Senator Dianne Feinstein Responds to Question from TMO Reporter Geoffrey Cook

Dear  Dr. Cook :

Thank you for contacting me to express your concerns regarding the potential for U.S. military action against Iran.  I appreciate the time you took to write, and I welcome the opportunity to address your concerns.

I strongly believe that Iran should not be allowed to possess nuclear weapons.  As such, I have supported multilateral and unilateral sanctions against Iran in an effort to compel its government to uphold its international obligations and come clean about its nuclear program.

It has become clear that these economic sanctions against Iran are successfully affecting the country’s economy. Iran’s ability to import and export goods has been curtailed, its financial sector is under pressure, and its currency is significantly devalued. In addition, Iran is more isolated than ever before. Syria is in no position to help it, and Iran’s traditional United Nations Security Council defenders—Russia and China—are curbing ties. 

While no option should be removed from the table, I firmly believe that diplomacy and economic sanctions, not military action, remain the best bet for resolving concerns about Iran’s nuclear program.

I understand that you have concerns regarding Senate Resolution 65, which was introduced by Senator Lindsay Graham (R-SC) on February 28, 2013 and of which I am a cosponsor.  One of the resolution’s provisions expresses the Sense of Congress that, "if the Government of Israel is compelled to take military action in self-defense, the United States Government should stand with Israel and provide diplomatic, military, and economic support to the Government of Israel in its defense of its territory, people, and existence." 

Please know that I do not believe the United States should encourage Israel to take preemptive action against Iran, and, in my view,  S.Res . 65 would not do so.  Moreover, the resolution explicitly states that "nothing in this resolution shall be construed as an authorization for the use of force or a declaration of war."

Please be assured that I remain fully engaged in this matter, I have carefully noted your views, and I will keep your thoughts in mind as I continue to discuss and debate U.S. policy towards Iran with my Senate colleagues and the Obama Administration.

Once again, thank you for  writing, and I hope that you will continue to keep me informed about issues of importance to you. Should you have any further comments or questions, please feel free to contact my Washington, D.C. office at (202) 224-3841, or visit my website at Best regards.

Sincerely yours,
Dianne Feinstein
United States Senator

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