WASHINGTON – Forty four US Senators, both Republican and Democratic, sent a letter to President Obama Friday, urging him to reconsider talks with Iran unless it agrees to take immediate steps to curb its uranium enrichment activity.
"Steps it must take immediately are shutting down of the Fordow facility, freezing enrichment above five percent, and shipping all uranium enriched above five percent out of the country," the senators wrote in the letter, which was initiated by Senators Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) and Roy Blunt (R-Mo.).
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Referring to a third round of talks between Iran and the 5+1, scheduled for Moscow on Monday, the senators wrote: "Were Iran to agree to and verifiably implement these steps, this would demonstrate a level of commitment by Iran to the process and could justify continued discussions beyond the meeting in Moscow.
"On the other hand, if the sessions in Moscow produce no substantive agreement, we urge you to reevaluate the utility of further talks at this time and instead focus on significantly increasing the pressure on the Iranian government through sanctions and making clear that a credible military option exist," they wrote, adding that "as you have rightly noted, 'the window for diplomacy is closing.' Iran’s leaders must realize that you mean precisely that."
Earlier this week, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said that world powers will outline to Iran a "very clear path" to resolve the impasse over its suspect nuclear program at talks in Moscow.
During a joint appearance with President Shimon Peres at the Saban Center for Middle East Policy in Washington on Tuesday, Clinton said "there is a unified position being presented by the P5+1 that gives Iran, if it is interested in taking a diplomatic way out, a very clear path that would be verifiable and would be linked to action for action.
"I am quite certain that they are under tremendous pressure from the Russians and the Chinese to come to Moscow prepared to respond. Now whether that response is adequate or not we will have to judge," she added.
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