Monday, July 07, 2008

Ackerman and Pence Try to Drum up Support for H.Con.Res. 362

Representatives Gary Ackerman and Mike Pence have started off the week with a new "Dear Colleague" letter entitled "Take a Stand Against Iranian Bullying" intended to drum up more support for their controversial resolution, H.Con.Res. 362. Below is the full text of the "Dear Colleague" letter.

Take a Stand Against Iranian Bullying: Co-Sponsor H. Con. Res. 362

July 7, 2008

Dear Colleague:

We write to encourage you to join us as sponsors of H.Con.Res.362, a resolution expressing the sense of Congress regarding the threat posed to international peace, stability in the Middle East, and the vital national security interests of the United States by Iran's pursuit of nuclear weapons and regional hegemony.

Iran is backing and arming militias and terrorists fighting the United States and our allies in both Iraq and Afghanistan; it is the proud patron of both the Hamas take-over in Gaza and the Hezbollah insurrection against the Lebanese government; it is the major funding source for numerous terrorist groups and, increasingly, Syria its fellow state-sponsor of terrorism, and it is radically reorienting regional security calculations. Meeting the threat posed by Iran is an urgent challenge that will require America to work closely with the international community, and especially with partners in the Middle East.

Though the stakes are high and time is short, the resolution is explicit in stating that meeting the challenge from Iran must be done using all appropriate political, diplomatic and economic levers. To our surprise and dismay, however, some have mistakenly suggested the resolution calls for a "naval blockade" or even amounts to "a declaration of war."

These assertions are absolutely false and, frankly, utter nonsense. The resolution states plainly and distinctly that "nothing in this resolution shall be construed as an authorization of the use of force against Iran;" the economic sanctions the President is urged to seek are explicitly placed in an international context; and the methods contemplated for achieving these sanctions are no different than those currently being employed to implement existing UN Security Council sanctions on Iran, namely enforcement of export controls by UN member states within their own borders.

The threat from Iran is real and growing, and must be addressed so that today's efforts by Iran at subversion and proliferation do not, tomorrow, become the seeds of new and more terrible conflict in the Middle East. Please contact Dalis Blumenfeld at the House Subcommittee on the Middle East and South Asia at 202-225-3345 if you'd like to be added as a sponsor.


s/ Gary L. Ackerman s/ Mike Pence
Chairman Ranking Minority Member
House Subcommittee on the Middle East & South Asia

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