More than 360 members of Congress have signed a bipartisan letter to President Barack Obama emphasizing their role in ongoing talks on Iran's nuclear program, The Hill reported
The letter, initiated by House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce, a California Republican, and New York Democrat Eliot Engel, ranking member of the panel, emphasizes that the permanent sanctions relief which Iran has demanded during the Geneva negotiations on nuclear issues would require new legislation.
"In reviewing such an agreement, Congress must be convinced that its terms foreclose any pathway to a bomb, and only then will Congress be able to consider permanent sanctions relief," the lawmakers wrote.
Members added that "Iran's role in fomenting instability in the region ... demonstrates the risks of negotiating with a partner we cannot trust."
An aide to Engel said that 363 members had signed the letter, VOA News reported
"It's truly a very bipartisan letter expressing Congress's strong feelings about things that need to be in the agreement," Engel said Thursday during a Foreign Affairs Committee hearing on Iran. "Congress really needs to play a very active and vital role in this whole process, and any attempts to sidestep Congress will be resisted on both sides of the aisle."
But the letter stops short of endorsing legislation currently before the Senate which would give Congress two months to weigh in on a final agreement before it took effect.
In 2013, the House voted 400-20 for a legislation expanding the number of Iranian goods and services subject to sanctions
and authorizing the president to impose penalties on foreign entities that maintain commercial ties with Iran.
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