I am writing this letter as I prepare to depart from Vienna. I wish I could tell you the international diplomats assembled here reached a comprehensive agreement, but reality is that the negotiators ran out of time.
But being in Vienna, I can tell you that the U.S. and Iran have never come this close to turning the page on the nuclear issue. As Secretary Kerry just said, “progress has been made on some of the most vexing issues.”
That’s why the U.S. and Iran have extended the deadline for reaching a political framework to March 1 and the deadline for a comprehensive agreement to July 1.
Even though we don’t yet have a comprehensive agreement, it’s clear that diplomacy has already achieved more for the two sides than sanctions, threats or war ever could.
Most didn’t think we ever could reach this point. The U.S. and Iran would never talk, they said. Diplomacy would never succeed, they frowned. Hardliners on both sides could never be defeated. Thankfully, we never listened to these pessimists in the past. And we shouldn’t start listening to them now.
But they can’t be dismissed. Many of these same nay-sayers in Washington are already calling for more sanctions and blowing up these historic negotiations.
We must keep pushing for a diplomatic solution and stopping efforts to sabotage the talks until the specter of war has been banished.
If we don’t, and if we let the nay-sayers prevail, war will once again find its way into the agenda. The people of Iran will suffer under more sanctions. Human rights defenders will face greater repression. Hardliners in Iran – and the U.S. – will regain momentum.
We can’t let that happen. We have come too far to stop now.
Will you stand with us by contributing what you can — $50, $100 or an amount right for you? Your contribution is 100% tax-deductible. We are close. With your help, we can win the peace.
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