The National Council of Churches has the answer to the deepening crisis in the Persian Gulf:

The incident today of Iranian seizure of British naval personnel underscores in dramatic fashion our call for diplomatic relations between the United States and the Islamic Republic of Iran. Iran does have an ambassador in London and we understand that communications between Great Britain and Iran are already underway. We pray that this matter will be resolved quickly and peacefully, without harm to human life.

The US and Iran should have the same channels as the United States did with the Soviet Union throughout the Cold War to avoid circumstances where misunderstandings, accidents, or other unanticipated events could lead to a military confrontation. That is why we again call for diplomatic ties with Iran, believing that a new day for US-Iran relations is both possible and necessary.

That’s it. The Iranians grab sailors of the Royal Navy in what may be an act of war against Great Britain, and the NCC’s suggested action is…the United States should re-establish diplomatic relations. So that when the Iranians do it to Americans, we can talk about it.

I don’t really have any objection to this idea, so much as I object to the faith that dominates NCC thinking on international relations, which is that talk can solve practically any problem. That isn’t even the case in the Christian church, so why does anyone think that power politics works that way?

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