For Immediate Release: July 7th, 2008
Contact:  Medea Benjamin, co-founder, 415-235-6517
Desiree Fairooz, DC coordinator, 202-423-3654



Peace Activists Join with Iranians to say “Talks, Not Sanctions or War”
Group Calls on Cong. Ackerman to Scrap Res. 362



WHAT: Press conference with Iranians living in the U.S. and testimonials from Iranians in Iran, followed by march to the office of U.S. Rep. Gary Ackerman (D-Queens/L.I.) to call on him to withdraw H.ConR.362.
WHEN: 12 p.m. Tuesday, July 8 (press conference); 12:30 p.m. (march)
WHERE: Outside Rayburn Building at Independence Ave. entrance (press conference), march to 2243 Rayburn House Office Building, House of Representatives .

WASHINGTON, D.C.-- CODEPINK Women for Peace activists will host a press conference at 12 p.m. July 8 outside the Rayburn House Office building to protest the H. Con. Resolution 362, which calls for a tightening of economic sanctions on Iran and a strict inspection process.

Then, at 12:30 p.m., they will march inside the building to the office of Rep. Gary Ackerman (D-Queens/L.I.), chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on the Middle East and South Asia, who introduced this resolution.

Ackerman has described sanctions as a peaceful alternative to war. But this resolution demands that the President “initiate an international effort… prohibiting the export to Iran of all refined petroleum products; imposing stringent inspection requirements on all persons, vehicles, ships, planes, trains, and cargo entering or departing Iran.”

“This resolution is a clear act of aggression and will move the U.S. and Iran closer to war,” says Manijeh Saba, an Iranian-American human rights activist. “That's why it must be stopped.”

“This is yet another provocation intended to preempt dialog with Iran and paralyze dissenters in U.S. policy circles,” says Rostam Pourzal, board member of the Campaign Against Sanctions and Military Intervention in Iran.

A May 19 Gallup Poll found 6 in 10 Americans (59%) consider it “a good idea” for the United States president to meet with the president of Iran, as a wise diplomatic move.

"Congressman Ackerman and the cosponsors of the resolution are totally out of step with the sentiments of the American people," states Medea Benjamin, CODEPINK co-founder. “We call on Congressman Ackerman to relegate this resolution to the shredder, and begin anew by advocating diplomacy, not aggression.”

Great photo opportunities, especially the march to Cong. Ackerman's office. For interviews and more information, contact Jean Stevens, National Media Coordinator at (202) 290-1301 or Jean@codepinkalert.org.

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CODEPINK, founded in 2002, is a women-initiated grassroots peace and social justice movement working to end the war in Iraq, stop new wars, and redirect our resources into health care, education and other life-affirming activities. We reject the Bush administration's fear-based politics that justify violence, and instead call for policies based on compassion, kindness and a commitment to international law. With an emphasis on joy and humor, CODEPINK women and men seek to activate, amplify and inspire a community of peacemakers through creative campaigns and a commitment to non-violence. Codepinkalert.org.