TEHRAN (FNA)- The founders of a US peace group, Codepink, arrived in Iran today in what they called a “citizen diplomacy trip” aimed at promoting peaceful ties between the United States and Iran.
According to Codepink’s website, Codepink, a women-initiated grassroots peace and social justice movement, plans to meet with Iranian officials and community groups during a week-long visit to Iran.
In a statement released today ahead of the trip, Jodie Evans, one of the group’s co-founders, said, “We know that to achieve peace, it takes an engagement of the people of the country.”
Another co-founder, Medea Benjamin, was hopeful that a newly elected US 82president will bring change to US-Iran relations.
During his campaign for presidency, Barack Obama said that as president he would be willing to meet with any Iranian leader without pre-conditions. Direct diplomacy with Iran would be a monumental shift in US policy in three decades.
The United States and Iran broke diplomatic relations in April 1980, after Iranian students seized the United States’ espionage center at its embassy in Tehran. The two countries have had tense relations ever since.
Calls for negotiations with Iran during Obama’s campaign have sparked new initiatives such as the Codepink mission for increased engagement between the two countries.
Founded in 2002, the group’s mission calls for “working to end the war in Iraq, stop new wars, and redirect our resources into health care, education and other life-affirming activities”.