A month ago, the world was surprised by the election of a moderate President in Iran: Dr. Hassan Rouhani. He will be inaugurated in September and will be choosing a new government then. This provides a new opportunity for the world to work with Iran on an agreement that would keep the country from building a nuclear weapon — which they say they are not and don’t intend to — while allowing them their right to peaceful nuclear technology.
Write your Representative now and either thank them or urge them to sign the Dent/Price letter to the President asking the administration to take every advantage of the diplomacy opportunity with Iran. The letter will be sent next week, so be sure to take action now.
Representatives Charles Dent (R) and David Price (D) have penned a letter to President Obama pushing for diplomacy and another 40 members have co-signed.
There are some in Congress and elsewhere who seem eager for another war in the Middle East. When Iran’s new President, Dr. Rouhani, has professed a “policy of reconciliation and peace,” it’s time to put the extra effort into diplomacy. Please write your Representative now and make sure that they have signed this important letter.
– Kevin Martin, Executive Director, Peace Action
Dear President Obama:
As Members of Congress who share your unequivocal commitment to preventing a nuclear-armed Iran, we urge you to pursue the potential opportunity presented by Iran’s recent presidential election by reinvigorating U.S. efforts to secure a negotiated nuclear agreement.
As you know, on June 14 the Iranian people elected Hassan Rouhani president with over 50 percent of the vote in the first round, overcoming repression and intimidation by the Iranian government to cast their ballots in favor of reform. Dr. Rouhani campaigned on the promise to “pursue a policy of reconciliation and peace” and has since promised “constructive interaction with the outside world.” As Iran’s former lead nuclear negotiator, he has also publicly expressed the view that obtaining a nuclear weapon would run counter to Iran’s strategic interests and has been critical of the nuclear “extremism” of outgoing President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
We are mindful of the limitations of the Iranian presidency within the country’s political system, of the fact that previous Iranian presidents elected on platforms of moderation have failed to deliver on promised reforms, and of the mixed signals that Dr. Rouhani himself has sent regarding Iran’s nuclear ambitions. It remains to be seen whether his election will indeed bring significant change with regard to Iran’s relations with the outside world. His government’s actions will certainly speak louder than his words.
Even so, we believe it would be a mistake not to test whether Dr. Rouhani’s election represents a real opportunity for progress toward a verifiable, enforceable agreement on Iran’s nuclear program that ensures the country does not acquire a nuclear weapon. In order to test this proposition, it will be prudent for the United States to utilize all diplomatic tools to reinvigorate ongoing nuclear talks. In addition, bilateral and multilateral sanctions must be calibrated in such a way that they induce significant and verifiable concessions from Iran at the negotiating table in exchange for their potential relaxation.
We must also be careful not to preempt this potential opportunity by engaging in actions that delegitimize the newly elected president and weaken his standing relative to hardliners within the regime who oppose his professed “policy of reconciliation and peace.” Likewise, it will be critical for the United States to continue its efforts to foster unprecedented international cooperation on this issue so that the international community remains united in its opposition to Iran obtaining a nuclear weapon.
We look forward to working with your administration on this important issue in the months ahead.
Current Cosigners: Dent, Price, Petri,Cohen, Bass, Blumenauer, Bordallo,Campbell, Capps, Coble, Connolly, Conyers, DeFazio, DelBene, Dingell, Doggett, John Duncan, Edwards, Ellison, Farr, Fitzpatrick,Garamendi, Grijalva, Hanna, Holt, Eddie Bernice Johnson, Jones, Kaptur, Lee, Lewis, McCollum, McDermott, McGovern, Meeks,Nugent, Pastor, Roybal-Allard, Runyan, Rush,Glenn Thompson, Welch, Yarmuth