A new open letter calls upon the European Union to "discharge its international obligations" and ensure that "Iran and its people enjoy the full economic and political dividends" of the nuclear deal, despite President Trump's unilateral withdrawal from the agreement earlier this month.
Over 150 figures have signed the letter so far, including some of the most prominent names in the humanities and social sciences, among them Judith Butler, Noam Chomsky, Peter Singer, Slavoj Žižek, Cornel West, and Talal Asad. Iranian scholars who have signed the letter include Hamid Dabashi and Ervand Abrahamian. Other signatories include Iranian actress Taraneh Alidoosti and artist Shirin Neshat.
The letter, hosted online and addressed to European Union High Representative Federica Mogherini, applauds the "'universal language' of respect and dialogue" she employed in her May 8 speech responding to Trump's aborgation of the deal. Mogherini insisted that Europe was committed not to "let anyone dismantle this agreement." Drawing on this sentiment, the letter declares that "failure is not an option" in this "age of extremes" as Europe seeks to protect the credibility of diplomacy and the durability of peace.
One of the creators of the open letter, Eskandar Sadeghi-Boroujerdi, is a postdoctoral research fellow at the University of Oxford. Sadeghi-Boroujerdi sought to unify the voices of people who "possess considerable intellectual and ethical weight and who can influence public opinion." He sees the threat to a nuclear deal as "deeply concerning" foremost because the deal represented a "promise to the Iranian people" that risks being broken.
Notably, the body of the letter focuses on the "heartfelt support for this hard-won diplomatic accord" demonstrated by the majority of the Iranian people, as shown through "their two-time election of a president promising to initiate constructive dialogue with the world." The betrayal of this popular support is to be most acutely felt as the Trump administration prepares to reimpose sanctions, "a form of economic warfare which inevitability impact the health, wealth and personal security of ordinary Iranians," explains Sadeghi-Boroujerdi.
The open letter once again highlights the broad international support for the nuclear deal and follows a similar campaign from April in which saw 500 lawmakers from Germany, France and Britain sign an open letter imploring U.S. congressional leaders to support the JCPOA.