E3, US Lawmakers Pen Joint Letter on Iran Deal

E3, US Lawmakers Pen Joint Letter on Iran Deal E3, US Lawmakers Pen Joint Letter on Iran Deal

US and European lawmakers are circulating an unprecedented joint letter warning their respective heads of state that a bad nuclear deal with Iran will "without fail" result in more sanctions, Al-Monitor has learned.

Republican US Representatives Doug Lamborn and Randy Weber began circulating the letter on Tuesday to members of the House Armed Services and Foreign Affairs panels. They say the letter has already been signed by four parliamentarians from the so-called E3 nations of France, Britain and Germany that are involved in the multiparty talks over Iran's nuclear program.

"We believe that a nuclear Iran is an imminent threat not only to the US but also to Europe, the Middle East and to the world at large," the two US lawmakers write in a message inviting colleagues to sign on. "With this in mind, we are partnering with members of various European Parliaments to address our concerns to President (Barack) Obama and to the heads of the European states involved in the negotiations (France, England and Germany), and express our fear of a bad deal."

Iran says its nuclear work is only for peaceful purposes such as electricity generation, denying the allegation that it may be seeking to develop the capability to build nuclear weapons under the guide a civilian program. The letter comes on the heels of an open letter to Iran's officials by 47 Republican senators warning them that the US Congress or a future president could undo any agreement. Apparently informed by the backlash against that letter, this new effort states clearly it is meant to empower, not undercut, the negotiators currently meeting in Switzerland.

"We remain skeptical of the Iranian (government's) sincerity and commitment to reach an agreement…We fear (Iran) may attempt to use any further delays or any loopholes in a bad deal to continue (its alleged efforts to develop a nuclear weapons capability) covertly," the letter states.

"We do not wish to hinder the negotiations," it says. "However we believe Iran must realize that any failure to negotiate an acceptable deal, one that prevents a nuclear armed Iran, will result without fail in tougher sanctions than ever."  The letter has already been signed by David Burrowes of the United Kingdom, Meyer Habib of France, and Roderich Kiesewetter and Johann Wadephul of Germany, according to Lamborn and Weber. They are seeking signatures until March 23 and aim to send out the letter on March 24, which is the deadline for nuclear talks.