U.S. Reps. David Price, D-N.C., and Charlie Dent, R-Pa., got nearly one-third of the members of the House of Representatives to sign onto a letter to President Barack Obama, urging him to renew diplomatic efforts with Iran now that the country has a new president-elect.
The letter spearheaded by Price and Dent (see letter and list of those who signed it here) says that the actions of president-elect Hassan Rouhani will speak louder than words. Then it adds:
“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.”
The letter was sent to the president on Friday. On Saturday, Rouhani tweeted about it: “131 Congressmen have signed a letter calling on President #Obama to give peace a chance with Iran’s new president #Rouhani.”
The letter doesn’t take a position on sanctions or the possible use of military force. But it signals backing for diplomacy from a significant portion of House members. The 131 who signed it were 114 Democrats (out of 200) and 17 Republicans (out of 234).