On January 6, 2008 a group of Iranian speedboats aggressively approached US naval ships in the Strait of Hormuz. One US ship was reportedly on the verge of shooting at the speedboats before they turned away. What would have happened if those Iranian boats hadn’t turned back?
One year later, there is still no protocol for how the Iranian and US Navies communicate or how they respond to potential conflict. This lack of communication could easily lead to accidental military escalation with Iran.
Representatives John Conyers (D-MI) and Geoff Davis (R-KY) have introduced a bipartisan resolution calling on the Obama administration to negotiate an “Incidents at Sea” agreement, which would develop protocol to help avoid confrontation between the US and Iran. The US and the Soviet Union negotiated a similar agreement at the height of the Cold War, and it was this kind of common sense thinking that helped keep that war “cold.”
President Obama is making important moves toward diplomacy with Iran, from agreeing to participate in group talks with Iran on its nuclear program to sending a direct message to the Iranian people and their leaders on the Persian New Year. But one slip up in the Strait of Hormuz could be all the Iran hawks need to charge forward in their push for military action. Write to your representative today to make sure President Obama can follow through with direct diplomacy with Iran.
Because of your efforts, we were able to stop dangerous legislation last summer that essentially called for a naval blockade against Iran, an act of war. Now we have an opportunity to pressure Congress to take positive action that will make conflict far less likely and open the door for diplomacy.