In an effort to raise public awareness about Iran’s nuclear ambitions, a new organization is being launched, with its own paid staff, to focus solely on the issue.
The promoters of the group, which is called United Against Nuclear Iran, hope to replicate the Save Darfur Coalition, which has brought together liberals and hawks as well as Jewish and Christian groups, to advocate in favor of the war-ravaged Sudanese region.
The group is being set up as a registered 501c3 charity that presents itself as “a non-partisan, broad-based coalition” that will comprise individuals and organizations from “diverse ethnicities, faith communities, political and social affiliations,” according to a mission statement posted on its Web site, which is under development.
The executive director of the new organization is Mark Wallace, a Republican lawyer who worked for the American mission to the United Nations until recently. Wallace will also have on staff a spokesman and an outreach director. The group’s spokesman, John Kildea, told the Forward that the coalition was not aimed at fomenting military action against Iran.
“To be clear, our aim is not to beat the drums of war,” he said. “On the contrary, we hope to play a key part in laying the groundwork for effective U.S. policies in coordination with our allies, the U.N. and others by a strong showing of unified support from the American people to alter the current course of the Iranian regime.”
The mission statement on the group’s Web site advocates stepped-up diplomatic pressure on Tehran. Kildea also pointed to the diversity of the co-chairs, who include former CIA director James Woolsey, America’s former ambassador to the U.N. and Democratic Party foreign policy heavyweight Richard Holbrooke and Dennis Ross, formerly America’s chief Middle East peace negotiator.
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