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NIAC Applauds "Give Diplomacy a Chance" Congressional Letter

Press Release by National Iranian American Council (NIAC)

September 2013 marked a breaktrhough in US-Iran diplomacy when US President Barack Obama conducted a phone call with his Iranian counterpart Hassan Rohani
(Source: Tehran's Etamaad daily's front page)

The National Iranian American Council (NIAC) commends the 104 Members of Congress who signed the bipartisan "Give Diplomacy a Chance" letter sent to President Obama today. NIAC applauds the efforts of Rep. Lloyd Doggett (D-TX), Rep. David Price (D-NC) and everyone who worked to make this letter a success.

"This letter is a strong signal of support for U.S.-Iran diplomacy and opposition to Congressional measures that would undermine a final deal," said NIAC Policy Director Jamal Abdi. "These Members of Congress don't want our negotiators tied up in the political disputes of Washington, they want them focused on preventing war and resolving the nuclear dispute."

NIAC has opposed the Senate sanctions bill (S.1881) from Sens. Robert Menendez (D-NJ) and Mark Kirk (R-IL) that was recently halted and strongly supports negotiations towards a final deal that ensures that Iran's nuclear program is purely for civilian purposes. NIAC urges Congress to ensure negotiators can exercise full diplomatic leverage by offering credible sanctions relief for Iranian nuclear concessions.

"This effort is another important step in the right direction to ensuring hardliners on either side do not sabotage a negotiated settlement," said Abdi. "It is critical that our negotiators have a strong mandate not only from the American people and the Administration, but also from the Hill because it is Congress who will ultimately decide whether we lift sanctions to finalize a deal.”

The full text of the letter is below:

Dear Mr. President,

As Members of Congress-and as Americans-we are united in our unequivocal commitment to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon. The proliferation of nuclear weapons in the Middle East would threaten the security of the United States and our allies in the region, particularly Israel.

The ongoing implementation of the Joint Plan of Action agreed to by Iran and the “P5+1” nations last November increases the possibility of a comprehensive and verifiable international agreement. We understand that there is no assurance of success and that, if talks break down or Iran reneges on pledges it made in the interim agreement, Congress may be compelled to act as it has in the past by enacting additional sanctions legislation. At present, however, we believe that Congress must give diplomacy a chance. A bill or resolution that risks fracturing our international coalition or, worse yet, undermining our credibility in future negotiations and jeopardizing hard-won progress toward a verifiable final agreement, must be avoided.

We remain wary of the Iranian regime. But we believe that robust diplomacy remains our best possible strategic option, and we commend you and your designees for the developments in Geneva. Should negotiations fail or falter, nothing precludes a change in strategy. But we must not imperil the possibility of a diplomatic success before we even have a chance to pursue it.


1 Bass
2 Beatty
3 Bishop, Sanford
4 Blumenauer
5 Bordallo
6 Brown
7 Butterfield, GK
8 Capps
9 Capuano
10 Carson
11 Cartwright
12 Christensen
13 Clarke, Yvette
14 Clay
15 Cleaver
16 Clyburn
17 Cohen
18 Connolly
19 Conyers
20 Cooper
21 Courtney
22 Cummings
23 Davis, Danny
24 DeFazio
25 DeGette
26 DeLauro
27 Dingell
28 Doggett
29 Duncan Jr (R)
30 Edwards
31 Ellison
32 Enyart
33 Eshoo
34 Farr
35 Foster
36 Fudge, Marcia
37 Garamendi
38 Grijalva
39 Gutierrez
40 Hanna (R)
41 Holt
42 Huffman
43 Jackson-Lee
44 Johnson, EB
45 Johnson, Hank
46 Jones, Walter (R)
47 Kaptur
48 Keating
49 Kelly, Robin
50 Kildee
51 Kuster
52 Larson
53 Lee, Barbara
54 Lewis
55 Loebsack
56 Lofgren
57 Lynch
58 Matheson
59 Massie (R)
60 McCarthy
61 McCollum
62 McDermott
63 McGovern
64 McNerney, Jerry
65 Meeks
66 Miller, George
67 Moore
68 Moran, Jim
69 Negrete McLeod
70 Nolan
71 Norton
72 O'Rourke
73 Pastor
74 Payne
75 Pierluisi
76 Pingree
77 Pocan
78 Polis
79 Price, David
80 Rahall
81 Rangel
82 Roybal-Allard
83 Ruppersberger
84 Rush
85 Ryan, Tim
86 Sablan
87 Schakowsky
88 Scott, Bobby
89 Shea-Porter
90 Slaughter
91 Speier
92 Takano
93 Thompson, Bennie
94 Thompson, Mike
95 Tierney
96 Tonko
97 Tsongas
98 Van Hollen
99 Velazquez
100 Visclosky
101 Walz
102 Waters
103 Welch
104 Yarmuth

... Payvand News - 02/13/14 ... --

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