Kirsten Gillibrand United States Senator for New York

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Gillibrand, McCain, Lieberman, Bipartisan Group of Senators Urge Strong Resolution on Iran at Tomorrow’s IAEA Board of Governors Meeting

November 16, 2011

Washington D.C. - Senators Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), John McCain (R-AZ), Joseph I. Lieberman (I-CT), Robert Menendez (D-NJ), Mark Kirk (R-IL), Bob Casey, Jr. (D-PA), and Marco Rubio (R-FL) released their bipartisan letter sent to President Obama today, urging the United States to seek a strong resolution concerning Iran when the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Board of Governors convenes in Vienna tomorrow. 

The letter comes less than a week after the Director-General of the IAEA issued an unprecedented and alarming report, detailing the considerable evidence that the Iranian government is moving toward the capability to develop nuclear weapons and the means to deliver them. 

“We appreciate that there will, as always, be opposition in some quarters to a strong resolution at the IAEA Board of Governors,” wrote the Senators. “Securing such a resolution is therefore an important test of U.S. leadership and resolve at this vital juncture. We also firmly believe that a weakened resolution, as some governments will undoubtedly press for, would be profoundly counterproductive to our broader effort to stop Iran's dangerous and destabilizing nuclear drive -- dispiriting our friends and emboldening the regime in Tehran.”

The full letter sent to President Obama from the bipartisan group of 7 Senators is below.

The President

The White House

1600 Pennsylvania Avenue N.W.

Washington, DC 20500 

Dear Mr. President: 

As you know, last week the Director-General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) issued an unprecedented and alarming report, detailing the considerable evidence that the Iranian government wants to be able to develop nuclear weapons and the means to deliver them. 

This damning indictment of the Iranian government's deceptive and illicit conduct, by an impartial international agency, provides a critical but fleeting basis for the United States to rally the international community to impose new and crippling forms of pressure on Iran -- beginning when the IAEA Board of Governors convenes later this week. We write today, therefore, to express our strong conviction that the United States, together with our European allies, should work to ensure that the Board of Governors adopts a strong and principled resolution that both recognizes and amplifies the IAEA report. 

We appreciate that there will, as always, be opposition in some quarters to a strong resolution at the IAEA Board of Governors. Securing such a resolution is therefore an important test of U.S. leadership and resolve at this vital juncture. We also firmly believe that a weakened resolution, as some governments will undoubtedly press for, would be profoundly counterproductive to our broader effort to stop Iran's dangerous and destabilizing nuclear drive -- dispiriting our friends and emboldening the regime in Tehran. 

We thank you for your leadership on this matter.

 

                                                            Sincerely,