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Aldermen say no to invasion of Iran

The Evanston City Council Monday adopted a resolution urging the federal government not to go to war against Iran.

The
resolution was approved 7-1 with only Alderman Edmund Moran, 6th Ward, voting against it. Alderman Anjena Hansen, 9th Ward, was not at the meeting.

Moran argued that the council is not well enough informed about international events to voice an opinion on the issue.

Robert Atkins, a long-time council critic, also spoke against the resolution saying the council "is not elected to debate future military strategy."

Atkins of 2005 Orrington Ave. said the council’s vote "puts our diverse community in a partisan political uniform that many of us choose not to wear."

Moran, who led the council in its last venture onto the national political stage, with a resolution urging more humane treatment of illegal immigrants, did not explain why he reached the opposition conclusion about the propriety of speaking out on the Iran matter.

Other residents supported the resolution.

Anti-war activist Dickelle Fonda of 1220 Darrow Ave. said the cost of the war in Iraq to Evanston residents already amounts to more than $200 million, and said the cost of a war with Iran could be much worse.

Bill Irons of 2604 Payne St., one of several current and former college faculty members with a research interest in Iran who spoke in favor of the resolution, said said he’s now in e-mail contact with the grandchildren of Iranians who he met while doing research there decades ago.

He said Iran is ripe for moving toward democracy, that the country has made substantial progress in recent years and that now the majority of the students in its universities are women.

"We should open diplomatic channels with Iran and negotiate some kind of peaceful relationship," Irons said, "Iran could be a good ally. There is no inherent reason why Iran and the U.S. should be hostile to each other."

Supporters of the resolution say they fear the Bush administration is orchestrating a propaganda campaign to drum up support for an attack, similar to what they say the administration did in the days leading up to the Iraq invasion.

A similar resolution is scheduled for a vote by the Chicago City Council today.

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