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February 12, 2014

NIAC Applauds “Give Diplomacy a Chance” Congressional Letter

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


Contact: Jamal Abdi


Phone: 202-386-6408


Email: jabdi@niacouncil.org

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.

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

 

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