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WASHINGTON (RNS) High-profile evangelical leaders and religious liberty groups called for get-tough sanctions against Iran on the eve of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s address to the United Nations General Assembly on Wednesday (Sept. 23).
The group, Christian Leaders for a Nuclear-Free Iran, sent a letter to Congress calling for sanctions on refined petroleum exports and a total arms embargo to curb Iran’s nuclear ambitions.
“For the world’s most dangerous regime to obtain the world’s most dangerous weapons is something that neither the United States nor the community of nations can allow,” the leaders said to Congress.
The letter expressed the concern about a possible arms race among Middle Eastern and Arab nations in response to a nuclear-armed Iran.
The Christian Leaders for a Nuclear-Free Iran is made up of evangelical, Roman Catholic and other faith leaders, including (among others) religious broadcaster Pat Robertson of Christian Broadcasting Network, Catholic League President Bill Donohue, Southern Baptist Convention President Johnny Hunt and Chuck Colson of Prison Fellowship.
Meanwhile, the European Center for Law and Justice (ECLJ), a religious liberty watchdog and affiliate of the American Center for Law and Justice founded by Robertson, urged the United Nations’ human rights office to hold Iranian leaders accountable for recent human rights abuses.
The letter cites cases of prison abuse and torture, rape and an estimated 72 people who were killed during the protests after Ahmadinejad’s disputed re-election in June.
“It is clear that the Iranian government and its president have no respect for the human rights of its citizens,” said Jay Sekulow, chief counsel of the ECLJ, in a statement, “It’s time that Iran is held accountable for its serious and repeated violations of human rights and international law.”
By Angela Abbamonte
Copyright 2009 Religion News Service. All rights reserved. No part of this transmission may be distributed or reproduced without written permission.

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