House Members Send Cautionary Letter to President Obama on Iran Nuclear Negotiations

March 24, 2015, Washington D.C. – As the deadline approaches to reach a comprehensive nuclear agreement between Iran and the P5+1, members of the U.S. House of Representatives sent an open letter to President Obama cautioning that any agreement will require congressional approval for its implementation.   

The letter was spearheaded by Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee Ed Royce (R-CA/39th) and ranking committee member Eliot Engel (D-NY/16th) and signed by a bipartisan group of 365 representatives.   

The letter reiterates Congress’s commitment to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons and mentions the possibility that Congress could refuse to roll back sanctions if they are not satisfied with the terms of the deal.

“Should an agreement with Iran be reached, permanent sanctions relief from congressionally-mandated sanctions would require new legislation,” the letter reads. “In reviewing such an agreement, Congress must be convinced that its terms foreclose any pathway to a bomb, and only then will Congress be able to consider permanent sanctions relief.”

The letter also highlights the concerns of the lawmakers over the potential military dimensions of Iran’s nuclear program as well as its destabilizing role in the Middle East.  It states that any comprehensive agreement must “be long-lasting” and must allow for “short notice access” for any inspection and verification regime. 

“As the Administration continues to negotiate with Iran, we are prepared to evaluate any agreement to determine its long-term impact on the United States and our allies,” the letter concludes.  “We remain hopeful that a diplomatic solution preventing Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon may yet be reached, and we want to work with you to assure such a result.”

As an organization that represents the Iranian American community, PAAIA supports efforts to pursue a peaceful resolution to the decade-long stalemate over Iran’s nuclear program. We recognize the importance of ensuring that Iranian Americans are well informed and aware of the positions held by their elected officials and others related to this matter. 

For more information on this issue, please see our Nuclear Negotiations Resource Center.

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