Thirty percent of members of the U.S. House of Representatives have signed a letter calling on President Barack Obama to give peace a chance with Iran’s new president, Hassan Rouhani, Whispers has learned.
Rouhani was elected June 14 to lead the country of more than 75 million people, replacing firebrand anti-American leader Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Rouhani previously served as the country’s chief nuclear weapon negotiator and was seen by voters as the less combative option.
“This is the loudest call from Congress for diplomacy with Iran ever,” National Iranian American Council Policy Director Jamal Abdi told U.S. News. “This is unprecedented.”
Inside Iran, Abdi said, there’s hesitation to give ground on nuclear weapons because leaders doubt Congress would cooperate with Obama administration attempts to rescind sanctions.
The letter expresses support for using “all diplomatic tools” with Iran in exchange for the country abandoning its nuclear weapon ambitions.
“[W]e 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,” the letter says. “In order to test this proposition, it will be prudent for the United States to utilize all diplomatic tools to reinvigorate ongoing nuclear talks.”
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