A bipartisan group of 140 members of Congress – 70 Democrats and 70 Republicans – sent a letter to Secretary of State Antony Blinken, requesting that any future agreement with Iran would address “the comprehensive range of threats that Iran poses to the Middle East region.”
Rep. Anthony Brown, a Democrat from Maryland, and Rep. Michael Waltz, a Republican from Florida, spearheaded the letter.
Among the Republicans that signed the letter: Rep. Brian Mast of Florida, Rep. Doug Lamborn of Colorado, Mo Brooks of Alabama and Dan Crenshaw of Texas. Noted Democrats who signed the letter include Rep. Lois Frankel of Florida, Rep. Josh Gottheimer of New Jersey, Rep. Alcee Hastings of Florida, and Rep. Brad Sherman of California. ABC News first reported about the letter.
“As Democrats and Republicans from across the political spectrum, we are united in preventing an Iranian nuclear weapon and addressing the wide range of illicit Iranian behavior,” they wrote. “There is consensus within Congress that allowing one of the world’s leading state sponsors of terrorism to obtain nuclear weapons is an unacceptable risk. We recognize that there is not a singular diplomatic path forward on these objectives and we look forward to working with you as partners to achieve lasting peace in the region.”
The members noted that Iran has continued to test ballistic missile technology, “funded and supported terrorism throughout the Middle East, and engaged in cyber attacks to disrupt the global economy.”
They added that following the decertification of the JCPOA, Iran violated the previously agreed upon restrictions on refining fissile material and stated that it was no longer bound by any of its limits.
“We call upon the administration to address these actions by Iran, de-escalate tension in these conflicts, and ensure the security of all nations in the region,” the letter reads. “America and our allies must engage Iran through a combination of diplomatic and sanction mechanisms to achieve full compliance of international obligations and a demonstrated commitment by Iran to addressing its malign behavior.”
They argued that restrictions on Iran’s nuclear program must be extended “until the regime conclusively demonstrates that it has no interest in a nuclear weapons program.”
The lawmakers went on to say that the current inspection regime must be tightened to prevent the delays international inspectors have faced visiting suspect sites.
“Diplomacy with Iran must limit not only the production of nuclear material but also ensure that Iran cannot develop a nuclear-capable ballistic missile,” they continued. “Iran’s malign behavior throughout the Middle East must be addressed.It has sowed chaos in Syria and Yemen, continued to arm Hezbollah and worked to provide the terrorist group with precision guided missiles to attack Israel, and backed forces in Iraq that have targeted American troops and worked to undermine the Iraqi government, taken American citizens prisoner, and committed human rights violations. These and potential future actions must be addressed and Iran must release their political prisoners.”