To the Editor:
Re “Congress Gets in the Way” (editorial, March 9):
We strongly support a diplomatic resolution of the Iranian nuclear crisis, but the only reason Tehran has come to the negotiating table is that tough sanctions have been imposed by the United States and the world.
The bipartisan legislation we recently wrote sends a clear signal to the Iranian leadership that the economic pain will only increase if Iran fails to negotiate in good faith. We hope that Iran will eventually comply with all Security Council resolutions on its nuclear program.
But the regime’s troubling and dangerous pattern of behavior — including its efforts to install 3,000 more advanced centrifuges to enrich uranium — tells us that we shouldn’t rely on wishful thinking. And we don’t.
If Iran continues to run out the clock, then the leadership in Tehran should know that sanctions will continue and indeed become even more stringent. We remain focused on sanctions to avoid even worse outcomes.
ELIOT L. ENGEL
Washington, March 13, 2013
The writers, a California Republican and a New York Democrat, respectively, are chairman and ranking member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee.