Southern Baptist Leader Calls for Sanctions Against Iran

Richard Land, director of the Southern Baptist Convention's (SBC) Ethics & Religion Liberty Commission, has joined with Jewish and Evangelical leaders in calling for immediate economic sanctions against Iran.

Land issued a statement Nov. 2 with Paul de Vries, president of the New York Divinity School and Joseph Potasnik, executive vice president of the New York Board of Rabbis. The men called for economic sanctions that would specifically target banks working even indirectly with Iranian financial institutions, firms and governments that export refined petroleum to Iran.

They hope the steps will encourage diplomacy and the human rights efforts of Iranians living under Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's regime.

"We stand in solidarity with all people of goodwill both in the region and around the world in seeking to stop a nuclear Iran from grievously imperiling Israel, the Middle East and the world's peace," Land explained.

He said: "Jesus commanded His followers to be the salt of the earth and the light of the world. In seeking meaningful sanctions against the current Iranian regime, we are attempting to be salt in preserving Israel and the entire region from bloody conflict and terrible loss of life.

"We are seeking to be light by expressing our commitment to the intrinsic value and invaluable worth of all of our fellow human beings, both inside and outside Iran, whose lives and liberties are in peril by the dangerous rogue regime which presently oppresses the Iranian people."

Recent Public Opinion Strategies polls reveal that 72 percent of American voters polled believe it is "unlikely" that Iran will live up to the type of nuclear agreement being discussed, while only 27 percent think it is "likely" they will.

A full 39 percent say it is "not at all likely" that Iran will abide by the type of nuclear agreement being discussed in Vienna.

Land is one of more than 50 signers of a letter sent to Congress by Christian Leaders for a Nuclear-Free Iran last month, calling for urgent action to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon.

The letter urged a total arms embargo and a cut off of exports of refined petroleum products, including gasoline, as a firm yet peaceful measure against the world's leading state sponsor of terrorism.

(Pictured: Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad)

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