US Senator Jeanne Shaheen 370 (R).
(photo credit: Jonathan Ernst / Reuters)
WASHINGTON – Two US senators have sent a letter to the European Parliament
calling for the cancellation of a trip some members plan to make to Iran later
in the month.
“Sending a delegation to Iran for a seven-day visit sends
the wrong message at this particularly sensitive time,” Sen. Jeanne Shaheen
(D-New Hampshire) and Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Maryland) wrote in a letter sent
The two senators cited Iran’s failure to comply with the UN
Security Council demands that it suspend its nuclear enrichment program, its
increased “interference” inside Syria, its support for “terrorist activities
around the globe” and its “abysmal” human rights record.
the trip as “ill-advised,” the senators stressed the importance of all diplomacy
carried out with Tehran to be under the auspices of the “P5+1” group of world
powers – the US, France, Britain, Germany, Russia and China – which have been
handling ongoing talks.
The letter also welcomes the recent EU imposition
of further sanctions on Iran, and notes that the US would like to work more
closely with the parliament to present a “united front” on Iran.
senators’ letter came on top of appeals by many Jewish groups also urging that
the delegation reconsider its trip.
“If this delegation goes to Tehran it
would be counterproductive to the efforts being made to isolate Iran,” B’nai
B’rith International President Allan Jacobs said in a statement issued earlier
this week. “Going over there with the intention of ‘bridge building’ is the
exact opposite of what needs to happen.”
Instead, he said, “the EU must
continue to press Iran to hold its government accountable for efforts to create