To: President Donald Trump, The United States House of Representatives, and The United States Senate

Talk to Iran to Help End Syrian Civil War

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We urge the Obama Administration to talk directly to Iran as part of diplomatic efforts to end the Syrian civil war. We urge Congress to support direct talks with Iran to help end the war.

Why is this important?

Democratic Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton recently asserted that the Iran nuclear agreement “isn’t the start of some broader diplomatic opening” with Iran. [1] Clinton was wrong to try to foreclose the possibility of a broader improvement in the U.S.–Iran relationship, which could help resolve regional conflicts, saving many innocent lives. To try to rule out a broader improvement in the U.S.–Iran relationship is something that President Obama and Vice-President Biden have not done and would not do.

Former U.S. Ambassador Thomas Pickering has argued that the successful negotiation of the Iran nuclear agreement could present an opportunity for the United States to coordinate more openly with Iran on mutual interests in Syria, Iraq, and Afghanistan, noting that the U.S. is already coordinating with Iran in Iraq. [2]

In the wake of televised images of the Syrian war refugee crisis, there have been new calls to “do something” [3] about the Syrian civil war. Unfortunately, “something,” for pro-war voices, means more bombing and more killing. A better idea, more likely to succeed, is to use more diplomacy and more politics to achieve a political agreement involving as many political actors in Syria as possible and as many involved countries as possible – including Iran. We should use diplomacy with Iran to help end Syria’s civil war – just as we used diplomacy to address the problem of Iran’s nuclear program.

Urge the Obama Administration and Congress to support direct talks with Iran to help end Syria’s civil war by signing our petition.