April 23, 2009

Congress weighing options on Iran

As President Obama’s plan for diplomacy with Iran takes shape, members of Congress are considering whether to move beyond the previous strategy of sanctions and coercion in favor of more constructive dialogue.
The bipartisan resolution calling for an “incidents-at-sea agreement” with Iran is steadily gaining support among lawmakers, many of whom see it as a way to contribute positively to the administration’s efforts for engagement.  According to a letter circulating around Capitol Hill, H.Con.Res. 94 will serve as “an important first step towards improving the security situation in the Persian Gulf and keeping our men and women in uniform safe.”
Have you contacted your member of Congress yet to support this important resolution? Your representative needs to hear from you today!
Despite meaningful progress so far, there are still a number of lawmakers committed to pursuing the same failed policies of the past: sanctions, threats, and isolation.  For thirty years, the United States has tried to squeeze Iran, with little or nothing to show for it.  But that isn’t stopping a group of lawmakers from introducing H.R. 1985, the Iran Diplomatic Enhancement Act.
This new sanctions bill rehashes the same argument that failed last summer, when Congress tried to impose a blockade of Iran’s gasoline imports.  The new measure would impose penalties on any person or company that assists Iran’s refined petroleum industry, and would encourage foreign governments and foreign companies to boycott Iran’s energy sector.
With the backing of some of the most powerful interest groups in the country, this new sanctions bill has already gained 24 cosponsors.  Your members need to hear from you: Should Congress keep trying the same old measures that have failed for thirty years?  Or should they work for a real diplomatic solution to the Iran issue?
Tell Congress today to support effective engagement with Iran, not the same failed policies of yesteryear.  Encourage your representative to cosponsor the Incidents-at-Sea Resolution today!

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