More than a hundred US lawmakers have called on the White House to opt for diplomatic channels on Iran following the victory of Hassan Rohani in Iran’s June 14th presidential election.
The request was made this week through a letter co-authored by Charlie Dent and David Price and signed by 131 lawmakers at the US House of Representatives, the Washington Post reported on Friday.
“We believe it would be a mistake not to test whether Dr. Rohani’s election represents a real opportunity for progress toward a verifiable, enforceable agreement. … 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 read.
Rohani won 50.7 percent of the latest presidential election in Iran to secure an outright victory.
Nearly 50.5 million Iranians, including more than 1.6 million first-time voters, were eligible to participate in the election. The voter turnout in the election was 72.7 percent.
Observers have described the new congressional measure as “unprecedented” given the Congress’ track record of anti-Iran approaches, which have been described in the past as even tougher than those adopted by the administration of President Barack Obama.
The US lawmakers’ letter comes as Tehran and the P5+1 group – the permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany – are bracing for their next round of comprehensive negotiations, which among other things focus on the Islamic Republic’s nuclear energy program.
Iran and the P5+1 group have held several rounds of talks on a range of issues, with the main focus being on Iran’s nuclear energy program. The two sides wrapped up their latest round of negotiations on April 6 in the Kazakh city of Almaty. An earlier meeting had been held in Almaty on February 26-27.
The US, Israel and some of their allies falsely claim that Iran is pursuing non-civilian objectives in its nuclear energy program, with Washington and the European Union having used the unfounded allegation as a pretext to impose illegal sanctions on Iran.
Tehran strongly rejects the claim over its nuclear energy activities, maintaining that as a committed signatory to the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and a member of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), it has the right to use nuclear technology for peaceful purposes