By Rachelle Lyndaker Schlabach

In a historic breakthrough on November 24, the United States, along with the United Kingdom, France, China, Russia and Germany, reached an agreement with Iran on Iran’s nuclear program. Iran will suspend most of its uranium enrichment in exchange for the loosening of some sanctions. The six-month interim deal is intended to allow time for a comprehensive agreement to be reached.

While some senators, such as Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.) and Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) have supported the agreement, saying “it offers the chance to end our confrontation with Iran peacefully,” others in Congress have been much more skeptical.

In December efforts in both the House and Senate to pass additional sanctions on Iran did not succeed, but Senators Menendez (D-N.J.), Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Kirk (R-Ill.) have vowed to pick up these efforts in 2014. Analysts believe that the imposition of new sanctions would make a longer-term agreement more difficult to achieve.

For more than 20 years, MCC has sought to strengthen people-to-people ties with Iran. We have long called for differences between the U.S. and Iran to be resolved diplomatically. 

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