Rev. Sharpton Calls on Black Churches to Rally Behind Iran Deal

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Reverend Al Sharpton addresses the National Action Network's House of Justice in New York August 15, 2015. Credit: Reuters

Reverend Al Sharpton called on black churches to rally their parishioners behind the Iran deal, telling the Huffington Post the issue is especially significant for the African-American community.  

"We have a disproportionate interest, being that if there is a war, our community is always disproportionately part of the armed services, and that a lot of the debate is by people who will not have family members who will be at risk," Sharpton told HuffPost.

"I am calling on ministers in black churches nationwide to go to their pulpits Sunday and have their parishioners call their senators and congressman to vote yes on the Iran nuclear plan." 

Sharpton, who has already attempted to get several New York Democrats behind the deal, decided the effort must become national in order to counter the anti-Iran deal campaign.

"There needs to be a balance in this. Clearly lobbyists and others like AIPAC are pushing on their side and there needs to be an organized effort on the other side. And we're kicking it off tomorrow morning," Sharpton told HuffPost. "A lot of Democrats, I think, should have to consider how their voters will feel in their base vote."

The U.S. Congress has until September 17 to vote on a resolution of disapproval of the Iran deal, which would eliminate Obama's ability to waive all sanctions on Iran imposed by the U.S. Congress, a key component of the agreement.

In July, Foreign Policy reported that Israel's ambassador to the United States, Ron Dermer, met with more than 30 members of the Congressional Black Caucaus in effort to get them to oppose the Iran deal.

The responses were mixed. “Is that the Republican guy from Florida?” Rep. Charles Rangel, D-N.Y., reportedly chortled when asked if he had met with Dermer. “We had a long talk.”

Rangel added that during his meeting with Dermer, the ambassador made references to Jewish support for the civil rights movement in the 1960s — a history Rangel didn’t see as relevant.

“They certainly have the ‘we were together in 1961’ story,” said Rangel. “It’s not germane to this.”

According to Foreign Policy, many black lawmakers see Netanyahu's tactics against the deal – especially his address to Congress in March, which was not coordinated with the White House – as disrespectful toward the U.S.'s first African-American president.

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