The President of the National Iranian American Council, Dr. Trita Parsi, issued the following statement in response to the decision to extend negotiations over Iran’s nuclear program:
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For those that believe a diplomatic solution is better than a war, this extension is critically important. Extending the talks will keep the United States and Iran on the diplomatic track instead of the path to war.
The wall of distrust between the United States and Iran is slowly crumbling, and the day that so many Americans and Iranians have hoped for is within reach. President Obama and his negotiating team should be commended for their efforts thus far. The American and Iranian people do not want a war and are counting on their leaders to make the most of this critical historical moment.
The Joint Plan of Action (JPOA) has been a success. Contrary to what critics of diplomacy claimed, all sides have honored the agreement. The JPOA froze or rolled back elements of Iran’s nuclear program for modest sanctions relief. The sky has not fallen, and the JPOA accomplished more in six months than decades of sanctions.
It is important that Congress give these negotiations time to succeed. New sanctions or the issuance of inflexible demands will only undermine our negotiators and leave us with an unconstrained Iranian nuclear weapon and a war of choice.
There are still gaps that have delayed a full resolution of the Iranian nuclear crisis, some technical, some political. But it is clear that major progress has been made, creative solutions exist and a final agreement that prevents a nuclear-armed Iran and averts war is within reach.
Six months of intense negotiations may not have been quite enough to overcome thirty years of enmity between Iran and the U.S., but we are closer than ever to a historic agreement. Now is not the time to give up and return to the path of escalation towards war, it is time to double down on diplomacy to achieve a durable, peaceful solution.