#International Affairs
Governments of Iran and Saudi Arabia

Civil Society Statement of Principle for Peace Between Iran and Saudi Arabia (Initial co-signers: Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Professor Noam Chomsky)

We the undersigned hereby seek the support of all who desire genuine peace, joining all efforts to help move the increasingly volatile Middle East away from the brink of even deeper disasters. Through this statement of principled peace, we express our deep worry about the prospects of further escalations (especially in sectarian and ethnic realms) in the chronically conflicted relations between Iran and Saudi Arabia.

We condemn vigorously both the unjustifiable recent execution in Saudi Arabia of Sheikh Nimr Al-Nimr, and the equally shocking attack (claimed by the perpetrators to be a “spontaneous emotional reaction” to the execution) that damaged substantially the Saudi Arabian embassy/consulate buildings in Iran. We believe that embassies are ultimate refuges for peace, so they should remain inviolable at all times. So we share the view that this anti-diplomatic act of un-Islamic violence has not only shifted the blame (as to whose actions sparked the latest crisis) from Saudi Arabia to Iran, but also it is foundationally contrary to the spirit of nonviolence that characterized the civil struggles of Sheikh Nimr Al-Nimr.

We believe strongly that Saudi-Iranian collaboration toward peace, rather than deepening hostility, is most critically needed--particularly at this dangerous juncture in the history of our interconnected planet. Thus, we advocate and hope for such a collaboration, if for no other reason than struggling successfully against the horrific war crimes and terrorism committed around the world by the entity that self-righteously calls itself the “Islamic” State. So we urge all parties to the conflict to take immediate and longer-term healing actions (not mere gestures), while exercising maximum good will, restraint, and patience, and we extend our principled support, especially to the efforts by the Iranian and Saudi Arabian governments to reduce the temperature of this increasingly worrisome crisis.

Given the above, we support Iran's President Hassan Rouhani in his request of the country's judiciary to “immediately process” the court cases of those who actually attacked the Saudi Arabian embassy/consulate buildings, and to meaningfully pursue and prosecute those who ordered and orchestrated the perpetrators; so as to result in visible and just “punishments for [such] obvious crimes...[hence] preventing similar outrages” in the future, as Mr. Rouhani has stated accurately.

And we urge the government of Saudi Arabia to reciprocate such Iranian good will efforts by taking meaningful immediate steps toward restoration of mutual diplomatic relations (and economic, religious/cultural, tourism, sports, etc. ties) which were not severed by Iran, even after the horrible "Hajj/Mina stampede" of September 2015--in which 1/5th of the victims were Shiite Iranian pilgrims. We believe that given the region's profoundly interconnected destiny, Iran's role as a substantial power (and partner for peace) needs to be recognized and utilized, especially by Saudi Arabia.

In closing, we wholeheartedly invite all caring people around our distressed planet to sign this critical plea for principled peace--and please do kindly spread its word far and wide. We thank you.

Authored Jan. 8, 2016 by: Moji Agha (Mojtaba Aghamohammadi)
Iranian-American sufi monk and civility activist; Founder, Mossadegh Legacy Institute and its independently functioning initiative, the Circles of Nonviolence/Community Collaboratives -- Please see: http://mossadeghlegacyinstitute.blogspot.com/p/america-for-nonviolence-anv.html
Info/Contact: moji.agha [at] gmail.com

We, the undersigned, hereby join the initial co-signers of this timely peace petition, the Nobel Peace Prize laureate Archbishop Desmond Tutu and the celebrated Professor Noam Chomsky; in asking the governments of Iran and Saudi Arabia (most specifically) to heed what this "Civil Society Statement of Principle for Peace Between Iran and Saudi Arabia" calls for (please see the Background/Preamble section above), given that our already deeply distressed planet does not need yet another dangerous war, especially in the Middle East.

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The Join Desmond Tutu & Noam Chomsky's Statement of Principle for Peace Between Iran and Saudi Arabia petition to Governments of Iran and Saudi Arabia was written by Circles of Nonviolence/Community Collaboratives and is in the category International Affairs at GoPetition.