WASHINGTON, DC–(ENEWSPF)—May 7, 2015. Today, Rep. Jan Schakowsky (IL-09), Rep. Lloyd Doggett (TX-35), and Rep. David E. Price (NC-04) sent a letter to President Obama supporting his administration’s efforts to negotiate a comprehensive and verifiable nuclear agreement that will prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon. The letter was signed by 151 Members of Congress.
Last month, the White House unveiled a framework for a comprehensive and verifiable nuclear agreement between the P5+1 (United States, United Kingdom, China, France, Russia and Germany) and the government of Iran. Representatives of the P5+1 are negotiating the technical specifics of the deal to ensure that it will put a verifiable stop to Iran’s nuclear weapons program.
The Schakowsky-Doggett-Price letter demonstrates strong support for these negotiations in the United States House of Representatives and makes clear that diplomacy is the best way to prevent a nuclear-armed Iran.
“We must not let Iran develop or possess a nuclear weapon, and I firmly believe that diplomacy is the best way to achieve that goal.” Rep. Schakowsky said. “I also believe that we must do whatever we can to ensure that the negotiators have the space they need to mold the announced framework into a long-term, verifiable and enforceable agreement.”
“Our letter shows significant Congressional support for negotiating a strong, verifiable final agreement,” Rep. Doggett said. “All of us, who do not trust war as the answer, must continue working together to support a peaceful resolution and overcome the bellicose voices whose only alternative is the perilous course of bombing Iran.”
“I strongly believe that diplomacy is our best option for ensuring that Iran does not develop a nuclear weapon, which is a critical foreign policy and national security priority,” Rep. Price said. “We have made remarkable progress along with our international partners, and we must give the ongoing negotiations our full support as we near a final, verifiable nuclear agreement.”
The full text of the letter is below or click here for a PDF.
May 7, 2015
The White House
Washington, D.C. 20500
Dear Mr. President:
As negotiations over Iran’s nuclear program continue, we urge you to stay on course, building on the recently announced political framework and continuing to work toward a strong and verifiable agreement between the P5+1 countries and Iran that will prevent Iran from having a nuclear weapon. We commend you and your negotiating team, as well as our coalition partners, for the significant progress made thus far.
This issue is above politics. The stakes are too great, and the alternatives are too dire. We must exhaust every avenue toward a verifiable, enforceable, diplomatic solution in order to prevent a nuclear-armed Iran. If the United States were to abandon negotiations or cause their collapse, not only would we fail to peacefully prevent a nuclear-armed Iran, we would make that outcome more likely. The multilateral sanctions regime that brought Iran to the table would likely collapse, and the Iranian regime would likely decide to accelerate its nuclear program, unrestricted and unmonitored. Such developments could lead us to war.
War itself will not make us safe. A U.S. or Israeli military strike may set back Iranian nuclear development by two or three years at best – a significantly shorter timespan than that covered by a P5+1 negotiated agreement. We must pursue diplomatic means to their fullest and allow the negotiations to run their course – especially now that the parties have announced a strong framework – and continue working to craft a robust and verifiable Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action by June 30.
We must allow our negotiating team the space and time necessary to build on the progress made in the political framework and turn it into a long-term, verifiable agreement. If we do not succeed, Congress will remain at-the-ready to act and present you with additional options to ensure that Iran is prevented from acquiring a nuclear weapon
Thank you for your resolve in preventing a nuclear-armed Iran. We look forward to continuing our shared work on this important matter.
Jan Schakowsky Lloyd Doggett David E. Price
Member of Congress Member of Congress Member of Congress