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Nearly a Third of House Joins Dent-Price Letter for Diplomacy with Iran

This week 131 representatives--both Democrats and Republicans--stood up for a diplomatic resolution to the conflict over Iran's nuclear program. This broad based momentum for diplomacy in the House is wholly unprecedented. This historic initiative was led by Republican Charles Dent (PA) and Democrat David Price (NC).

Did your representative sign the Dent-Price letter for renewed negotiations with Iran?
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See the original letter here.

Dear President Obama,

As Members of Congress who share your unequivocal commitment to preventing a nuclear-armed Iran, we urge you to pursue the potential opportunity presented by Iran's recent presidential election by reinvigorating U.S. efforts to secure a negotiated nuclear agreement.

As you know, on June 14 the Iranian people elected Hassan Rouhani president with over 50 percent of the vote in the first round, overcoming repression and intimidation by the Iranian government to cast their ballots in favor of reform. Dr. Rouhani campaigned on the promise to “pursue a policy of reconciliation and peace” and has since promised “constructive interaction with the outside world.” As Iran’s former lead nuclear negotiator, he has also publicly expressed the view that obtaining a nuclear weapon would run counter to Iran’s strategic interests and has been critical of the nuclear “extremism” of outgoing President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

We are mindful of the limitations of the Iranian presidency within the country’s political system, of the fact that previous Iranian presidents elected on platforms of moderation have failed to deliver on promised reforms, and of the mixed signals that Dr. Rouhani himself has sent regarding Iran’s nuclear ambitions. It remains to be seen whether his election will indeed bring significant change with regard to Iran's relations with the outside world. His government’s actions will certainly speak louder than his words.

Even so, we believe it would be a mistake not to test whether Dr. Rouhani’s election represents a real opportunity for progress toward a verifiable, enforceable agreement on Iran’s nuclear program that ensures the country does not acquire a nuclear weapon. In order to test this proposition, it will be prudent for the United States to utilize all diplomatic tools to reinvigorate ongoing nuclear talks. In addition, bilateral and multilateral sanctions must be calibrated in such a way that they induce significant and verifiable concessions from Iran at the negotiating table in exchange for their potential relaxation.

We must also be careful not to preempt this potential opportunity by engaging in actions that delegitimize the newly elected president and weaken his standing relative to hardliners within the regime who are opposed to his professed “policy of reconciliation and peace.” Likewise, it will be critical for the United States to continue its efforts to foster unprecedented international cooperation on this issue so that the international community remains united in its opposition to Iran obtaining a nuclear weapon.

We look forward to working with your administration on this important issue in the months ahead.

Sincerely,

Rep. Charles Dent (PA)
Rep. David Price (NC)

Arizona
Ron Barber
Raul Grijalva
Ed Pastor
Kyrsten Sinema

California
Karen Bass
Xavier Becerra
Ami Bera
Tony Cardenas
John Campbell
Lois Capps
Anna Eshoo
Sam Farr
John Garamendi
Michael Honda
Barbara Lee
Zoe Lofgren
George Miller
Grace Napolitano
Scott Peters
Lucille Roybal-Allard
Raul Ruiz
Jackie Speier
Mark Takano
Mike Thompson
Maxine Waters

Colorado
Diana DeGette
Ed Perlmutter
Jared Polis

Connecticut
Joe Courtney
Rosa DeLauro
Elizabeth Esty
Jim Himes
John Larson

Florida
Alcee Hastings
Richard Nugent

Georgia
Sanford Bishop
Hank Johnson
John Lewis

Guam
Madeleine Bordallo

Illinois
Cheri Bustos
Danny Davis
Tammy Duckworth
William Enyart
Bill Foster
Luis Gutierrez
Robin Kelly
Bobby Rush
Jan Schakowsky

Indiana
Andre Carson
Peter Visclosky

Iowa
Bruce Braley
David Loebsack

Kentucky
Ed Whitfield
John Yarmuth

Maine
Chellie Pingree

Maryland
Elijah Cummings
Donna Edwards

Massachusetts
Mike Capuano
Jim McGovern
Richard Neal
John Tierney
Niki Tsongas

Michigan
John Conyers
John Dingell

Minnesota
Keith Ellison
Betty McCollum
Rick Nolan
Collin Peterson
Timothy Walz

Missouri
William Lacy Clay
Emanuel Cleaver

Nebraska
Jeff Fortenberry

New Hampshire
Ann Kuster
Carol Shea-Porter

New Jersey
Rush Holt
Bill Pascrell
Donald Payne Jr.
Jon Runyan

New Mexico
Michelle Lujan Grisham
Ben Ray Lujan

New York
Tim Bishop
Michael Grimm
Richard Hanna
Brian Higgins
Gregory Meeks
Charles Rangel
Jose Serrano
Louise Slaughter
Paul Tonko

North Carolina
Howard Coble
Walter Jones
(David Price)

Ohio
Marcy Kaptur
Tim Ryan
Patrick Tiberi

Oklahoma
Tom Cole

Northern Mariana Islands
Gregorio Sablan

Oregon
Earl Blumenauer
Suzanne Bonamici
Peter DeFazio

Pennsylvania
Matthew Cartwright
(Charlie Dent)
Mike Doyle
Chaka Fattah
Michael Fitzpatrick
Glenn Thompson

South Carolina
James Clyburn

Tennessee
Steve Cohen
John Duncan

Texas
Eddie Bernice Johnson
Henry Cuellar
Lloyd Doggett
Sheila Jackson Lee
Beto O’Rourke

Utah
Jim Matheson

Vermont
Peter Welch

Virginia
Gerry Connolly
James Moran
Bobby Scott

Virgin Islands
Donna Christensen

Washington
Suzan DelBene
Denny Heck
Rick Larsen
Jim McDermott

Washington, DC
Eleanor Holmes Norton

West Virginia
Nick Rahall

Wisconsin
Sean Duffy
Ron Kind
Gwen Moore
Thomas Petri
Mark Pocan

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