APN Applauds Dent-Price Letter on Iran Diplomacy

Washington, DC – Americans for Peace Now (APN) today commended the 131 members of the House of Representatives who, in a remarkable show of bipartisan cooperation, came together to urge President Obama to pursue reinvigorated U.S. efforts to secure a negotiated nuclear agreement with Iran.  APN particularly commended Representatives Dent (R-PA) and Price (D-NC) for their leadership in initiating this important letter and for bringing so many of their colleagues on board.  APN was proud to support the Dent-Price letter.   We thank our nationwide network of activists who engaged energetically to ensure that members of Congress knew that their constituents wanted them to sign on.

Commenting on the Dent-Price letter, APN President and CEO Debra DeLee stated:
“We wholeheartedly agree with the 131 members of Congress who signed the Dent-Price letter: the recent election of Hassan Rouhani as the new president of Iran presents a potentially historic opening for new, productive U.S. diplomacy with Iran. Notwithstanding the difficulties such an effort may encounter or the potential for failure, this is an opportunity the U.S. cannot afford to miss.

“Representatives Dent and Price deserve special credit and thanks for initiating this critically important letter, and for working tirelessly to bring so many of their colleagues on board.  Too often, messages heard from Congress on Iran are limited to calls for ever-escalating sanctions and saber-rattling.  Indeed, Congress has for weeks been bombarded with voices telling them that the victory of an avowed Iranian political moderate demands in response more sanctions and saber-rattling — an argument that makes sense only if the goal is to actively undermine the possibility of a diplomatic solution in order to clear the path for war.  The large, diverse list of signers of the Dent-Price letter is a sign that many in Congress reject this approach.

“APN has always been clear: nobody should dismiss the very real threat posed by an Iran armed with a nuclear weapon, and no option should be ‘taken off the table.’ However, sanctions and saber-rattling, on their own, will not resolve this crisis. Likewise, military action – which appears to be the favored option of some parties – is unlikely to do more than delay Iran’s nuclear program and is almost certain to have far-reaching unintended consequences for the U.S., Israel, and the region.

“With the Dent-Price letter, members of Congress – at a potentially pivotal moment in history – have sent a clear message to President Obama and, indirectly, to President-elect Rouhani. Their message: notwithstanding the seemingly constant flow of sanctions and saber-rattling coming from Capitol Hill, many in Congress are allies, not adversaries, of a serious diplomatic process that can lead to a negotiated solution to the crisis over Iran’s nuclear program.

“Finally, we know how critical it is that members of Congress hear directly from constituents on issues like support for diplomacy with Iran – particularly given the massive resources invested in pressing Congress to adopt ever-more hawkish positions.  APN supporters across the country – as well as activists associated with a long list of other organizations – engaged enthusiastically and energetically to rally their members to support the Dent-Price letter.  The remarkable success of this letter demonstrates both that members of Congress are open to more reasonable, constructive positions on Iran, and that grassroots activism in support of such positions can have real impact.”

For a list of other organizations supporting the Dent-Price letter click here.

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