Episcopal Church Statement on Iran

July 5, 2019

In times of conflict, The Episcopal Church, as community of followers of Jesus Christ, is called back to His words, “Blessed are the peacemakers.” Tensions have risen between the United States and Iran over attacks on shipping vessels, the shooting down of a U.S. surveillance drone, and the threat of air strikes in retaliation. Tensions have escalated following the U.S. withdrawal from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (also known as the Iran Nuclear Deal) in May of 2018. The U.S. withdrawal undermined an international agreement that was designed to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons and threatened prospects for peace and international cooperation. Increased sanctions have led to increased economic hardship of the Iranian people, including Christians and other religious minorities. It is crucial in this time of instability and threat of violence that our government and our neighbors seek diplomatic and humanitarian solutions rather than violence. We recognize the need for all parties to work towards peace in the region, rather than fighting proxy wars. Together, we can work to prevent the proliferation of nuclear weapons.

The Episcopal Church urges the United States government to re-join to the Iran Nuclear Deal and to pursue a multilateral and international agreement to work towards regional security and denuclearization. We further hope that the United States will end sanctions on Iran that do not target armed militancy and weapons proliferation, recognizing the effect of broad sanctions of the Iranian economy and, in turn, the Iranian people.

General Convention Resolutions

2018-D051: Support Recommitment to the Iran Nuclear Deal
1997-D022: Support the Goal of Total Nuclear Disarmament
1976-D052: Commend Efforts to Control Nuclear Weapons
2019-MB 009:  Support for Multilateralism and the Work of the United Nations: 
"Resolved, That the Executive Council hereby expresses the Church’s continued support for the principles of multilateralism that underpin global dialogue and concerted action in the world; and be it further,
Resolved, That the Executive Council encourages all member states of the United Nations to continue to support and engage in its work and functioning, including through timely payment of their dues."