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Overwhelming majority of House members send letter to Obama on Iranian nuclear negotiations


U.S. House of Representatives
U.S. House of Representatives
(Bloomberg) -- A letter signed by 367 U.S. House members to President Barack Obama highlights what they describe as “grave and urgent issues” relating to negotiations to rein in Iran’s nuclear ambitions.
The letter, dated March 20 and released Monday by the House Foreign Affairs Committee, cites concerns about the size of Iran’s uranium enrichment program, its lack of cooperation with international inspectors and the need for an intrusive inspection regime.
In any 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,” according to the letter signed by 84 percent of House members.
“A final comprehensive nuclear agreement must constrain Iran’s nuclear infrastructure so that Iran has no pathway to a bomb, and that agreement must be long-lasting,” according to the letter.
Those signing the letter include such Republicans as Speaker John Boehner and Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy and such Democrats as Steny Hoyer, the minority whip, and Eliot Engel.
The lawmakers said they remain “hopeful that a diplomatic solution preventing Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon may yet be reached,” and tell Obama, “we want to work with you to assure such a result.”
Negotiators from the U.S. and five other nations are seeking to ensure that Iran’s nuclear program is peaceful in exchange for relief from trade curbs that have squeezed the Islamic Republic’s economy.
Issues under discussion include the nuclear capacity Iran should be allowed to keep, the nature of inspections, and the pace of relief from sanctions, especially on oil exports.


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