US must toughen sanctions and threaten force to halt Iranian regime’s nuclear program, Congressmen demand

The United States must toughen sanctions against the Iranian regime  and warn the regime that failure to halt its nuclear weapons program could ultimately result in use of force, two US congressman have demanded.

Luke Messer and Brad Schneider issued the call in a bipartisan letter signed by 78 freshman members of Congress to US president Barack Obama, reminding him that were no current signs that Iran had slowed or halted its goal of building a nuclear bomb. The letter said: “We write to share with you out view that time is running out and America must continue to broaden and strengthen our enforcement of sanctions against Iran until Tehran takes meaningful steps to stop and reverse its illicit nuclear activities.

“We share your conviction that Iran must not be allowed to develop a nuclear weapon, and we are appreciative of the extensive sanctions your administration has implemented. At the same time, we believe there is a need to do more to pressure Iran to end its nuclear program. That is the reason the House overwhelmingly passed the Nuclear Iran Prevention Act of 2013 this summer.

The letter said that despite ‘encouraging words’ from the new Iranian regime’s President Hassan Rouhani, there was no evidence yet that the regime was slowing down its nuclear program, and a recent IAEA report even suggested it was accelerating its efforts.

The congressmen continued: “Until Iran fundamentally changes course, the United States must continue to toughen sanctions. We, therefore, urge you to utilize the full set of sanctions available under current law.”

Sanctions should be extended to the energy, financial construction and foreign exchange sectors, the letter said, adding: “We believe it is imperative that you make clear to Tehran that the United States will not allow Iran to develop nuclear weapons; that we will step up sanctions until it reverses its nuclear program and that we stand ready to use force if necessary.

“The world is watching and history will judge us by our success protecting the region and the world from a nuclear-armed Iran.”

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