Congress warns Obama nothing ‘moderate’ about Iran’s new president
Special to WorldTribune.com
WASHINGTON — Congress has warned that Iran’s new president would not
resolve his country’s nuclear standoff with the West.
House members have urged President Barack Obama against embracing Iran’s
new president, Hassan Rowhani, the Shi’ite cleric elected last month. In a
letter to Obama, 43 Democrats and Republicans said the presidential election
appeared to have been rigged.
“There appears nothing ‘moderate’ about his nuclear policies, which are a continuation of the policies that have been roundly opposed by the international community,” the letter read. “Moreover, decisions about Iran’s nuclear program and foreign policy rest mainly in the hands of Iran’s supreme leader [Ayatollah Ali] Khamenei. Khamenei has recently reiterated his view that Iran has no reason to normalize relations with the United States.”
The letter signed by the Republican chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee Rep. Ed Royce as well as all the members of the panel. Royce and the committee members said Rowhani has supported Iran’s nuclear ambitions.
“Iran’s election unfortunately has done nothing to suggest a reversal of
Iran’s pursuit of a nuclear weapons capacity,” the letter said.
“President-elect Rowhani, who served as a nuclear negotiator for Iran at a
time its illicit program was well underway, indicated his support for Iran’s
nuclear ambitions in his first post-election press conference.”
The letter marked a contrast to the hopeful messages by the Obama
administration that Rowhani could reconcile with the West. The House members
said Iran was “dramatically expanding its nuclear infrastructure: installing
advanced centrifuges which would quadruple the speed with which Iran can
enrich uranium, while continuing construction of a heavy water reactor which
will permit a plutonium option.”
The letter urged Obama to intensify sanctions and other pressure on
Iran. The House members said Congress would introduce legislation that would
“It is important that you leave no doubt in the minds of the Iranian
government that the United States will do all it can to prevent Iran from
acquiring a nuclear weapons capability,” the letter said.