Press Release - Toomey Sends Letter to Sen. Specter and Rep. Sestak on Iran
Nachama Soloveichik • 484.809.7994 • 646.528.1029
Tim Kelly • 484.809.7994
Allentown, PA – U.S. Senate candidate Pat Toomey sent the following letter to Senator Arlen Specter and Congressman Joe Sestak today, urging them to join their Democratic colleagues in supporting tough economic sanctions on Iran.
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Senator Arlen Specter
711 Hart Bldg
Washington, DC 20510
Congressman Joe Sestak
1022 Longworth House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515
October 8, 2009
Dear Senator Specter and Congressman Sestak:
I know that we disagree on a wide array of issues, but I am writing to you today because I believe the situation in Iran and the protection of our ally Israel goes beyond our respective party differences.
In recent weeks, Iran has ratcheted up its nuclear activities, revealing a secret, second nuclear facility and test-firing missiles across the Middle East. It continues unabated to threaten Israel and flout United Nations resolutions regarding its nuclear program.
It is abundantly clear that the Iranian regime is intent on acquiring nuclear weapons, and it will take advantage of any openings we give them. Given its history of brutality toward its own citizens, its hostility to Israel, and its violent worldview, the prospect of nuclear weapons in Iranian hands poses a major threat to world peace and U.S. security interests.
In Congress, there is a strong and insistent bipartisan movement to impose new and tougher sanctions on Iran and businesses that invest in Iran. The Iran Refined Petroleum Sanctions Act already has 75 co-sponsors in the Senate and 321 in the House, and the Iran Sanctions Enabling Act has 34 senators and 247 representatives as co-sponsors. Both of these bills would give the U.S. critical diplomatic tools to exert pressure on Iran. Without these tools, continued negotiations and discussions will only give Iran the time it needs to successfully acquire nuclear weapons.
Regrettably, the Obama Administration does not seem to appreciate the urgency of the situation. It has emphasized discussion over action and has actively delayed the passage of the aforementioned sanctions bills. In a sign of growing dissatisfaction with the Administration’s approach, key Democratic leaders have become increasingly outspoken in their criticism. Yesterday, your Democratic colleagues, Senators Chuck Schumer, Chris Dodd, and Robert Menendez criticized the Obama administration and the State Department for refusing to endorse a new sanctions package.
I was very disappointed to see that neither of you have signed onto the two major sanctions bills making their way through Congress. The vast majority of the Pennsylvania Congressional delegation has signed onto one or both of these bills; I don’t understand why you have declined to join them. I urge both of you to support real economic sanctions on Iran, and to join your Democratic colleagues in pushing the Administration to support these very important bills.
In politics, it is rare to see such overwhelming bipartisanship, but the wide range of support from Republicans and Democrats demonstrates how critical this issue is. The consequences of doing nothing are simply too great.
I would be proud to join Democratic Senators Schumer and Dodd and the bipartisan majority in the Senate in supporting this legislation. I hope you will use your leadership and influence in Washington to push the President and his Administration in the right direction. Time is of the essence.