Campaign Against Sanctions and Military Intervention in Iran

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Campaign Against Sanctions and Military Intervention in Iran (CASMII) is a group of academics, students and professionals of Iranian and non-Iranian backgrounds formed to oppose sanctions on Iran by the United States.

History[edit]

CASMII was founded on December 1, 2005 in London by Professor Abbas Edalat, and describes itself as independent of all political groups and governments, in particular the Iranian government, and adheres to no particular religion or ideology. Core values include respect for human rights and a democratic state, in particular freedom of expression, freedom of press, an independent judiciary, equal rights for women, ethnic and religious minorities in Iran."[1]

On November 6, 2006, the United Kingdom branch of CASMII joined with Action Iran and Iran Solidarity, forming a new organisation in the UK called Campaign Iran, which remains part of CASMI international.[2]

CASMII has been criticised by Hands Off the People of Iran as being supportive of the Iranian reform movement and opposed to the interests of "workers, progressives and democrats".[3]

Members of the CASMII Board include academics such as Professor Udo Steinbach, who was the head of the Near East Department of the German Institute for International and Security Affairs from 1971 to 1974 and director of the Deutschen Orient-Instituts (which merged into the German Institute of Global and Area Studies) from 1976 to 2006.[4][5] The human rights and social justice advocacy group Global Exchange recommends CASMII members Foaad Khosmood and Alex Patico as public speakers on anti-war topics related to Iran.[6]

In the US, CASMII is governed by a board of directors. CASMII has an international board of editors as well as an advisory board. Among the members of its advisory board are Dr. Behrad Nakhai, a prominent Iranian nuclear engineer who worked as a research scientist at Oak Ridge National Laboratory and is currently conducting Nuclear Safety Analysis, and Kaveh L. Afrasiabi, a political scientist[7] and author of Iranian origin.

Actions[edit]

The group's campaign methods include participation in media, holding public meetings, lobbying members of parliaments, international campaigning and cooperation with all groups sharing similar aims. Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty described CASMII as "a strong opponent to sanctions" against Iran.[8]

Public talks[edit]

In November 2006, the group participated in a multi-state "Tour for a Just Foreign Policy" which was a series of speaking engagements as well as photographic displays throughout the Northeastern USA.[9] On 4 July 2007, Prof. Pirouz Mojtahedzadeh of CASMII UK made a presentation regarding Iran's energy needs and its nuclear energy program at a conference at the European Parliament organised by the European Greens–European Free Alliance.[10][11]

Action Iran[edit]

On February 6, 2006, Roudabeh Shafie representing Action Iran participated in a Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament demonstration outside of the headquarters of the BBC, claiming that the BBC presented biased reporting regarding Iran by not reporting alleged violations by nuclear weapons states of Article VI of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.[12]

On March 18, 2006, Action Iran members including Roudabeh Shafie participated in a major anti-war demonstration in London.

On June 10, 2006, Elaheh Rostami Povey represented Action Iran at the Stop the War Coalition's "Fifth Annual Stop The War Conference" .[13]

On September 6, 2006, an Action Iran spokesperson took part in a rally in Manchester promoting a rally called "Time To Go" advocating the resignation of British prime minister Tony Blair[14] and later in the month, Action Iran together with CASMII organised a public rally with Hans von Sponeck, the United Nations Humanitarian Coordinator for Iraq after Denis Halliday resigned from that post,[15]

Street actions[edit]

In February 2007, CASMII carried banners and signs opposing war with Iran, as part of a demonstration of 100,000 people in Washington, D.C. in protest against the US government's relations with Iraq and Iran.[16]

Reaction to UN Security Council Resolution 1737[edit]

In reaction to United Nations Security Council Resolution 1737, CASMII issued a statement titled "A Terrible Day for International Diplomacy"[17] dated December 24, 2006. In the statement CASMII expresses grave concern over the UN resolution. It characterizes the unanimous verdict as having been engineered by the US stating "As the Observer reported last Sunday, the US is giving up to 270% more foreign aid to Security Council members as incentive for them to support US positions." The statement further argues that the resolution could be abused and taken as a justification for war, just like the 2002 resolution -also unanimously passed- was used as an eventual justification for the US/UK invasion of Iraq. The statement also "notes" that "there may actually be no way for Iran to comply with the UN demands," saying "Just as the repeated American demands for more and more intrusive inspections, for opening up of Saddam’s palaces and interviewing Iraqi scientists did not satisfy America’s suspicions; neither will Iran’s 'compliance' with these demands be ever sufficient to 'prove' the non-existence of a WMD program."

Letter actions and advertisements[edit]

In an action initiated by Physicians for Social Responsibility in February 2007, CASMII co-sponsored a full page advertisement in a Washington, D.C. journal, the Congressional Quarterly, opposing an attack against Iran.[18]

In October 2007, CASMII together with the National Iranian American Council and some other organisations sent a letter to the political leaders of the United States, the United Kingdom and Iran opposing military actions and appealing to the governments "to set aside all pre-conditions and resume direct and open negotiations on all issues of dispute, ..."[19]

Media analyses, debates[edit]

In mid-2006, CASMII debated anti-war strategies with a group of peace activists (including Michael Albert, Noam Chomsky, Michael Lerner (rabbi) and Howard Zinn) associated with the generally left perspective media group Z Communications.[20][21]

In early May 2007, the BBC apologised to CASMII for having used the words "abducted" and "hostages" in relation to the 2007 Iranian seizure of Royal Navy personnel.[22] CASMII member Abbas Edalat was not satisfied with the apology, stating "We do not accept that because a story is at an 'early stage' misleading reports are therefore acceptable. The BBC has a code of practice and is very aware of the power of language. Using the word 'abducted' instead of 'captured' and the word 'hostages' instead of 'detainees' is a clear example of linguistic manipulation of the facts and there are no excuses for it."

In May 2007, the British media analysis group Media Lens pointed to an article by a Guardian journalist Simon Tisdall discussing alleged plans by Iran to fight against United States soldiers in Iraq. Media Lens asserted that the article was mostly based on anonymous official sources from the United States government.[23] CASMII in turn complained to The Guardian about the article.[24] CASMII member Abbas Edalat stated, "The Guardian has reported, without any challenge or any critical analysis, highly incriminating but unfounded and unsubstantiated statements by an unnamed US official in such a way that they appear to the reader as facts."[24]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "About CASMII". Campaign Against Sanctions and Military Intervention in Iran. Retrieved 2006-10-23. 
  2. ^ "UK peace groups consolidate under "Campaign Iran"". Campaign Against Sanctions and Military Intervention in Iran. 2006-11-07. Retrieved 2006-11-07. 
  3. ^ Jones, Nick (2008-07-17). "Dancing to the US tune". Hands Off the People of Iran. Retrieved 2009-05-28. 
  4. ^ Steinbach, Udo (2008). "Biographie" (in German). de:Udo Steinbach. Archived from the original on 2009-06-01. Retrieved 2009-06-02. 
  5. ^ "German Institute of Global and Area Studies Annual Report 2005" (in German). German Institute of Global and Area Studies. April 2006. Archived from the original on 2009-06-01. Retrieved 2009-06-02. , pp 10, 33
  6. ^ "Speaker Profiles". Global Exchange. 2009-06-01. Archived from the original on 2008-06-01. Retrieved 2008-06-02. 
  7. ^ "Kaveh L. Afrasiabi". Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs. Retrieved 2009-06-05. 
  8. ^ Esfandiari, Golnaz (2006-02-03). "Iran: Activist Challenges Western Assurances On Security Council Referral". Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. Archived from the original on 2009-06-06. Retrieved 2009-06-06. 
  9. ^ "CASMII President joins Antiwar Tour of Northeastern US". Campaign Against Sanctions and Military Intervention in Iran. Retrieved 2006-11-03. 
  10. ^ "Iran: Alternatives to escalation". European Greens–European Free Alliance. 2007. Archived from the original on 2009-06-06. Retrieved 2009-06-06. 
  11. ^ Mojtahedzadeh, Pirouz (2007-07-04). "Iran needs nuclear energy for its economic survival". Tehran Times. Archived from the original on 2009-06-06. Retrieved 2009-06-06. 
  12. ^ Rick; Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (March 2006). "CND protests at BBC's "biased" Iran coverage". peacenews.info. Retrieved 2007-01-22. 
  13. ^ "Fifth Annual Stop The War Conference". Stop the War Coalition. Archived from the original on 2006-07-09. Retrieved 2007-01-22. 
  14. ^ Edwards, Chris. "Spokesperson from Action Iran Helps Mobilise for Time to Go Demonstration (2006)". Internet Archive. Retrieved 2007-01-22. 
  15. ^ . Mehri Honarbin-Holliday spoke on behalf of Action Iran both at ULU and Trafalgar Square"Hans Von Sponeck warns of US plans of aggression". Action Iran. 2006-09-20. Retrieved 2007-01-22. [dead link]
  16. ^ Boloorian, Shervin (2007-02-03). "Mass Rally in DC Calls for New Strategy in Iraq, No War in Iran". National Iranian American Council. Archived from the original on 2009-05-29. Retrieved 2009-05-30. 
  17. ^ "A Terrible Day for International Diplomacy". ZNet. Retrieved 2006-12-24. 
  18. ^ "NIAC Co-sponsors Anti-War Ad in Congressional Quarterly". National Iranian American Council. 2007-02-15. Archived from the original on 2009-05-28. Retrieved 2009-05-28. 
  19. ^ "Iranian-American organizations join forces to prevent US-Iran War". National Iranian American Council. 2007-10-08. Archived from the original on 2009-05-28. Retrieved 2009-05-28. 
  20. ^ "Opposing Theocratic Repression in Iran or Playing into Hands of US Warmongers?". Z Communications. 2006-06-11. Archived from the original on 2009-05-29. Retrieved 2009-05-30. 
  21. ^ "Reply from Campaign for Peace and Democracy to CASMII". Z Communications. 2006-06-11. Archived from the original on 2009-05-29. Retrieved 2009-05-30. 
  22. ^ "BBC News apologises for misleading reports on Iran". Campaign Against Sanctions and Military Intervention in Iran. 2007-05-03. Archived from the original on 2009-05-30. Retrieved 2009-05-30. 
  23. ^ "The Con Coughlin School Of Hard News". Media Lens. 2007-05-24. Retrieved 2007-05-30. 
  24. ^ a b "CASMII Strongly Criticizes the Guardian for Anti-Iranian Article". Monthly Review. 2007-05-25. Archived from the original on 2009-05-29. Retrieved 2009-05-30. 

External links[edit]