Wednesday 19 December 2012

Open Letter to President Obama

Dear President Obama,
Re: Would you also shed a tear for Iranian children with cancer?

Applauding your humane reaction to the recent school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, we wonder if you would also shed a tear for the plight of Iranian people caught between the devil and the deep blue sea, as a result of the sanctions imposed on them by the international community led by the American government.
In particular, heart-wrenching reports of ordinary Iranians dying due to a widespread shortage of pharmaceutical drugs call for immediate cessation of hostilities toward the Iranian people, caused by the sanctions. Eyewitness reports of the black market for the drugs and the tearful eyes of families of cancer patients scrambling desperately in this market should concern you as much as the Newtown incident did. Although the former happened beyond your control, the pain and suffering of Iran’s cancer patients are a direct consequence of your government’s policies. Whereas there is barely any evidence suggesting  sanctions achieve their political goals, they are causing death and devastation to the Iranian cancer patients as you are reading this letter.
A recent report, for example, from a charitable hospital for cancer patients in Tehran, Mahak (, indicates a shortage of the following pharmaceutical items:
Amp.Topotecan 4mg-1mg

We believe you are a man of conscience, and under your leadership the world has a unique opportunity to leave politics behind and attend to the humanitarian tragedy unfolding in the Iranian populace as a consequence of the sanctions. Will you take this historic opportunity to put people first and ahead of politics? You are well familiar with the following poem by Sa’adi Shirazi:
Human beings are members of a whole,
In creation of one essence and soul.
If one member is afflicted with pain,
Other members uneasy will remain.
If you have no sympathy for human pain,
The name of human you cannot retain.
Will you consider living up to it?

The following children died senselessly in the Newtown tragedy:
Charlotte Bacon, Daniel Barden, Olivia Engel, Josephine Gay, Dylan Hockley, Madeleine Hsu, Catherine Hubbard, Chase Kowalski, Jesse Lewis, Ana Marquez-Greene, James Mattioli, Grace McDonnell, Emilie Parker, Jack Pinto, Noah Pozner, Caroline Previdi, Jessica Rekos,  Avielle Richman, Benjamin Wheeler, Allison Wyatt.

You have a once-in-a-lifetime chance to demonstrate your true dedication to fundamental human dignity. These children’s souls are watching.

Will you let the suffering of Iranian children with cancer continue or will you choose to put an end to this tragedy by lifting the sanctions on Iranian people?
With hope,
Yours very truly,

Canadian and Iranian Coalition for Peace

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