House members to Obama: ‘Long-lasting’ Iran deal must prevent nukes

Marcy Oster

WASHINGTON (JTA) – Most House members signed a letter to President Barack Obama stressing the need to sign a “long-lasting” Iran deal that keeps it from building a nuclear weapon.

The March 20 bipartisan letter was signed by 367 lawmakers, or 85 percent of the House of Representatives.

“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 two-page letter initiated by the House Foreign Affairs Committee chairs, Reps. Ed Royce (R-Calif.) and Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.).

The lawmakers expressed dismay that “international inspectors report that Iran still has not revealed its past bomb work” and that of the dozen sets of questions that the International Atomic Energy Agency has asked, “Tehran has answered just part of one.”

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Without proper information about prior efforts to achieve a nuclear bomb, the letter said, “it will be impossible for the international community to judge Iran’s future breakout time with certainty.”

“Even during the period of negotiations, Iran has illicitly procured nuclear technology, which your Administration quickly sanctioned,” the Congress members wrote in the letter, which was praised by AIPAC.

The letter also pointed out Congress’ role in implementing any agreement with Iran, stating that “permanent sanctions relief from congressionally-mandated sanctions would require new legislation.”