08012014Fri

Iranian-Americans laud 74 Senators for urging President Obama to toughen sanctions and support the Iranian people

PR Newswire

WASHINGTON

Some 30 Iranian-American associations, communities and professional organizations representing tens of thousands of Iranians in the United States lent their strong support to the bipartisan December 20, 2012 letter to President Obama by 74 U.S. Senators, initiated by Senators Robert Menendez (D-NJ), Joseph Lieberman (I-CT) and Kelly Ayotte (R-NH), regarding the Iranian nuclear program and support for the Iranian people's struggle for freedom.

While applauding the United States Senate in demanding a more decisive approach to the Iranian regime and the recognition of the Iranian people's yearning for freedom, the Iranian –American Associations also urged President Obama to implement the senators' recommendations in dealing with Iran's nuclear threat and promoting the cause of human rights and democracy in Iran.

Referring to the significant impact of the current sanctions on the Iranian economy, the letter by the supermajority of the U.S. Senate warns that "the Iranian government has quintupled its stockpile of low enriched uranium since 2009 and it has taken a significant step closer to possessing weapons-grade uranium by enriching up to 20 percent."

"Iran has raced towards completion of its hardened Fordow enrichment facility, more than doubling the number of centrifuges installed at the site just since the summer of this year," the letter adds.

While emphasizing that they share President Obama's "commitment to preventing Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon and strongly agree… that '[t]he clock is ticking," the senators underscored that "there should be absolutely no diminution of pressure on the Iranians until the totality of their nuclear problem has been addressed. The time for limited confidence-building is over." 

The senators also expressed skepticism over "any proposal that would allow the current Iranian government to possess an enriched capability in any form, given its long track record of deceptive and illicit conduct," adding, "We also believe that, at an absolute minimum, a successful resolution of the Iranian nuclear file must include the complete closure of Fordow facility."

The senators also stressed that "the United States must make use of all elements of our national power to pressure Iran. This should include aggressive implementation of existing sanctions and the adoption of new, even stronger ones," as well as "work[ing] to deepen Iran's diplomatic isolation by encouraging countries to expel Iranian missions, as Canada recently did."

The senators asked President Obama to reiterate his "readiness to take military action against Iran if it continues its efforts to acquire a nuclear weapon… and work with our European and Middle Eastern allies to demonstrate to the Iranians that a credible and capable multilateral coalition exists that would support a military strike if, in the end, this is unfortunately necessary."

"We urge you to expand America's outreach and support of the Iranian people and support of the cause of human rights and democracy in Iran. As we have seen across the Middle East over the past two years, autocratic regimes that appear entrenched and invulnerable can collapse with stunning speed," the senators wrote while noting, "It is critically important for the U.S. to stand clearly and vocally on the side of the Iranian people today and support their quest for freedom -- regardless of the status of negotiations with the Iranian government."

SOURCE Association of Iranian-Americans in New York & New Jersey

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