Medea Benjamin’s book on Iran

Screen_Shot_2018-01-22_at_4.13.38_PM.pngCheck out Medea Benjamin’s latest book Inside Iran: The Real History of the Islamic Republic of Iran. Get your copy here!

In 1979, the Iranian Revolution brought a Shia theocracy to the 80 million inhabitants of the Middle East’s second largest country. In the decades since, bitter relations have persisted between the U.S. and Iran. Yet how is it that Iran has become the primary target of American antagonism, when Saudi Arabia, a regime that is even more repressive, remains one of America’s closest allies? In the first general-audience book on the subject, Medea Benjamin elucidates the mystery behind this complex relationship, recounting Iran’s history from the pre-colonial period, through the CIA-engineered coup that overthrew the country’s democratic leadership in 1953, to its emergence as the one nation Democrats and Republicans alike regularly unite in denouncing. Benjamin draws upon her firsthand experiences with Iranian politicians, activists, and everyday citizens to provide a deeper understanding of the complexities of Iranian society and the nation’s role in the region. Tackling the contradictions in Iran’s system of government, its religiosity, and its citizens’ way of life, Inside Iran makes short work of the inflammatory rhetoric surrounding U.S.-Iranian relations, and presents a realistic and hopeful case for the two nations’ future.

Medea is traveling around the US (and the world!) with her book. If you're interested in bringing her to your community, or scheduling a press interview then email Brienne at

Medea's Upcoming Book Tour Dates

For more events, check out our Action Calendar!


Wednesday, September 5th at 6pm CDT

Kabobi Fresh Mediterranean
100 S Central Expy #49
Richardson , TX 75080

RSVP and purchase tickets here!


Thursday, September 20th at 6pm EST

OCAD University
100 McCaul St
Toronto, ON M5T 1W1, Canada
RSVP here!

Sunday, September 23rd at 2pm EST

Noor Cultural Centre
123 Wynford Dr
Toronto, ON M3C 1K1, Canada
RSVP here!

Wednesday, September 26th at 6pm EST

Peace & Justice Center
60 Lake St
Burlington , VT 05401
RSVP here

Past Actions on Iran


The purpose of the Iran Summit was to highlight the Trump administration’s hawkish policies on Iran that could lead us into another war, and examine how to reverse course. We also had a beautiful Iranian art exhibit provided by Aftab Committee, calligraphy, music, photo booth and other cultural activities. Check out an archive of our summit here!



Visited the UK, France, German, Russian, Chinese, and Iranian embassies to deliver thank you notes for upholding the Iran deal!



The 2015 Iran Deal was passed thanks to grassroots activism across the country. CODEPINK and others:


1_iran_1.jpg 1_iran_2.jpg 1_iran_3.jpg

62 Orgs to Congress: Halt a March to War with Iran

May 21, 2019

To: Members of Congress

We write to request that Congress take urgent action to halt a march to war with Iran.

The Trump administration, spurred on by National Security Advisor John Bolton, has moved the U.S. into a war posture. Over the last few weeks, Bolton pushed through unprecedented sanctions and escalated the war of words intended to provoke retaliation from the Iranians. Now, Bolton has used a routine carrier deployment to the Middle East to threaten Iran with “unrelenting force” and has overseen the revision of war plans that would send 120,000 troops to the Middle East if Iran takes his bait.

Congress cannot be complicit as the playbook for the 2003 invasion of Iraq is repeated before our eyes. The administration has increasingly politicized intelligence on Iran’s nuclear program, and falsely asserts ties between Iran and al-Qaeda. Worryingly, the administration does not perceive that it is constrained by the lack of Congressional authorization for war with Iran, and has even suggested that the 2001 authorization to use military force could be twisted to green light strikes against Iran.

As the drumbeat for war grows louder, Congress must fulfill its Constitutional duty and enact further constraints to unequivocally prevent the administration from launching an unauthorized war. We urge you to pass legislation to bar funding for an unauthorized war with Iran – The Prevention of Unconstitutional War with Iran Act (S. 1039/H.R. 2354) – together with legislation that makes clear that no existing statutory authorization, including the 2001 authorization for use of military force, provides for war with Iran. Moreover, we urge all lawmakers to issue statements making clear that no authorization for an Iran war exists, and that if the Trump administration seeks war it must first come to Congress for debate.

The American people do not want another disastrous war of choice in the Middle East. Congress has the chance to stop a war before it starts. Please take action before it is too late.


About Face: Veterans Against the War
Americans for Peace Now
Beyond the Bomb
Brave New Films
Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists
Center for American Progress
Center for International Policy
Chino Cienega Foundation
Common Defense
Concerned Citizens for Nuclear Safety
Council for a Livable World
Council on American-Islamic Relations
Daily Kos
Dallas Peace and Justice Center
Demand Progress
Environmentalists Against War
Federation of American Scientists
Foreign Policy for America
Franciscan Action Network
Freedom Forward
Friends Committee on National Legislation
Global Ministries of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and United Church of Christ
Global Security Institute
Global Zero
J Street
Jewish Voice for Peace
Just Foreign Policy
Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns
NIAC Action
Nuclear Age Peace Foundation
Nuclear Watch New Mexico
Oak Ridge Environmental Peace Alliance
Palestine Action Committee of Texas
Pax Christi International
Peace Action
Peace Development Fund
Peace Direct
Physicians for Social Responsibility
Ploughshares Fund
PRBB Foundation
Presbyterian Church (USA)
Project South
Public Citizen
Rachel Carson Council
T’ruah: The Rabbinic Call for Human Rights
The Peace Farm
Tri-Valley CAREs
Truman National Security Project
Union of Concerned Scientists
United Church of Christ, Justice and Witness Ministries
United for Peace and Justice
Veterans For Peace
Washington Against Nuclear Weapons
Western States Legal Foundation
Win Without War
Women’s Action for New Directions

We Love Iranians

Send a message of peace to the Iranian people and upload it onto Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter using our hashtag #peacewithIran. Take a photo of yourself with our peace with Iran poster or make your own. You can also use this sample script to practice a phrase in Persian, or feel free to make up your own message. Don’t worry about pronunciation. Iranians will be delighted by your effort to communicate and spread a message of peace.

The Steps are Simple

You can either:

Take a photo of yourself with our peace with Iran poster or make your own.


Select a message from one of the examples provided that resonates with you. Record yourself saying you stand with the people of Iran and peace.

Make sure to share publicly on social media and use hashtag #peacewithIran


Print this poster (8.5 x 11 or 17 x 11 inches) to hold while you record your message. You can also make your own poster or record without one.


Persian Message

man (insert your name) hastam
Maa mikhaeem doost basheem
Va baham dar sol zendegi konim
Na tahreem, na jang
Beh omeed-eh didar

English Message

I’m (insert your name)
We want to be friends 
And together live in peace
No sanctions, no war
Hope to see you soon!

Listen and Learn How to Pronounce Your Persian Message clicking by here!

Be Inspired by These Videos!

See more videos here on our YouTube Channel!

Take More Actions on Social Media!

Find you how you can share more messages on Twitter and Facebook!

Learn More

Iranian citizens are suffering, and it’s about to get worse. Last year, Trump announced the U.S. withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal and the reimposition of sanctions on Iran. This was a deal designed around peace and now people are suffering from the sanctions by this warhawk Trump administration. U.S. sanctions have crippled Iran's economy. Poverty and unemployment rates have increased. Prices in food and medicine have skyrocketed. Recent escalations and threats of war between the U.S. and Iran have created an even more stressful environment for the people in Iran. We want to show the Iranian people that we don’t support sanctions or military intervention. We want to tell the Iranian people that while our governments may fight, we can be friends.

Iran Advocacy Toolkit

In a historic move Senator Tom Udall has introduced S.1039 - The Prevention of an Unconstitutional War Iran Act 2019. This bill underscores Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution that Congress has the sole power to declare war. The aim for this act is to stop Trump and his warmongering advisors drag us into a war with Iran without congressional support.

Check out the full text of the bill here.

Trump, Bolton, and Pompeo have crafted a maximum pressure campaign that has placed some of the most destructive sanctions that are hurting the Iranian people. Time and time again, the Trump administration has made it clear that they want the Iranian regime to topple or give in to U.S. demands. Trump violated the Iran nuclear deal, an agreement made between the U.S., Iran, Europe, Russia, and China. He has placed a Muslim ban that has separated families and tough sanctions that have caused tremendous hardships for the Iranian people. The administration designated the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) as a foreign terrorist organization. Now, U.S. aircraft carriers and bombers are heading to the Persian Gulf and Bolton has overseen war plans that would send 120,000 troops to the Middle East.

We must not repeat the same mistakes of the past and let the Trump administration use the failed Iraq playbook to drag us into military intervention with Iran aimed at regime change. Congress must take immediate action to prevent any military escalation between the U.S. and Iran.  

Timeline of Trump Administration Escalating Conflict with Iran

  • Trump withdrawal from historic Iran nuclear deal.
  • Bolton speaks at Mujahideen-e-Khalq (MEK) rally and calls for end of the Iranian regime by 2018.
  • First round of sanctions hits Iran in August.
  • Trump tweets explosive threat to Iran’s President.
  • Trump tweets Game of Thrones inspired poster about Iran sanctions.
  • Second round of sanctions hits Iran in November.
  • Bolton calls for military strike plans from the Pentagon on Iran.
  • Pompeo plans an anti-Iran summit in Warsaw, Poland.
  • Trump designates Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps as a foreign terrorist organization.
  • Bolton's statement on moving striker group and bomber task force to the Persian Gulf
  • White House reviews military plans against Iran, in echoes of Iraq war

Senate Cosponsors of S.1039


Date Cosponsored

Sen. Paul, Rand [R-KY]*


Sen. Durbin, Richard J. [D-IL]*


Sen. Leahy, Patrick J. [D-VT]*


Sen. Feinstein, Dianne [D-CA]*


Sen. Sanders, Bernard [I-VT]*


Sen. Merkley, Jeff [D-OR]*


Sen. Heinrich, Martin [D-NM]*


Sen. Murphy, Christopher [D-CT]*


Sen. Markey, Edward J. [D-MA]*


Sen. Schatz, Brian [D-HI]*


Sen. Hirono, Mazie K. [D-HI]*


Sen. Carper, Thomas R. [D-DE]


Sen. Brown, Sherrod [D-OH]


Sen. Warren, Elizabeth [D-MA]


Sen. Van Hollen, Chris [D-MD]


Sen. Cardin, Benjamin L. [D-MD]


Sen. Casey, Robert P., Jr. [D-PA]


Sen. Klobuchar, Amy [D-MN]


Sen. Gillibrand, Kirsten E. [D-NY]


Sen. Blumenthal, Richard [D-CT]


Sen. Wyden, Ron [D-OR]


House Cosponsors of H.R.2354


Date Cosponsored

Rep. Thompson, Mike [D-CA-5]*


Rep. Kuster, Ann M. [D-NH-2]


Rep. Beyer, Donald S., Jr. [D-VA-8]


Rep. Khanna, Ro [D-CA-17]


Rep. Waters, Maxine [D-CA-43]


Rep. Huffman, Jared [D-CA-2]


Rep. Raskin, Jamie [D-MD-8]


Rep. Welch, Peter [D-VT-At Large]


Rep. Blumenauer, Earl [D-OR-3]


Rep. McGovern, James P. [D-MA-2]


Rep. Pingree, Chellie [D-ME-1]


Rep. Speier, Jackie [D-CA-14]


Rep. Rush, Bobby L. [D-IL-1]


Rep. McCollum, Betty [D-MN-4]


Rep. Velazquez, Nydia M. [D-NY-7]


Rep. Norton, Eleanor Holmes [D-DC-At Large]


Rep. Hill, Katie [D-CA-25]


Rep. Cicilline, David N. [D-RI-1]


Rep. Cartwright, Matt [D-PA-8]


Rep. DeSaulnier, Mark [D-CA-11]


Rep. Price, David E. [D-NC-4]


Rep. Carbajal, Salud O. [D-CA-24]


Rep. Moore, Gwen [D-WI-4]


Rep. Schakowsky, Janice D. [D-IL-9]


Rep. Matsui, Doris O. [D-CA-6]


Rep. Bonamici, Suzanne [D-OR-1]


Rep. Lowenthal, Alan S. [D-CA-47]


Rep. Lewis, John [D-GA-5]


Rep. Doggett, Lloyd [D-TX-35]


Rep. Kind, Ron [D-WI-3]


Rep. DeFazio, Peter A. [D-OR-4]


Rep. Lawrence, Brenda L. [D-MI-14]


Rep. Lujan, Ben Ray [D-NM-3]


Rep. Johnson, Henry C. "Hank," Jr. [D-GA-4]


Rep. Watson Coleman, Bonnie [D-NJ-12]


Rep. Carson, Andre [D-IN-7]


Rep. Garcia, Jesus G. "Chuy" [D-IL-4]


Rep. Pappas, Chris [D-NH-1]


Rep. Espaillat, Adriano [D-NY-13]


Rep. Haaland, Debra A. [D-NM-1]


Sample Social Media Messages to Share

  • Hey @____, Trump and his advisors are beating the drums for war with Iran. Will you cosponsor S.1039/H.R.2354 to prevent an unconstitutional war with Iran?
  • STOP Bolton and Pompeo from provoking military confrontation with Iran. Be a cosponsor S.1039/H.R.2354 to prevent an unconstitutional war with Iran.
  • Trump and his warmongering advisors are provoking a war with Iran. Congress must act now to stop Trump from dragging us into another war in the Middle East.
  • Bolton and Pompeo are ripping the same failed tactics from the Iraq playbook on Iran. We need diplomacy and peace with Iran. Congress must assert its war powers to prevent this admin from instigating military intervention with Iran.

Email Template to Set Up a Meeting

You want to set up a meeting with your Senators to be a cosponsor of S.1039--that’s wonderful! One of the most effective things you can do is show up and meet with your Senators and talk about why we need to prevent this administration from dragging us into another war in the Middle East. Use this sample email template to send to your Senator’s scheduler.

Dear (scheduler’s name),

I am writing to you as a constituent and member of CODEPINK to request a meeting with the Senator or a staffer to discuss actions Congress can take to prevent a war with Iran.

I am deeply concerned by the Trump administration provoking a war with Iran that is ripped from the same pages of the failed Iraq playbook. Withdrawing from the Iran nuclear deal, appointing John Bolton as National Security Advisor, and sending troops to the Middle East are just some indications that concern me. There is bicameral legislation, S.1039 and H.R.2354, The Prevention of an Unconstitutional War with Iran Act 2019 that will reassert Congress’ war powers. I would be happy to discuss with the Senator/Congressperson or a staffer the importance of supporting this bill.

I look forward to hearing from you soon. Please feel free to contact me at (email) or (phone) if you have any questions.

(your name)

Talking Points

  • Article 1, Section 8 of the U.S. Constitution gives Congress the sole power to declare war. Which makes it clear that it is illegal to attack Iran under the War Powers Act and U.S. constitution. Congress must act now to reaffirm its powers and not let the administration take us into another costly war.
  • National Security Advisor John Bolton has been obsessed with war with Iran for many years. In September 2018, he sought plans to strike Iran, a move that worried defense officials that war was imminent. He published an article in 2015 titled To Stop Iran’s Bomb, Bomb Iran and gave a speech in 2018 claiming that he would overthrow Iran’s regime before 2019. Congress must not let John Bolton overstep his boundaries and start a war with Iran.
  • This is a repeat of the Iraq war lead up. The Trump administration is framing Iran as the greatest threats the U.S. faces similar to how Bush portrayed Iraq and Saddam Hussein. They are attempting to sell false narrative by cherry-picking issues that will fit their narrative for regime change and destabilization in Iran. The Trump administration complains that Iran has not met its obligations under the Iran nuclear deal. However, the International Atomic Energy Agency, the organization monitoring Iran’s compliance to the nuclear agreement, has confirmed 14 consecutive reports that Iran is adhering to the deal. Trump’s own CIA intelligence confirmed that Iran is still complying with the Iran nuclear agreement.
  • Trump administration’s maximum pressure campaign weakens moderate and reformists in Iran. This diminishes chances of engagement and diplomacy with Iran and the West. Hardliners who were against the Iran Nuclear Deal became more powerful and use this leverage to crack down on civil society and human rights activists.
  • Secretary of State Mike Pompeo organized an anti-Iran summit in Warsaw, Poland. In February 2019 Pompeo invited 70 countries to discuss a new pressure campaign with our allies against Iran. This however, failed because of pressures from our European partners who still support the Iran agreement.
  • Classifying Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) as a terrorist organization can lead to escalation in the Middle East. In retaliation, Iran has named the U.S. Central Command as a foreign terrorist organization.  The IRGC and U.S. have often worked jointly in Syria and Iraq against ISIS. Pompeo and Bolton’s goals are to stir up more conflict in the region in order to justify U.S. intervention.
  • Our European allies have rejected U.S. escalation with Iran. British General Chris Ghika, has contradicted all U.S. claims of increased threats from Iran. The EU urges the U.S. to use "maximum restraint" with Iran and encourages dialogue and diplomatic engagement. 

No War for Oil!

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