Pro-Diplomacy Groups Call for Congress to Clarify Iran Sanctions Letter

For Immediate Release

National Iranian American Council
Contact: 

Jamal Abdi
Phone: 202-386-6408
Email: jabdi@niacouncil.org

Pro-Diplomacy Groups Call for Congress to Clarify Iran Sanctions Letter

WASHINGTON - Twenty-six organizations called on the leaders of the House Foreign Affairs Committee today to clarify a pending Congressional sign-on letter to the President concerning nuclear negotiations with Iran. 

The U.S., along with UN powers, are in what may be the final stage of negotiations with Iran to secure a deal to verifiably prevent an Iranian nuclear weapon in exchange for the lifting nuclear-related sanctions.

The organizations expressed their concern that the Congressional letter could be read to imply that, unless a prospective nuclear agreement with Iran addresses additional concerns beyond the nuclear issue, Congress would refuse to lift nuclear-related sanctions.

The organizations urged the letter’s sponsors, Representatives Ed Royce (R-CA) and Eliot Engel (D-NY), to clarify that their letter is not intended to imply that Congress would scuttle a nuclear deal by refusing to implement necessary sanctions relief.

“The notion that Congress would choose to keep sanctions in place rather than secure an agreement that prevents an Iranian nuclear weapon is alarming,” the groups wrote.

The organizations, which included the National Iranian American Council, Friends Committee on National Legislation, Win Without War, MoveOn.org, CREDO and Americans for Peace Now, noted that they agreed with elements of the letter. The groups wrote that the White House and Congress should consult closely regarding the nuclear negotiations and that they agreed that the lifting of sanctions would likely require an act of Congress.

However, as nuclear negotiations intensify with Iran in the coming weeks, the organizations strongly cautioned against inserting demands beyond the nuclear file into those talks. 

“Demanding that non-nuclear issues be added to the nuclear negotiations at this time will only ensure that we get no deal and face the prospect of an unconstrained Iranian nuclear program or a disastrous war opposed by the American people.”

The full letter is below, a PDF is available here.

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