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theodore M I R A L D I mpa ... editor, publisher, writer
Monday, March 23, 2015
367 House members send letter on Iran to Obama
Rep. Ed Royce, chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, frets that the Obama administration is willing to negotiate the release of spies or terrorists. (Associated Press) ** FILE ** By Maria Stainer
Rep. Ed Royce, Rep. Eliot Engel and 365 other House members sent a bipartisan letter to President Obama recently stating their concerns with the “grave and urgent” issues involved in the Iranian nuclear negotiations, which are to wrap up at the end of March.
The letter, dated March 20, was sent after a hearing where State Department and Treasury Department officials testified before the House Foreign Affairs Committee. Mr. Royce is a California Republican and chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, and Mr. Engel, a New York Democrat, is the committee’s ranking member.
The officials were asked whether the negotiations with Iran are paving or blocking a path to nuclear weapons for Tehran, Mr. Royce’s office said in a statement on Monday.
“The United States has had a longstanding interest in preventing Iran from achieving a nuclear weapons capability. Over the last twenty years, Congress has passed numerous pieces of legislation imposing sanctions on Iran to prevent that outcome, ultimately forcing Iran into negotiations. Should an agreement with Iran be reached, permanent sanctions relief from congressionally-mandated sanctions would require new legislation,” the letter said.
“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. Resolving the nuclear crisis with Iran remains of grave importance to our nation’s security. 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. 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.”