FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

7 June 2018

Washington, D.C. – Today over 160 Catholic organizations from countries around the globe sent a statement to the U.S. Congress decrying U.S. President Trump’s decision to end U.S. participation in the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) negotiated in 2015 during the Obama administration. The so-called “Iran deal” is an agreement on the nuclear program of Iran negotiated by the five permanent members of the UN Security Council (China, France, Russia, United Kingdom and United States) with Germany and the European Union and Iran.

“In direct contradiction to the repeated verifications provided by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the advice of his own Secretaries of Defense and State, and the positions of U.S. allies, President Trump has announced his decision to end the United States’ participation in the Iran Deal and begin re-imposing the U.S. nuclear-related sanctions that were lifted as part of the JCPOA,” the statement reads. “The rejection of the JCPOA by the President of the United States is a tragedy of monumental proportions, most immediately for the people of Iran, who will endure the horrendous consequences of sanctions.”

The 160 organizations representing 19 countries were joined by 551 Catholic leaders from 23 countries and 46 states in the U.S. in expressing their deep concern “that this action will create even more tension in the Middle East and undermine delicate negotiations with North Korea by sending a signal that whatever agreement you reach with the United States will not be honored.”

Pax Christi International, representing a global network of over 120 member organizations in over 50 countries, helped to organize and craft the statement.

The letter to Members of the U.S. Congress which accompanied the statement reads: “As a worldwide community of faith, we reject what Pope Francis calls a ‘the narrative of fear … and the rhetoric of hatred.’ We strongly support a commitment of the United States and the international community to dialogue and negotiation and remain hopeful that a just, sustained peace on the Korean peninsula and the in Middle East is possible.”

The full statement is available at www.paxchristi.net.

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For inquiries or interviews, contact Johnny Zokovitch, Senior Communications Officer, at +1.352.219.8419 or j.zokovitch@paxchristi.net.

 

 

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