Members of Congress Support Diplomacy with Iran


Many Members of Congress have spoken out against new sanctions and in favor of diplomacy with Iran.

Learn what they’ve said, then call 855-686-6927 to encourage your Representatives to support diplomacy!

Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-WA)– “I think for now it’s appropriate to wait.” (1/16)

Sen. Chris Coons (D-DE)– “Now is not the time for a vote on the Iran sanctions bill.” (1/29)

Rep. Lloyd Doggett (D-TX)- “While difficult and uncertain, diplomacy represents our best hope to prevent nuclear weapons in Iran and ensure the safety of our families and others around the world. Congress should not undermine diplomacy by giving the Iranian hardliners an excuse to scuttle the negotiations. So many of our colleagues have expressed their determination for diplomacy, and so many more share the same view.” (2/12)

Rep. Lloyd Doggett (D-TX)- “To prevent a nuclear-armed Iran, and to ensure the safety of our families and families around the world, a measurable, verifiable negotiated agreement is the wiser course over the unknowable, unlimited risk of war. Those who would intrude on these fragile negotiations now only increase the danger of Iran becoming a nuclear-armed power. They would undermine the international coalition that has enforced the existing sanctions, and they would empower those hard-line ayatollahs, giving them a pretext to stop progress, giving that to the very people, who reject any cooperation and regularly demand death to America and death to Israel. Congress must not impede the diplomatic alternative to war. Ultimately, that diplomacy may not be successful. It may not achieve a final, verifiable agreement; but we should make every reasonable effort toward that end. There are no more important issues considered in this Capitol Building, undertaken by this Congress, than the questions of war and peace. Just as I do not trust Iran, I do not trust war as the best way to prevent a nuclear Iran, and war is the true alternative offered by those here who would interfere or limit these negotiations. Starting a war in Iraq cost us so very dearly, and it did not make us safer. Let’s not repeat that deadly mistake.” (1/13)

Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL)– “I don’t think we should do anything that could jeopardize these negotiations. I’m afraid if it passed, it might.” (1/16)

Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL)– “I think most of us feel these negotiations should have a chance. The alternative to Iran negotiations are to a nuclear-armed Iran, which is unacceptable, or a war, equally unacceptable. We have to give these negotiations a chance.” (2/6/14)

Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN)- “New sanctions stand to kill any hope for diplomacy.” (12/12)

Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA)– “I support the agreement reached today between the P5+1 countries and Iran, which I believe is a significant step toward solving one of the most difficult security challenges facing the world today…By any standard, this agreement is a giant step forward and should not be undermined by additional sanctions at this time.” (11/23)

Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) “The sanctions are biting and they are biting deeply, and there is no need to put additional sanctions on the table at this time. This body may soon consider the Nuclear Weapon Free Iran Act; that is, a bill to do exactly the opposite, to impose additional sanctions against Iran, do it now, and hold it in abeyance.Before casting a vote, Senators should ask themselves what would happen if the bill passes and a promised veto by the President is not sustained. I would like to give my view. I sincerely believe the P5+1 negotiations with Iran would end and, with it, the best opportunity in more than 30 years to make a major change in Iranian behavior. Passing additional sanctions now would only play into the hands of those in Iran who are most eager to see diplomacy fail. Iranian conservatives, hardliners, will attack President Rouhani and Foreign Minister Zarif for seeking a nuclear compromise. The bottom line: If this body passes S. 1881, diplomatic negotiations will collapse, and there will be no final agreement. Further sanctions now would only hurt negotiations and risk eroding international support for the sanctions that have brought us this far. The time for additional measures will come if Iran reneges on the deal or negotiations fail. Now is not that time. The fact is we have reached agreement and that action is just about to take place, and we are going to jaundice it, we are going to hurt it, and we are likely to collapse it by passing additional sanctions now which a President of the United States will veto with the aim of overriding that veto.How does that make any kind of common sense? It defies logic, it threatens instant reverse, and it ends what has been unprecedented diplomacy. Do we want to take that on our shoulders? Candidly, in my view, it is a march toward war. The interim agreement with Iran is strong, it is tough, and it is realistic. It represents the first significant opportunity to change a three-decade course in Iran and an opening to improve one of our most poisonous bilateral relationships. It could open the door to a new future which not only considers Israel’s national security, but protects our own.To preserve diplomacy, I strongly oppose the Nuclear Weapon Free Iran Act.” (1/14)

Sen. Martin Heinrich (D-NM)– “The U.S. intelligence community has made clear that ‘new sanctions would undermine the prospects for a successful comprehensive nuclear agreement with Iran.’ I remain firmly committed to ensuring that Iran does not acquire a nuclear weapon and to exhausting every option before resorting to military force. The interim agreement made on Nov. 24, 2013 is such an option.” (1/16)

Sens. Tim Johnson (D-SD), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Carl Levin (D-MI), Barbara Milkulski (D-MD), Barbara Boxer (D-CA), John D. Rockefeller IV (D-WV), Tom Carper (D-DE), Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Ron Wyden (D-OR), and Tom Harkin (D-IA)– “If Iran fails at anytime to abide by the terms of the JPA, or the JPA is not succeeded by a final long-term agreement that verifiably ensures that Iran’s nuclear program is entirely for peaceful purposes, Congress should promptly consider new sanctions legislation. However, at this time, as negotiations are ongoing, we believe that new sanctions would play into the hands of those in Iran who are most eager to see the negotiations fail. The Intelligence Community’s December 10, 2013 assessment states that ‘new sanctions would undermine the prospects for a successful comprehensive nuclear agreement with Iran.’ Thus, we respectfully request to be consulted prior to any proposed unanimous consent or other agreement to consider any motion, amendment, or other legislation in the Senate related to Iran sanctions.” (12/18/13)

Sen. Tim Johnson (D-SD)- “The President and Secretary Kerry have made a strong case for a pause in Congressional action on new Iran sanctions, so I am inclined to support their request and hold off on Committee action for now.” (12/10)

Sen. Tim Kaine (D-VA)– “I’m very willing to vote for additional sanctions if negotiations falter, but right now we’re in the midst of the first serious discussions with them for a very long time about ending their quest for nuclear weapons, and I think we need to give the diplomatic opportunity a chance.” (1/14)

Sen. Tim Kaine (D-VA)- “We should not impose additional sanctions against Iran in the midst of this diplomatic negotiation.  I support the current crippling sanctions regime and I will gladly vote for additional sanctions should these negotiations falter.  But now is the time to give diplomacy a chance.  So long as Iran is abiding in good faith by the Joint Plan of Action and implementation plan—including intrusive inspections to confirm that they do not move a step closer to nuclear weaponry—the focus should be on negotiating a tough and comprehensive deal, not on taking this vote.”

Sen. Angus King (D-ME)- “I see very little upside and a huge downside” to new sanctions legislation. (12/23)

Sen. Carl Levin (D-I), Sen. Angus S. King Jr. (I-ME)- The potential upside of legislating further sanctions is the hope that increased pressure might elicit more concessions or push Iran to conclude a more favorable deal. But this is unlikely. The potential downside is more likely and more dangerous: Iran’s decision-makers could conclude that the United States government is not negotiating in good faith — a view which Iranian hard-liners already espouse. (1/27)

Sen. Carl Levin (D-MI)- “A vote for additional sanctions in the middle of negotiations plays into the hands of the extremist elements in Iran.” (1/13)

Sen. Carl Levin (D-MI)- “People focus on how many people have signed onto the bill, but two-thirds of the Democrats have not signed onto the bill and with good reason. It has nothing to do with Obama frankly, it has everything to do with not wanting to do anything to jeopardize the possibility of success of the negotiations.” (1/14)

Sen. Carl Levin (D-MI) “Preventing Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons is our most important national security challenge. While President Obama has said that all options, including the potential use of military force, are on the table in dealing with Iran’s nuclear program, it is clearly in our interests achieve our goal peacefully if we can.” (2/5)

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV)– “I did not sign (S. 1881, the Menendez-Kirk sanctions bill) with the intention that it would ever be voted upon or used upon while we’re negotiating. I signed it because I wanted to make sure the president had a hammer if he needed it and showed him how determined we were to do it and use it if we had to. But with that being said we’ve got to give peace a chance here and we’ve got to support this process. I hope we can have an adult conversation on this, all of us to come together to give peace a chance to survive.”

Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR)- “At this time I do not support additional sanctions legislation because I share the views of many foreign policy experts that it could undermine the ongoing negotiations and weaken our multinational coalition, ultimately making less likely our goal of preventing Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons.” (1/14)

Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT)- “What this is really about is about engaging in some confidence-building. And the problem with the Senate and the House potentially stepping in and putting forth a new round of sanctions is that it starts to nibble away, eat away at that confidence, which has been sorely missing. What we would risk doing here in implementing a new round of sanctions is not just screwing up the negotiation, but sending a message to the Iranian people — who are frankly way more pro-American than people might think — that we aren’t really serious about ultimately doing the deal they want. The hard-liners are isolated right now in Iran, and we are, frankly, going to empower them if we show up with the table in the middle of these short-term negotiations with a new round of sanctions that even though they may take place in the future.” (12/3)

Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT)- “I won’t be signing on to (S.1881). I think it risks blowing up the negotiations or at the very least allows for countries like Russia and China to start weakening existing sanctions. I think there is no doubt Congress could rally within days of any breakdown in negotiations to pass a sanctions bill. I stand ready to impose new sanctions the minute these negotiations fall apart. I just don’t see the need to pass a bill today that would be in violation of the temporary agreement that the P5+1 signed with Iran. I just trust the administration in their belief that this could have a really deleterious effect.” (1/14)

Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT)– “Some will argue that we cannot trust Iran—but we do not need to trust Iran to choose to give these negotiations a real chance. If Iran walks away from the negotiating table in bad faith, then the Senate should debate new sanctions. But now, let’s give the Obama Administration and their partners the room to work out a peaceful resolution to this long-festering crisis before voting on any additional sanctions or other efforts that would undermine diplomacy.” (2/4/14)

Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA) “I believe the Administration should be given time to negotiate a strong, verifiable comprehensive agreement. However, if Iran does not agree to a comprehensive agreement that is acceptable, or if Iran does not abide by the terms of the interim agreement, I will work with my colleagues to swiftly enact sanctions in order to increase pressure on the Iranian regime.” (1/22)

Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL)– “The secretary of State has said that this will hurt him in the negotiations, and I believe the secretary of State.” (1/14)

Rep. David Price (D-NC)- “I believe that we must take advantage of the opportunity before us to pursue a peaceful, diplomatic resolution to Iran’s nuclear program, and that we must resist calls by some in Congress to prematurely enact a bill or resolution that risks inadvertently derailing or impeding our ongoing negotiations.” (2/12)

Rep. David Price (D-NC) “A new round of sanctions at this point could have the opposite effect, fracturing the international coalition that has been so critical to the sanctions’ success and thus unraveling the existing sanctions regime. This would actually weaken our negotiating leverage, and would give Iran the pretext to blame America if negotiations fail. Why would we give up our hand before we’ve had a chance to play it?” (12/4)

Rep. David Price (D-NC)– “Congress is united in its determination to prevent Iran from developing a nuclear weapon. But we have important tactical differences, and a sanctions bill proposed by Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) could make it harder to achieve this goal by decreasing the likelihood of successful negotiations. Congress must give diplomacy a chance. We know that it may not work, but the reason must not be our own acts of sabotage.” (1/14)

Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-WV)- “The initial interim agreement between the P5+1 and Iran is an encouraging first step, and I urge my colleagues not to put it at risk by passing new sanctions right now…To me, this is a very clear-cut case, and I frankly do not understand why more of us Senators are not saying so.” (11/26)

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT)- “Clearly the sanctions have brought Iran to the table, but if increased sanctions end up driving them from the table, helping the hard-liners in Iran, that would be negative.” (1/14)

Rep.Adam Schiff (D-CA)- “I strongly believe that we should give diplomacy a chance to succeed and that a new round of sanctions would be counterproductive.” (1/14)

Sen. Mark Udall (D-CO)–  “We’ve got to mistrust but verify whatever the arrangement is. And then secondly, I think diplomatic efforts ought to have a chance to play out. I’ll be the first one in line to put additional sanctions in place if the Iranians back away or they become mischievous as they have been, but right now, I think the administration’s call for some room to negotiate is the right place to be.” (1/16)

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) “Senator Warren believes we must exhaust every effort to resolve the Iranian nuclear issue through diplomacy, and she does not support imposing additional sanctions through new legislation while diplomatic efforts to achieve a long-term agreement are ongoing.” (1/22)

Don’t see your Representatives listed?

Call 855-686-6927 today and urge them to support diplomacy with Iran!