Washington, DC - Along with 29 co-signers including Hillary Clinton, Senator Jim Webb of Virginia sent a letter to the White House today warning the President not to take offensive military action against Iran without the express consent of Congress. Designed to clarify any ambiguity as a result of a recent Senate amendment urging designation of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard as a terrorist organization, the Senators also expressed concern that the administration’s increasingly provocative rhetoric has undermined diplomatic efforts with Iran.
However, these 30 senators do not necessarily express a majority viewpoint in the Upper House or in Congress as a whole. The fact that they deem it necessary to express their view in a letter addressed directly and solemnly to the President can also be interpreted as an indication of how grave the risk is that they are trying to avert, and even of how imminent they think it is.
Europe must also mobilise urgently against the war. The initiative we have launched - the Appeal to Europeans to Prevent War with Iran - is addressed particularly to French and British political leaders, whom we invite to join without delay with the numerous key figures in French and foreign NGOs and elected representatives in Europe and America who have already signed it, thus manifesting in a preventive way their opposition to this war, and their support for a global diplomatic solution to the nuclear problem.
Below is the text of the US senators’ letter.
November 1, 2007
President George W. Bush
The White House
Dear President Bush:
We are writing to express serious concerns with the provocative statements and actions stemming from your administration with respect to possible U.S. military action in Iran. These comments are counterproductive and undermine efforts to resolve tensions with Iran through diplomacy.
We wish to emphasize that no congressional authority exists for unilateral military action against Iran. This includes the Senate vote on September 26, 2007 on an amendment to the FY 2008 National Defense Authorization Act. This amendment, expressing the sense of the Senate on Iran, and the recent designation of the Quds Force of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist, should in no way be interpreted as a predicate for the use of military force in Iran.
We stand ready to work with your administration to address the challenges presented by Iran in a manner that safeguards our security interests and promotes a regional diplomatic solution, but we wish to emphasize that offensive military action should not be taken against Iran without the express consent of Congress.