The Iran Nuclear Deal: Letter to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres

Signed by Prominent Academics and Activists

Honorable Antonio Guterres

Secretary General of the United Nations

New York, New York

Hon. Secretary General,

You are well aware that in 2015 with the support of all permanent members of the UNSC (China, France, Russia, UK, and US) plus Germany and Iran, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) was drafted, upon which UNSC issued Resolution 2231, replacing all previous UNSC resolutions targeting Iran’s nuclear program.

With the JCPOA nuclear deal in place, not only was the shadow of war and destruction lifted, but after a long time, the people of Iran began to enjoy relative economic stability and security. According to the International Atomic Energy Agency (I.A.E.A.) Iran has continued to carry out all its obligations under the JCPOA. But, in May of 2018, the United States government arbitrarily decided to abrogate the Agreement—disregarding the SCR 2231.  Clearly, this action has caused crises for the world, the region and the people of Iran.

After the US recklessly abrogated the UNSC-backed agreement, all previous US sanctions against Iran were re-imposed even more rigorously, harshly affecting Iran’s economy and causing inhumane suffering of the Iranian people.

Because of the dramatic events following the US departure from the SCR-backed Agreement, the Iranian people are wondering as to why the permanent members of the UN and his Excellency have been basically passive on this significant and consequential matter? It is understood that the UN Secretary General works with limited parameters; nevertheless, Iranians expected that the Secretary General would investigate and respond intently to the outcomes of a unilateral action that clearly defies all international norms.

In spite of a profound concern from international agencies, the Trump Administration was never able to provide any convincing rationale as to why it undermined the international consensus. Subsequently, under the pretext of “national security,” the American government deployed military naval ships and personnel to the Persian Gulf—which comprised a naval carrier, B-52 bombers, F35 jets, Patriot missiles and announced dispatching few thousands of new military personnel. Doesn’t all this military build-up and provocations amount to threats of war? All major European countries, plus Russia and China, have strongly argued that JCPOA has adequately addressed the international nuclear proliferation concerns, has deescalated tensions, and were justifiably hoping that a successful implementation of JCPOA would lead to stability in an otherwise volatile region.

Economic sanctions, threats of military aggression and war, are very consequential and impact the lives of the ordinary people, to the extent that public advocates consider this a violation of their human rights. Civil society advocates in Iran see military threats to the country, as direct aggression against its people.

By now, keen observers know that the hawkish conduct of the American government in the past few decades has led to the general unsettling of the region and the weakening of local democratic movements. In the long run, haven’t these hawkish policies derailed the natural pace of democratic development in these countries?

Iranian people have struggled for the development of civil society and democratic institutions for a considerable time.  In the past century alone, Iran witnessed three major historical events– the Constitutional Revolution of 1905, the democratic movement of Oil Nationalization of 1951, and the Revolution of 1979 that overthrew the Western backed dictator. The progress of an indigenous democratic movement requires a crisis-free environment to nurture. American-backed sanctions and threats of military aggression would undermine such a democratic movement, and create the grounds for increased domestic repression by the authorities.

In the past few weeks there have been some mediation efforts to stabilize the dangerous situation facing the Iranian people. We, the undersigned, appeal to you to use your position as Secretary General of the UN to request the US returns to its obligations under JCPOA, lift the economic sanctions, halt the military threats against the people and the country of Iran, and stop fictitious provocations that clearly could lead to military hostilities and expose the entire region to detrimental violence.


cc:  Mr. Jean-Claude Juncker, President of the European Commission

Mrs. Michelle Bachelet Jeria, High Commissioner for Human Rights

Mrs. Dunja Mijatović, Commissioner for Human Rights, Council of Europe


  • Ervand Abrahamian, Distinguished Professor Emeritus of History, Baruch College
  • Houshang Ardavan, Emeritus Fellow, the Institute of Astronomy, University of Cambridge, UK
  • Arshin Adib-Moghaddam, Professor in Global Thought and Comparative Philosophies at SOAS, University of London
  • Mohammad H. Ahmadi, Professor Emeritus of Mathematics, University of Wisconsin
  • Tim Anderson, Senior Lecturer in Sociology (Sydney University), author, civil rights campaigner and peace activist
  • Bahar Bastani, MD, Professor of Medicine, St. Louis Univ. Medical Center
  • Noam Chomsky, Professor of Linguistics Emeritus, MIT
  • Michel Chossudovsky, Professor of Economics Emeritus, University of Ottawa, Director, Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG), Montreal
  • Hamid Dabashi, Hagop Kevorkian Professor of Iranian Studies and Comparative Literature, Columbia University
  • Reza Delghavi, Retired Brooklyn borough City Planner
  • Abbas Edalat – Professor of Computer Science and Math, Imperial College of London
  • Nuredin Gharavi, Former Governor of East Azerbaijan, freelance researcher
  • Hossein Hamedani, Professor of Mathematics, Marquette University
  • Tim Hayward, Professor of environmental political theory at the University of Edinburgh and director of the university’s Just World Institute
  • Fareed Marjaee – City Planner, Writer, Civil Society Advocate
  • Jamshid Marvasti MD, Asst Clinical Professor of Psychiatry, University of New England, School of Medicine.
  • Mahmood Monshipouri, Chair/Professor, Dept. of International Relations, San Francisco State Un (Univ.)
  • Behrad Nakhaee, Nuclear Engineer, NPT Group member, (American Nuclear Society)
  • Janan Najeeb, President of Milwaukee Muslim Women’s Coalition
  • Azam Niroomand-Rad, Emeritus Prof. of Radiation Medicine, Georgetown Un Medical Center
  • Ali Jafarian, Emeritus Professor, University of New Haven
  • Farid Razi – Civil Society Activist
  • Piers Robinson, Co-Director, Organization for Propaganda Studies, UK
  • Asghar Rastegar, professor of Medicine, Director, Global Health Program,Co-Director, Yale-Stanford J&J Global Health Scholar Program
  • Eskandar Sadeghi-Boroujerdi, Professor in Comparative Political Theory, Goldsmiths, University of London
  • Muhammad Sahimi, Professor of Chemical Engineering & Materials Science, and the NIOCChair in Petroleum Engineering, University of Southern California
  • Mehrnaz Shahabi, Psycho-Social Researcher
  • Ali Shakibai, MD, Cardiologist, Avon, CT
  • Majid Tavallaei, Sr. Agricultural Manager at California, Freelance Researcher, Former Editor-in-Chief of “NAMEH”magazine
  • Ashkebous Talebi, Educator at University of Maryland


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