Action Alert:

“Give Diplomacy a Chance” Congressional Letter on Iran

February 12, 2014 — Days before talks on a permanent agreement between P5+1 countries and Iran are set to begin in New York City, 104 Members of the US House of Representatives sent President Obama a bipartisan letter supporting continued diplomatic engagement with Iran.

Representative David Price (D-NC) said, “I believe that we must take advantage of the opportunity before us to pursue a peaceful, diplomatic resolution to Iran’s nuclear program, and that we must resist calls by some in Congress to prematurely enact a bill or resolution that risks inadvertently derailing or impeding our ongoing negotiations.”

“While difficult and uncertain, diplomacy represents our best hope to prevent nuclear weapons in Iran and ensure the safety of our families and others around the world.  Congress should not undermine diplomacy by giving the Iranian hardliners an excuse to scuttle the negotiations. So many of our colleagues have expressed their determination for diplomacy, and so many more share the same view,” added Representative Lloyd Doggett (D-TX), a senior member of the Ways and Means Committee.

Congressman Keith Ellison (D-MN) agreed, “Diplomacy advances U.S. national security. Members of both parties recognize that diplomacy is the best option to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon. Congress must stand by our diplomats. As the U.S. Intelligence Community has made clear, new sanctions would undermine the prospects of an agreement, paving the way toward a nuclear Iran or another war in the Middle East.”

The text of the letter and the list of signers in alphabetical order are included 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.

Sincerely,

 

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