|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 24, 2011
|Contact: Dave Mohel
Christian Leaders Urge President Obama to Take Immediate and Decisive Action To Stop Iran’s Nuclear Weapons Program
A coalition of evangelical and Christian leaders today called on President Obama to take immediate, decisive action to prevent Iran from developing a nuclear-weapon, warning that recent developments suggest the U.S. and its allies are running out of time.
Christian Leaders for a Nuclear Free Iran released the following statement:
As Christian leaders who desire peace and security not only for people in the Middle East but also people all over the world, we are gravely concerned at the prospect of Iran, the leading state sponsor of terrorism in the world, obtaining nuclear weapons.
We have supported peaceful and diplomatic efforts to avert this crisis. We strongly supported the passage of additional economic sanctions against Iran by the United States, European Union, and the United Nations. But Iran continues to mock the international community’s opposition to its nuclear programs.
Time is running out. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) reports Iran is systematically denying inspectors access to key nuclear facilities and refusing to answer questions about its accelerated enrichment of uranium. According to the IAEA, Iran has already processed enough uranium at its main facility in Natanz for two nuclear weapons and is actively pursuing advanced ballistic missile technology enabling it to deliver a nuclear warhead.
Iranian duplicity is nothing new. A year ago Western intelligence agencies discovered a secret nuclear facility at Qum located inside a military base operated by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard. Iran failed to disclose its existence to the international community, a clear violation of its obligations. There are now reports that Iran may have built yet another secret nuclear facility near Qazvin, 120 miles west of Tehran.
It is clear that Iran, whose president Mahmour Ahmadinejad denies the Holocaust and has vowed to wipe Israel off the map, intends to produce nuclear weapons. The acceleration of its uranium enrichment and advanced military applications suggest we are in the eleventh hour.
This week Ahmadinejad is in the U.S. to address the United Nations General Assembly. We can expect him yet again to mock the civilized world’s efforts to prevent his regime from obtaining nuclear weapons, a development that will destabilize the region, threaten the United States and our allies, and begin a nuclear arms race in the most dangerous part of the world.
Therefore, we call on President Obama to act immediately and decisively on this gravely serious matter. We call on him to:
- Clearly lay out the case against Iran’s reckless actions, publicly correct President Ahmadinejad’s lies and dissembling and ensure that senior administration officials do everything to ensure that the American public is well-informed about the direct dangers that Iran’s nuclear weapons program presents to U.S. security and the world
- Strictly and fully enforce all sanctions against the Iranian regime, including preventing the foreign subsidiaries of U.S. corporations from doing business with Iran, and ensure our allies to do the same.
- Ensure that all member nations of the United Nations strictly enforce sanctions against Iran and make clear than non-compliance is unacceptable to the United States as well as a violation of international law.
The Iranian regime is the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism, it has brutally repressed internal democratic opposition, it persecutes women and religious minorities, and it openly advocates the destruction of Israel. President Obama must lead the nation and the world against this grave threat to peace.
Christian Leaders for a Nuclear-Free Iran, an ad hoc coalition of evangelical, Roman Catholic and other faith leaders who have come together as a united voice that is reaching out to policy makers and opinion leaders calling for urgent action to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons. The coalition argues that Iran’s nuclear weapons program will destabilize the Middle East, lead to an arms race in a volatile part of the world, and threaten the United States and its allies in Europe.
- Dr. Pat Robertson, Chairman, Christian Broadcasting Network
- Chuck Colson
- Paul F. Crouch, President TBN
- Gordon Robertson, CEO, Christian Broadcasting Network
- Colin A. Hanna, President of Let Freedom Ring
- Michael Little, President of Christian Broadcasting Network
- Gary Bauer, President, American Values
- James Robison, President and Founder, Life Outreach International
- Bob Reccord, President, Total Life Impact Ministries
- Deal Hudson, President, Catholic Advocate
- Richard Land, President of Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, Southern Baptist Convention
- Dr. Jack Graham, Pastor, Prestonwood Baptist Church
- Benny Tate, Senior Pastor, Rock Springs Church
- Dr. Richard Lee, President of There’s Hope America
- Jordan Sekulow, Director of International Operations at American Center for Law and Justice
- Judge Paul Pressler, Southern Baptist Convention, Houston Texas
- William Donohue, PhD, President and CEO, Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights
- Jonathan Youssef, International Director, Leading the Way
- Gary Poole, Author and Minister Willow Creek Community Church
- Jay Dennis, Author and Senior Pastor of Church at the Mall
- Penny Nance, CEO, Concerned Women for America
- Rev. Louis P. Sheldon, Chairman of Traditional Values Coalition
- Jim Garlow, Chairman, Renewing American Leadership, Senior Pastor Skyline Church
- Dr. Mark A. Smith, President, Ohio Christian University
- Troy A. Miller, President, COO, National Religious Broadcast Network, Inc.
- Jerry Newcombe, D. Min., Christian author/TV producer
- Barrett Duke, Ph.D., Vice President for Public Policy and Research, Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention
- Rabbi Scott Sekulow, Congregation Beth Adonai
- Dr. John Hagee, Senior Pastor, Cornerstone Church, San Antonio, Texas
- Gary J. Palmer, President, Alabama Policy Institute
- Jim Martin, Chairman, 60 Plus Association
- Stuart Epperson, Chairman of the Board, Salem Communications
Christian Leaders for a Nuclear Free Iran (CLNFI) sent a letter today (April 29, 2010) to Majority Leader Harry Reid and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi urging them to move H.R. 2194, the Comprehensive Iran Sanctions, Accountability, and Divestment Act, out of conference committee and send it to President Obama for his signature no later than the Memorial Day recess.
Previously, on December 10, 2009, CLNFI leaders wrote a letter to Speaker Pelosi, Minority Leader John Boehner, Chairman Howard Berman and Ranking Member Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, urging the immediate passage of tough sanctions on Iran intended to prevent the regime from obtaining nuclear weapons. At that time, Dr. Richard Land of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention said, "Now that supermajorities in the House and Senate have made their support for sanctions known, and now that the Iranian regime has made its increasing defiance clear to the world, the time for Congress to act has arrived."
Almost five months have passed. The situation with Iran has only become more alarming. Congress has not moved. The whole world is waiting for leadership on Iran. Will it come only after it is too late?
April 29, 2010
Dear Majority Leader Harry Reid and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi:
We write to you today as Christian leaders, deeply concerned about Iran obtaining nuclear weapons, and urge you to bring sanctions legislation out of conference committee and to final passage immediately. We must impose meaningful sanctions against the Iranian regime unless and until Iran abandons its efforts to develop nuclear weapons.
At the onset of his diplomatic effort with Iran in 2009, President Obama said that "by the end of the year we should have some sense whether or not these discussions are starting to yield significant benefits," and specifically held out the prospect of sanctions against Tehran "to ensure that Iran understands we are serious." That deadline has long since past, and just as President Obama said, Tehran needs proof we are serious.
If Iran obtains a nuclear weapon, it will lead to a nuclear arms race in the most dangerous region in the world. We are already beginning to see the bitter fruit of the international community's inaction. In a March meeting in Paris, Syrian Deputy Foreign Minister Faysal Mekdad announced his country need to "consider alternative energy sources, including nuclear energy." Like Iran, this Syrian announcement was cast in the language of a peaceful energy use. Like Iran, Syria has tried to develop a clandestine nuclear reactor, in its case with the assistance of North Korea. Iranian intransigence and Western inaction is encouraging other Arab states to go down a similar path.
We simply cannot allow Iran, one of the most dangerous regimes in the world, to possess the world's most dangerous weapons. As the clock runs out, we must remember that Iran remains the world's leading state sponsor of terror, is funding Hezbollah and Hamas in Lebanon and Gaza, has sought to destabilize democratic and Western-leaning regimes throughout the Middle East, is currently arresting and detaining political opponents, actively persecutes its Christian citizens, has shot protestors in cold blood in the streets, and its president has denied the Holocaust and vowed to wipe Israel off the face of the earth.
On behalf of millions of Christians, we urge you to move H.R. 2194, the Comprehensive Iran Sanctions, Accountability, and Divestment Act, out of conference committee and send it to President Obama for his signature no later than the Memorial Day recess.
As you know, this bill lays out how diplomatic efforts to address Iran's illicit nuclear efforts and its support for international terrorism will be much more effective if the President is empowered to impose additional sanctions on the government of Iran to prevent the shipment of sensitive dual-use technologies to Iran. Additionally, it expresses that the President should take measures to respond to violations of human rights and religious freedom in Iran. Final passage of H.R. 2194 by Memorial Day will send a powerful signal that the Iranian regime shall never threaten the world with nuclear weapons.
We urge you to take bold action to protect U.S. national security. Each day that passes without action by Congress and the Administration, Iran is one day closer to obtaining a nuclear weapon.
On Memorial Day we honor the sacrifice of those who paid the ultimate price and bore the ultimate burden to preserve and protect our freedom as Americans. We can think of no better time to honor their memory than to finally pass and send to President Obama for his signature this vital legislation imposing real sanctions on Iran.
Pastor John C. Hagee, National Chairman, Christians United For Israel
Dr. Paul F. Crouch, President of Trinity Broadcasting Network
Jordan Sekulow, Director of International Operations, American Center for Law & Justice
Michael Novak, George Frederick Jewett Chair Emeritus, American Enterprise Institute
Anthony Verdugo, Founder and Executive Director, Christian Family Coalition
Deal W. Hudson, President, Catholic Advocate
Dr. Richard Lee, President/Speaker, There's Hope America
Richard Land, President, Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention
James Merritt, Sr. Pastor, Cross Pointe Church
James Robison, Founder and President, LIFE Outreach International. Fort Worth, Texas
Pat Robertson, Chairman, The Christian Broadcasting Network, Inc.