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For Immediate Release

Contact

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

Press Release

Fifty Pro-Diplomacy Organizations Urge Senate to Reject Dangerous Iran Legislation

WASHINGTON -

On the heels of a series of political stunts on Capitol Hill that have heightened partisanship and threatened to sabotage nuclear negotiations with Iran, 50 organizations sent a letter to the Senate today warning against legislation that would entrust Congress with expanded powers to block an eventual nuclear deal.

The letter urges Senators to oppose the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act (S.615), and was signed by groups including the National Iranian American Council (NIAC), Friends Committee on National Legislation, Win Without War, MoveOn.org, CREDO, and Americans for Peace Now.

“The outrageous political stunts in the Senate have made it clear that some in Congress will stop at nothing to kill nuclear talks with Iran, regardless of the consequences," said NIAC Policy Director Jamal Abdi. "Tom Cotton and his colleagues should not be rewarded with additional powers to sabotage a deal and drag the U.S. into war."

As detailed in the letter below, the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act contains numerous elements that risk disrupting negotiations in their final stage and blocking the President from using existing authorities to implement a prospective deal. The bill would delay implementation of any agreement for 60 days, insert conditions that are outside the scope of the P5+1’s negotiations, and provide Congress with new veto powers over a deal.

A copy of the letter is below:

Thursday, March 12, 2015

To: Members of the U.S. Senate

As organizations representing millions of Americans that support a peaceful diplomatic resolution to the nuclear standoff with Iran, we strongly urge you to oppose S.615, the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act. By threatening to reject a prospective nuclear deal, inserting conditions outside the scope of negotiations, and delaying the implementation of any agreement for months, this bill risks derailing the best chance to both prevent an Iranian nuclear weapon and avert a disastrous war.

We understand that some members of Congress seek additional consultation and oversight regarding a final agreement. This bill is not the means to do so. Instead, this bill risks ensuring that there is no agreement for Congress to oversee in the first place. The politicized manner through which some have attempted to advance this bill, by seeking to bypass regular procedure and pass the bill at such a delicate time in negotiations, should give pause to those members who do not want to subject a potential nuclear deal to a vote that is based on politics rather than substance. If Members of Congress support this bill and it ends up defeating a nuclear deal, they would own the consequences of a diplomatic failure: an expanding Iranian nuclear program, the unraveling of international sanctions on Iran, and an increasing threat of war.

There are appropriate ways to increase Congressional oversight of a nuclear deal with Iran without threatening to scuttle a diplomatic solution. However, in order to give negotiations the best chance to prevent an Iranian nuclear weapon and avert war, it is important that Congress reject S.615.

Sincerely,

American Friends Service Committee

American Values Network

Americans for Peace Now

Arab American Institute

Arms Control Association

Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation

Center for Interfaith Engagement of Eastern Mennonite University

Center for International Policy

Citizens for Global Solutions

Church of the Brethren, Office of Public Witness

CODEPINK

Conference of Major Superiors of Men

Council for a Livable World

CREDO

Daily Kos

Friends Committee on National Legislation

Global Exchange

Global Ministries of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and United Church of Christ

The HAND Foundation

Historians Against the War

Institute for Policy Studies

International Civil Society Action Network

Jewish Voice for Peace

Just Foreign Policy

Maryknoll Office of Global Concern

MoveOn.org Civic Action

National Council of Churches

National Iranian American Council

National Security Network

NETWORK

Nuclear Age Peace Foundation

Pax Christi International

Peace Action

Peace Action West

People Demanding Action

Physicians for Social Responsibility

Presbyterian Church (USA)

Progressive Democrats of America

RootsAction.org

Sojourners

United Church of Christ, Justice and Witness Ministries

United for Peace and Justice

United Methodist Church, General Board of Church and Society

U.S. Labor Against the War

USAction

Veterans for Peace

WarisaCrime.org

Win Without War

Women’s Action for New Directions

World Beyond War

 

###

The National Iranian American Council (NIAC) is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization founded in 2002 to give voice to the Iranian-American community. From being the trusted voice on U.S.- Iran relations, to pushing forth legislation that protects individuals of Iranian heritage from systematic discrimination, to celebrating our cultural heritage, NIAC creates a lasting impact in the lives of the members of our community.

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