Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Kucinich on H.Con.Res. 362

On July 1, 2008, Representative Dennis J. Kucinich (D-OH) circulated a "Dear Colleague" letter opposing H.Con.Res. 362. Below is the full text of the letter.

July 1, 2008

Stop the Escalation of Tensions with Iran
Oppose H. Con. Res. 362

Dear Colleague:

I strongly urge my colleagues to oppose H. Con. Res. 362 when it comes to the Floor following the July 4th recess. Despite the intentions of the sponsors of the legislation, this bill will only serve to escalate tensions between the U.S. and Iran. This bill will play into the hand of those in the Bush Administration who want Congressional license to attack Iran.

The third resolved clause states that there should be imposed “stringent inspection requirements on all persons, vehicles, ships, planes, trains, and cargo entering or departing Iran; and prohibiting the international movement of all Iranian officials not involved in negotiation the suspension of Iran’s nuclear Program.” Enforcement of such a provision would almost certainly imply or require the use of force. Furthermore, it is conceivable that this provision could be construed to constitute the imposition of a naval blockade. Under international law a blockade is classified as an act of war.

The bill leaves the door open for war but is silent on ways to avoid it. The language in clause 3 could be understood to contradict the whereas clause in the bill that states that “nothing in this resolution shall be construed as an authorization of the use of force against Iran.” Furthermore, it is notable that this whereas clause does not include a declaration that the President must seek the approval of Congress before authorizing any use of force against Iran. Nor does it explicitly state that the U.S. will resolve our differences with Iran diplomatically and in a show of good will take the use of force off the table.

The provocative nature of the resolution will appear to Iran to be another round of saber rattling and will inflame additional ill will between our nations. If this body truly wants to find a peaceful solution to Iran’s nuclear program and influence in the Middle East, we must use the best and most credible form of diplomacy at our disposal. The U.S. must engage Iran in direct diplomatic talks without preconditions. Passage of this resolution only escalates our strained relationship with Iran.

I urge my Colleagues to vote against H. Con. Res. 362. If you have any questions please contact Cate Veith...



Dennis J. Kucinich
Member of Congress

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