US Rep. Ed Royce (R-CA), Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, and US Rep. Eliot Engel (D-NY), the Committee’s Ranking Member, released a bipartisan letter on Monday, to be sent to President Barack Obama, highlighting concerns over ongoing nuclear negotiations with Iran.
Royce and Engel circulated the letter to other House members, in hopes of garnering support and signatures.
With a looming deadline for a comprehensive nuclear agreement with Iran, the letter outlines a series of "difficult issues" which have surfaced during negotiations and have yet to be resolved. These “grave and urgent issues" pertain to the size of Iran’s uranium enrichment program, its lack of cooperation with international inspectors, and the need for an intrusive inspection regime.
The letter also calls for constraints, to be put in place for decades, on the Islamic Republic's nuclear program, "should an agreement with Iran be reached. "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 co-authors of the letter link "the nuclear crisis with Iran" to the country's national 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," notes the letter. "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."