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A Guide for the Perplexed: How to Understand the Non-Aligned Movement Meeting in Iran

Iran is taking over the leadership of the Non-Aligned Movement, scrambling the ideological compasses of many progressives.

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Share is not only possible, but imperative, to simultaneously stand against all forms of outside intervention in Iran and against all forms of domestic oppression targeting ordinary Iranian people.

...this must be an ethical movement that makes no apologies for the torture and imprisonment of dissidents and that expresses solidarity with popular resistance in Iran. Here and everywhere, we must oppose militarism, prisons, censorship, torture, and the death penalty.

This is a nuanced and principled position, yet it's a controversial one in certain quarters of the Left. At its conference in Stamford, Connecticut in March, the  United National Anti-War Coalition (UNAC) overwhelmingly voted down a resolution introduced by the Raha Iranian Feminist Collective and the recently formed (and hugely welcome)  Havaar: Iranian Initiative Against War, Sanctions, and State Repression that read:

We oppose war and sanctions against the Iranian people and stand in solidarity with their struggle against state repression and all forms of outside intervention.

"We cannot say we don't want people to be starved or bombed, but if they are imprisoned and tortured we have no comment," Nasrabadi contends.

I second that emotion.

By spiking the principled Raha/Havaar resolution, UNAC did precisely that: it said "no comment" in the face of  repression and torture. Is that the message the US peace movement should be sending to the people of Iran?


Danny Postel is communications coordinator for Interfaith Worker Justice, a national network based in Chicago, and is the author of Reading "Legitimation Crisis" in Tehran: Iran and the Future of Liberalism. He is Contributing Editor of Logos: A Journal of Modern Society & Culture and a member of the editorial board of The Common Review.
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