What to do in Iran and Syria? U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor answers

02/28/12 Janelle Irwin
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Last week, WMNF caught up with U.S. Representative Kathy Castor to find out what she thought about military intervention in Iran and Syria. Castor hopes problems in both nations can be solved without violence. As U.S. officials continue to view Iran as a nuclear threat, she’s staking some of that hope on tightening financial sanctions.

“The military and civilian leadership of our country right now are pressing all parties involved not to end up in a violent conflict, but if that does happen and the economic sanctions don’t deter Iran from developing nuclear weapons and Israel takes action, we will stand by our best friend and ally in Israel.”

Castor said there are people suffering throughout the Middle East and that needs to be addressed.

“There is a large population all throughout that region that wants liberty and freedom and some dignity when it comes to human rights. For too long, the regimes in Syria and Iran have been repressive, violent and we need – the United States needs to stand for those values throughout that region and work in every way possible.”

But even though Castor condemns the violence against protesters in Syria, she said military intervention isn’t the only answer. Instead, Castor wants to re-visit a UN resolution that was blocked earlier this month. The measure would have backed an Arab League plan to remove president Bashar al-Assad from leadership.

“I’d like to see the Middle Eastern countries come together and take the lead on that. It was very unfortunate that in the United Nations, China and Russia blocked the attempt there to seek a unified approach to address the Syrian violence. I think we should try again and put more pressure on Russia and China to oppose what is happening there. It’s horrendous.”

Despite pressure, leaders in China and Russia have refused to change their minds. Castor called the Assad regime a closed-down system. She also said the U.S. needs to continue efforts to remove Assad from power.

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Best friend in Israel

Kathy Castor to what extend would like to see the United States "stand by our best friend and ally in Israel". Please if you would clarify.