Above: Iranian President Hassan Rouhani addresses the 68th session of the United Nations General Assembly at U.N. headquarters.
A group of lawmakers sent President Obama a letter today calling on additional sanctions against Iran. U.S. Rep. Brad Schneider (D-Ill.) — who’s likely to face a tough reelection battle next year — helped lead a group of more than 70 lawmakers who signed onto a letter to Obama.
Schneider is a member of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs. His district covers the North Shore and includes a population keenly interested in a lawmaker who takes strong pro-Israel stances. Obama and new Iranian President Hassan Rouhani took part in a historic phone call in late September, where Obama said he was encouraged a settlement could be reached over Iran’s nuclear weapon development.
“The two of us discussed our ongoing efforts to reach an agreement over Iran’s nuclear program,” Obama said of the Sept. 27 call. “I reiterated to President Rouhani what I said in New York: While there will surely be important obstacles to moving forward, and success is by no means guaranteed, I believe we can reach a comprehensive agreement.”
Despite that progress, the group of lawmakers said in their letter that the U.S. should ratchet-up the pressure.
“History will judge our actions with Iran by one simple question—did we prevent it from acquiring a nuclear weapon,” Schneider said in a statement. “While recent diplomatic progress is encouraging, actions are what matter ultimately. The Administration must continue to implement a full spectrum of sanctions, pressuring Iran to give up its nuclear weapons program or face an even graver economic outlook.”