Letter to Barack Obama, President of the United States - Support of Iran Negotiations Signed by 150 Members


By: Eddie Johnson, Hakeem Jeffries, Brenda Lawrence, John Larson, Maxine Waters, Ted Lieu, Mike Honda, Beto O'Rourke, Gwen Moore, Linda Sánchez, Hank Johnson, Jr., Eleanor Norton, Niki Tsongas, John Lewis, Alan Lowenthal, Jackie Speier, Mike Thompson, José Serrano, Terri Sewell, Nydia Velázquez, Gregory Meeks, Marc Veasey, Rick Nolan, Chellie Pingree, Pedro Pierluisi, Xavier Becerra, Suzan DelBene, Sanford Bishop, Jr., John Carney, Jr., Elizabeth Esty, Joe Courtney, Susan Davis, Chaka Fattah, Sr., Donna Edwards, John Garamendi, Marcia Fudge, Danny Davis, Pete Aguilar, Suzanne Bonamici, Judy Chu, Anna Eshoo, Sam Farr, Julia Brownley, Jan Schakowsky, Luis Gutiérrez, Raul Grijalva, Katherine Clark, John Yarmuth, Eric Swalwell, Grace Napolitano, Marcia Kaptur, Tim Ryan, Don Payne, Jr., Pete Visclosky, Doris Matsui, David Scott, Norma Torres, Cedric Richmond, Adam Smith, Sean Maloney, Dutch Ruppersberger, Jared Polis, Nancy Pelosi, Jared Huffman, Tim Walz, Ben Lujan, Jr., Bobby Rush, Jerry McNerney, Jim McDermott, Ed Perlmutter, Richard Neal, Mark Takano, Rosa DeLauro, Alma Adams, Madeleine Bordallo, Brian Higgins, Earl Blumenauer, Don Beyer, Jr., André Carson, Mike Doyle, Jr., Peter DeFazio, Joe Heck, Jr., Al Green, Lois Capps, Matt Cartwright, Yvette Clarke, Joyce Beatty, Corrine Brown, Mike Capuano, Steve Cohen, John Conyers, Jr., Karen Bass, Keith Ellison, Gerry Connolly, Lloyd Doggett II, Bobby Scott, Peter Welch, Zoe Lofgren, Paul Tonko, Barbara Lee, Dave Loebsack, Bonnie Watson Coleman, Stacey Plaskett, Lucille Roybal-Allard, Stephen Lynch, Bennie Thompson, Chris Van Hollen, Jr., Raul Ruiz, Mark Takai, Kilili Sablan, Sheila Jackson Lee, Seth Moulton, Mark Pocan, Frederica Wilson, Charlie Rangel, Loretta Sanchez, Betty McCollum, Louise Slaughter, Jim McGovern, Bill Foster, Mark DeSaulnier, Jim Clyburn, David Price, Tammy Duckworth, Emanuel Cleaver II, Lacy Clay, Jr., David Cicilline, Tony Cárdenas, G. K. Butterfield, Jr., Rubén Hinojosa, Sr., Ami Bera, Joaquin Castro, Diana DeGette, Debbie Dingell, Cheri Bustos, Brad Ashford, Elijah Cummings, Kathy Castor, Ruben Gallego, Janice Hahn, Bob Brady
Date: May 7, 2015

Dear Mr. President:

As negotiations over Iran's nuclear program continue, we urge you to stay on course, building on the recently announced political framework and continuing to work toward a strong and verifiable agreement between the P5+1 countries and Iran that will prevent Iran from having a nuclear weapon. We commend you and your negotiating team, as well as our coalition partners, for the significant progress made thus far.

This issue is above politics. The stakes are too great, and the alternatives are too dire. We must exhaust every avenue toward a verifiable, enforceable, diplomatic solution in order to prevent a nuclear-armed Iran. If the United States were to abandon negotiations or cause their collapse, not only would we fail to peacefully prevent a nuclear-armed Iran, we would make that outcome more likely. The multilateral sanctions regime that brought Iran to the table would likely collapse, and the Iranian regime would likely decide to accelerate its nuclear program, unrestricted and unmonitored. Such developments could lead us to war.

War itself will not make us safe. A U.S. or Israeli military strike may set back Iranian nuclear development by two or three years at best - a significantly shorter timespan than that covered by a P5+1 negotiated agreement. We must pursue diplomatic means to their fullest and allow the negotiations to run their course -- especially now that the parties have announced a strong framework -- and continue working to craft a robust and verifiable Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action by June 30.

We must allow our negotiating team the space and time necessary to build on the progress made in the political framework and turn it into a long-term, verifiable agreement. If we do not succeed, Congress will remain at-the-ready to act and present you with additional options to ensure that Iran is prevented from acquiring a nuclear weapon

Thank you for your resolve in preventing a nuclear-armed Iran. We look forward to continuing our shared work on this important matter.