Christian Leaders Urge US Congress to Back Accord

Christian Leaders Urge US Congress to Back Accord
Christian Leaders Urge US Congress to Back Accord

Fifty-three Christian leaders in the United States recently published an open letter, appealing to US lawmakers to vote in favor of the July 14 nuclear deal with Iran.

"After decades of hostility, the international community has crafted a nuclear accord to limit Iran's nuclear program and prevent the United States from moving closer toward another devastating war in the Middle East," the letter said, Fars News Agency reported on Tuesday.

"As people of faith, we urge you to support the international agreement with Iran and reject legislation to undermine the deal."

The pact lifts sanctions against Tehran in exchange for it accepting limits on its nuclear work for a specified period of time.

Congress has until September 17 to act on the deal and vote whether to reject it.

The senior Christian clerics said in the letter, "Rejection of this deal would be a rejection of the historic progress our diplomats have made to make this world a safer place."

Tehran denies the charge it may be seeking to develop a nuclear weapons capability under the guise of a civilian program, saying the work is totally for peaceful applications.  

Defending their position, the religious leaders noted that the Joint Comprehensive plan of Action, as the deal is officially referred to, would help with the situation in the Middle East, torn by several conflicts.

"This agreement helps de-escalate tension in a region that is already suffering the effects of war and violence in ways unimaginable to most of us in the United States."

They echoed US President Barack Obama's case that there has been no superior alternative to negotiations for the settlement of the 12-year nuclear dispute.

"It is also a testament to the effectiveness of diplomacy to take countries from the brink of war and resolve concerns peacefully."

"There is no question we are all better off with this deal than without it. The stakes on this matter have never been higher," the letter added.