On July 16, Council for a Livable World sent a letter to Senators urging them not to sign a missiles being circulated by Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC) on Iran. The letter, by setting stringent and unachievable conditions, could doom the negotiating process to failure, undermining U.S. interests. The negotiations have reached a critical point with a July 20 deadline — which can be extended — for negotiations to be extended.
The letter follows:
July 16, 2014
Over the past several years, the U.S. has made genuine gains in its diplomatic efforts to prevent a nuclear-armed Iran. These negotiations are heading to a preliminary deadline on July 20. A letter being circulated now by Senators Menendez and Graham could doom the negotiating process to failure, undermining U.S. interests. We urge you not to sign onto this letter.
The International Atomic Energy Agency, a division of the United Nations, has repeatedly confirmed that Iran is complying with the November Joint Plan of Action. While more time will likely be needed to convert this initial deal into a comprehensive, long-term settlement, the progress that has been made so far is substantive and important.
Negotiators are working now to turn this initial progress into a sustainable solution. At this key juncture, it’s crucial that members of Congress let the diplomats do their job rather than seeking to impose further constraints on what is already an incredibly technically complex and politically sensitive negotiating process.
That’s why a new letter being circulated by Senators Menendez and Lindsey Graham (R-SC) is a cause for concern. The letter outlines a series of extremely tough conditions that Iran must meet as part of any nuclear agreement – conditions that are plainly at odds with what can be realistically expected from a negotiated deal. While Senators Menendez and Graham are right to demand that Iran’s nuclear program be tightly capped, they should also recognize that unrealistic stipulations have doomed nuclear talks in the past, and that the airtight deal we are looking for can be reached without imposing unnecessarily difficult conditions.
There is broad support among the American public for a negotiated agreement that mitigates the Iranian nuclear threat. Senators should throw their support behind continued talks. Failure of a deal now could result in an Iranian nuclear weapon or another intractable war.
We would be pleased to discuss this with you or your staff. Please be in touch with Laicie Heeley at email@example.com or John Isaacs at firstname.lastname@example.org or 202-543-4100.
Council for a Livable World