May cooler heads prevail regarding Iran, US bishops plead

Catholic News Agency | 6/20/2019 | Staff
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Washington D.C., Jun 20, 2019 / 10:36 am (CNA).- The US must avoid war with Iran and instead pursue dialogue and engagement, the chair of the US bishops' committee on international justice and peace wrote Tuesday amid escalating tensions between the nations.

“It is my sincere hope that the United States will initiate sustained dialogue with allies, world powers and Iran, in order to deescalate the current situation that is a danger to both the region and the world,” Archbishop Timothy Broglio of the Military Services wrote in a June 18 letter to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

US - Iran - Explosions - Oil - Tankers

The US accused Iran of being responsible for explosions which hit two oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman last week, which Iran has denied.

The Department of Defense announced June 17 it would deploy an additional 1,000 troops to the area in response to Iran's “hostile behavior.”

Day - Iran - Limit - Uranium - Deal

The same day, Iran announced it will surpass the limit on low-enriched uranium to which it had agreed in a 2015 nuclear deal reached under the Obama administration, unless Europe would protect its oil sales.

The nuclear deal had been welcomed by both the US bishops' conference and the Holy See.

Trump - Administration - US - Deal - Agreement

Under the Trump administration, the US unilaterally withdrew from the nuclear deal agreement and imposed sanctions on Iran.

Both these factors “seem to have contributed to a pattern of heated rhetoric on the part of both Iran and the United States,” wrote Archbishop Broglio.

Moves - Tensions - Allies - World - Powers

“The moves have also exacerbated tensions with close allies and other world powers. For its part, Iran has continued its verbal threats against Israel and the arming of various militia groups in the region,” he stated.

“In the absence of real diplomatic dialogue, military deployments and perceived threats on both sides increase risks of confrontation.”

Archbishop - Iran

The archbishop called it “ironic and troubling” that Iran “has threatened to resume some...
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