Iran Nuclear NewsIn Iran, group of ‘mothers’ criticizes nuclear policy

In Iran, group of ‘mothers’ criticizes nuclear policy

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New York Times: More than 500 Iranian women calling themselves “mothers of peace” have signed a letter to senior officials expressing their fear that there will be a war over Iran’s nuclear program. The New York Times

By NAZILA FATHI
Published: December 4, 2007

TEHRAN, Dec. 3 — More than 500 Iranian women calling themselves “mothers of peace” have signed a letter to senior officials expressing their fear that there will be a war over Iran’s nuclear program.

The letter refers to the economic sanctions already imposed by the United Nations Security Council and the increasing United States military presence in the Persian Gulf as evidence that Iran could be moving toward a military confrontation with the United States. The letter warns the Iranian authorities that the signatories are not willing to support the government in its insistence on continuing its nuclear program.

“We, mothers of peace, want to express our deepest concerns over the country’s critical situation,” said the letter signed by 521 women, which was posted on www.motherspeace.blogfa.com and other major political news Web sites.

“We are worried about the prices that we and our children will have to pay during a period of such insecurity,” the letter added.

It is highly unusual for an Iranian citizens’ group to question publicly the country’s nuclear policy and acknowledge the effects of the economic sanctions imposed by the United Nations on people’s lives. The group announced its formation in November as a movement seeking peace and freedom.

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has repeatedly brushed off the sanctions as insignificant and has said that the Iranian people are willing to resist any type of international pressure related to the country’s nuclear program. He has even called senior officials who have criticized his nuclear policies “traitors.”

The government says its program is for peaceful energy purposes, while the United States has contended that its purpose is to develop nuclear weapons.

Among the signatories were political activists as well as homemakers and artists. According to the Web site, 300 more women have signed the letter, in addition to the original group, and even more are adding their names online.

“We have not forgotten the bitter days of war,” the letter said, referring to the war with Iraq from 1980 to 1988. “We are still mourning the loss of our loved ones, and we watch the suffering of the disabled and see the names of our martyrs on the streets.”

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