WEST VALLEY CITY — A billboard along I-215 that says "Bomb Iran!" is meant to suggest just the opposite at a time when tensions between Iran and the West continue to escalate.
Iran halted oil exports to Britian and France on Feb. 19 in the latest move that follows economic sanctions against Iran over the nature of Iran's nuclear capabilities and support of Islamic extremist groups.
The International Atomic Energy Agency said in a report Friday that Iran has ramped up production of higher-grade enriched uranium in recent months.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a statement Saturday that the report "constitutes additional proof that Israel's assessments are correct" and that Tehran's nuclear program is moving ahead unhindered.
"The war drums are beating very loudly," said bombiran.org organizer Connor Boyack, a 30-year-old Web designer in Lehi, who hopes the somewhat-confusing design of his billboard prompts people who see it to "pause, think about it, ponder it and go read about it."
Boyack is not suggesting a single, grand conspiracy is pushing the United States toward a war in Iran but believes the combined effects of propagandists and a diverse military-industrial complex could be. He said his objective is to push back.
"It's hard to see the unintended consequences," he said, pointing to the speed at which reports about Iraq's nuclear capabilities led to war before those threats were fully vetted, and later found to be without merit.
"Let's look at the past and apply those lessons to the future. Let's slow down and look at this a little," Boyack said.7 comments on this story
He also hopes to unhitch the connection between "supporting the troops" and engaging in war. "We want to support the troops by keeping them home with their families," he said.
The billboard went up Thursday, and Boyack said traffic to the accompanying bombiran.org webiste has been brisk since then. He said the initiative's Utah roots have the financial support of about 50 financial contributors so far, many of whom are outside the state.
If financial support continues, Boyack said he and other supporters hope to put up similar billboards elsewhere, targeting primary-election states.
Contributing: The Associated Press