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Senators endorse new, broader deal on Iranian policy

A group of Democratic and Republican senators asked President Biden to reach an agreement with Iran that restricts Iran's regional and missile policies in addition to its nuclear program. Some US progressives oppose this, and it could be difficult to accomplish with Tehran.
Republican Presidential hopeful and US Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) addresses a Newsmaker Luncheon at the National Press Club on Sept. 8, 2015, in Washington, DC. Senator Graham spoke on the Iran nuclear agreement.

A bipartisan group of senators wrote a letter to US President Joe Biden on Thursday, urging him to pursue a diplomatic strategy to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon. Their language indicates possible congressional support for a new, more comprehensive agreement with Iran in place of the 2015 nuclear deal, but such a deal could run into opposition from Iran and US progressives.

The 43 senators began by saying that Iran obtaining a nuclear weapon would pose a “grave threat” to the United States. Iran insists its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes, but critics in the United States, Israel, the Gulf and elsewhere allege Iran seeks to build a nuclear bomb. The senators also said that Iran’s missile program and attacks by Iran-backed militias in Iraq on the US military constitute further threats, referring to the latter as “Shia militias.”

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