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Attack on Iran? emergency response

28 March 2007

Over the past few days, Russian news agencies have been reporting a build up of US military activity around the Iranian border [1], and earlier this week a second US aircraft carrier and supporting warships went into the Gulf - the first time there have been two US aircraft carrier battle groups operating there since the invasion of Iraq. A 'mammoth' US military exercise involving 15 warships and more than 100 aircraft began yesterday [2].

It is not yet clear if this build up means a US air strike on Iran is imminent, or if it is designed to put pressure on the Iranian government - there are some reports that an attack may be planned for Easter [3].

As to the likely consequences of such an attack, in a foreword to a new report just released by the Oxford Research Group [4], Hans Blix (former Chief UN weapons inspector in Iraq) states:

"In the case of Iraq, the armed action launched aimed to eliminate weapons of mass destruction - that did not exist. It led to tragedy and regional turmoil. In the case of Iran armed action would be aimed at intentions - that may or may not exist. However, the same result - tragedy and regional turmoil - would inevitably follow. Further, as argued in this study, armed attacks on Iran would very likely lead to the result they were meant to avoid - the building of nuclear weapons within few years." [5]

So with the possibility of some kind of major attack on the people of Iran in the near future, we're once again putting together the list of emergency response vigil details for towns and cities around the country. This is something we have been doing since 1999 whenever it is likely there will be a major attack by the US and its allies (often with the support, implied if not actual, of the NZ government) with very little notice of the day the attack might begin.

If you are a contact for previous emergency response vigil details, can you consult with your local peace people and let us know if you are planning to set them in place for any major military action against the people of Iran?

If your town or city has not previously had such an arrangement, perhaps you could organise one now! Basically it is a time and place for people to meet on the day (or sometimes the day after) the bombing / missile assault starts. The advantage of having this is that people in your area know where to go to mourn or protest straight away without having to phone or email around and set something up at the last minute. The people who come on the first day frequently then decide on the spot when the next vigil, planning or public meeting will be, and things develop from there.

Once you have decided what your emergency response vigil details are, then it's useful if you can publicise them in your local community - through local papers, notices, postering and so on.

As soon as we have details for towns and cities other than Wellington (see below) we will send out regular updates of the emergency response vigil details and they will be available online at http://www.converge.org.nz/pma/vigils.htm Having these details means that when you have your local vigil, you can say in your press release or media interviews that at the same time / day there are people also protesting against the bombing in x number of places.

When you have agreed your local details, please let us know the time, place, at least one contact person and their contact details, and the group/s involved in organising the emergency response vigil - send by email to Peace Movement Aotearoa with the subject heading 'Emergency response details'.

  • Details for Wellington: on the day an attack on Iran starts, meet at 5pm at the Cenotaph (corner Lambton Quay and Bowen Street); for more information contact Peace Movement Aotearoa, tel (04) 382 8129 or email.
  • References

    [1] See for example 'US military build-up on Iran border: Russian Intelligence', 27 March 2007

    [2] See for example 'US Navy Flexes Muscles in Persian Gulf', 27 March 2007 and 'US in Gulf show of force', 27 March 2007

    [3] See for example 'Operation Bite: April 6 sneak attack by US forces against Iran planned, Russian military sources warn', 26 March 2007

    [4] and [5] 'Would Air Strikes Work? Understanding Iran's Nuclear Programme and the Possible Consequences of a Military Strike', Dr. Frank Barnaby, with a foreword by Dr Hans Blix, March 2007

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