In December, we traveled to Iran for 10 days, and we heard many legitimate questions from Iranian citizens.
Here are some of them:
What right does the United States have to deny Iran the peaceful use of nuclear power when the United States itself has many nuclear power plants?
Why does the U.S. want the United Nations to impose sanctions on Iran when the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty allows it to do nuclear enrichment to fuel its own nuclear power plants?
If the United States is against nuclear proliferation, why is it building new "tactical" nuclear weapons while it already maintains the world's largest nuclear arsenal?
Why does the United States not focus on Israel, India and Pakistan's existing nuclear weapons?
Americans are fearful of Iran, but Iranians, too, are worried about the U.S. military occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan to its west and east. They see danger from Israel, which has threatened to bomb Iran's nuclear reactors just as it did Iraq's Osirak plant in 1981. And they feel insecurity from the nuclear weapons of Israel and other countries.
Since groups like the International Institute for Strategic Studies say Iran is several years away from producing a nuclear weapon, the United States should seek alternatives to military action.
First, we should restore diplomatic relations and replace the name-calling that currently substitutes for diplomacy.
Second, we should urge the U.N. Security Council to demand disarmament in the entire Middle East.
Third, we should shift our efforts from a single-minded focus on Iran to actually working for the abolition of nuclear weapons in every country.
The tension between Iran and the United States should not be viewed as a tension between Muslims and Christians.
In Iran, we learned that the Prophet Mohammed said that it is wrong to poison a well, and thus each of Iran's Supreme Leaders have stated that nuclear weapons, which poison much more than wells, are incompatible with Islam.
Christians should oppose all war because Jesus said, "Put your sword back, for all who draw the sword will die by the sword." (Matt 26:52)
Christians and Muslims should now join together by demanding the abolition of all nuclear weapons in every country.
Bonnie Block and Robert Block live in Madison, Wis. They were part of an 18-person delegation organized by the Fellowship of Reconciliation. They can be reached at email@example.com.