Wednesday, December 30, 2009

EU Parliementary delegation' Tehran visit, draws US Congressional rebuke

In the WSJ, here
"An 11-person European Parliament delegation is scheduled to visit Tehran next week in a move that has drawn a rebuke from U.S. lawmakers concerned that the visit could serve to legitimize Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's government.......
The trip, which is set to occur a week after the expiration of U.S. President Barack Obama's deadline for Iran to respond to international calls for negotiations, is feeding a growing debate among the U.S. and its European allies over how long to keep open the widow for diplomacy with Tehran.
"We believe that a visit from the EP would send the wrong message to the Iranian government and undermine the international efforts to end their nuclear program," 15 U.S. House of Representatives members wrote European Parliament President Jerzy Buzek last week. "We urge you not to authorize the visit at this time."
Both Democrats and Republicans signed the congressional letter, including Robert Wexler (D., Fla.), Mark Kirk (R., Ill.), and Shelley Berkley (D., Nev.). Ms. Berkeley heads the Transatlantic Legislators Dialogue within the House Foreign Affairs Committee.
A spokesman for the White House's National Security Council declined to comment on the pending European Parliament trip to Iran. But senior U.S. officials have stressed in recent days that the Obama administration intends to maintain an open diplomatic channel to Tehran, even as the U.S. and its allies move to enact new economic and financial sanctions on Iran..."

No comments: