreaking havoc on the Middle East today.

Quakers have worked for more than a century to support peace in the Middle East. FCNL’s advocacy for more peaceful U.S. policies toward Israel-Palestine, for diplomatic solutions to conflicts in Syria, Iraq and Yemen, and for humanitarian support for the region’s people continues that tradition.

The success of the Iran nuclear accord demonstrates that pro-peace, pro-diplomacy grassroots advocacy can help build the political space necessary for policymakers to pursue effective diplomatic solutions. The accord illustrates the power of diplomacy to resolve seemingly intractable conflicts.

Now, far more work must be done to build on this pro-diplomacy momentum in order to resolve a host of regional conflicts. We must continue to shift the U.S. policy in the region from a militarized approach to one rooted in inclusive diplomatic solutions, the rule of law, and effective humanitarian responses.