Church coalition to Rice: repudiate attack Iran claims


A coalition of U.S. mainstream churches urged Condoleezza
Rice to assuage concerns in the Middle East that Israel or the United States is
planning to attack Iran.

The letter Thursday from Churches for Peace in the Middle
East applauded the U.S. secretary of state for agreeing to attend multilateral
talks on Iraq that would include representatives of Iran and Syria, countries otherwise
isolated by the United States. “

We are alarmed that, despite
Administration comments to the contrary, there is a widely-held perception that
the United States is preparing for a military attack on Iran or is preparing
Israel for such an attack,” the letter said. “Active diplomacy, accompanied by
stated support for peacemaking and respect for the United Nations and
international treaties, could restore much of the goodwill that the United
States once enjoyed as well as international cooperation in challenging Iran
regarding its nuclear program.”

Israel and the United States deny
plans to attack Iran to stop it from achieving nuclear weapons, but will not count
out military action.

CMEP represents a coalition of
mainline Protestant, Roman Catholic and eastern Orthodox churches as well as
Mennonites and Quakers.

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