FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 24, 2011
Contact: Dave Mohel
Phone: 703-548-1160

Christian Leaders Urge US Senate to Take Actions
to Prevent Iran's Nuclear Weapons Program

(Washington, DC) Christian Leaders for a Nuclear Free Iran, a coalition of religious and civic leaders sent a letter to the U.S. Senate urging members to enact tough sanctions against the Iranian regime that will intensify pressure on its leaders to halt their drive to build nuclear weapons.

A copy of the letter can be found below.

In light of the meeting this weekend in Turkey during which the Iranian regime refused to seriously engage the six powers about its nuclear program, we urge you to support additional legislative efforts aimed squarely at compelling Iran to abandon its program to develop and deploy nuclear weapons.

The organization lays out a detailed list of actions that must be taken to prevent Iran from becoming a nuclear power.  Members fear a nuclear Iran will bring serious harm to the United States and its allies and further destabilize the Middle East.

Signers of the letter to the Senate include:  Dr. Pat Robertson, Chairman and Founder of CBN and Regent University, Dr. Richard Land, President of Southern Baptist Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, Paul F. Crouch, Jr., Chief of Staff, TBN, Gary Bauer, President, American Values, John C. Hagee, Senior Pastor, Cornerstone Church, San Antonio, Texas, Tom McClusky, Sr., Vice President, Family Research Council Action, Stuart Epperson, Chairman of the Board, Salem Communications, Deal Hudson, President, Catholic Advocate, Washington, DC, Dr. Jim Garlow, Chairman, Renewing American Leadership, Dr. James Merritt, Senior Pastor, Cross Pointe Church, William Donohue, President, Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights, Mark Williamson, Founder and President, Federal Intercessors, Jerry Newcombe, Author and TV Host, Jim Martin, Chairman, 60 Plus Association, Ken Timmerman, President and CEO,  Foundation to Democracy in Iran, Micah Clark, Executive Director, American Family Association of Indiana, Mathew Staver, Founder and Chairman, Liberty Counsel, Mandi Campbell, Legal Director, Liberty Center for Law and Policy, Jordan Sekulow, Director of International Operations at American Center for Law and Justice, Dr. Robert E. Reccord, President, Total Life Impact Ministries, Richard W. C. Falknor, Chairman, Maryland Center-Right Coalition , Dr. Rusty Hayes, Pastor, First Free Church, Rockford IL, Dr. Mark A. Smith, President, Ohio Christian University, Dr. Barrett Duke, Vice President, Southern Baptist Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, Al Kresta, President and CEO of Ave Maria Radio, Michael P. Jones, National Chairman, Young Americans for Freedom, Elmer F. Hansen, Jr., Director, Catholic Leadership Conference, William Haygood Shaker, President, RepublicanPac.com, C. Preston Noell, III, President of Tradition, Family, Property, Inc., Dr. Richard G. Lee, President, There's Hope America, Rev. Louis Sheldon, Chairman, raditional Values Coalition, Michael D. Little, President and Chief Operating Officer, Christian Broadcasting Network, Dr. Jeffrey J.  Karls, President of The College of Saint Mary Magdalen, Anthony Verdugo, Founder and Executive Director of Christian Family Coalition, Colin Hanna, President, Let Freedom Ring, Jonathan Youssef, International Director, Leading the Way, James Robison, President and Founder, Life Outreach International, Penny Nance, CEO, Concerned Women for America

Christian Leaders for a Nuclear-Free Iran, an ad hoc coalition of evangelical, Roman Catholic and other faith leaders who have come together as a united voice that is reaching out to policy makers and opinion leaders calling for urgent action to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons.  The coalition argues that Iran's nuclear weapons program will destabilize the Middle East, lead to an arms race in a volatile part of the world, and threaten the United States and its allies in Europe.

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Dear Senator:

In light of the negotiations this weekend in Turkey during which the Iranian regime refused to allow transparency with regard to its nuclear program, we urge you to support additional legislative efforts, not bilateral talks, aimed squarely at compelling Iran to abandon its program to develop and deploy nuclear weapons.

More specifically, we urge you to craft and support legislation that would:

  • Expand sanctions under the Iran Sanctions Act of 1996 by making the US parent entity responsible and culpable for the activities of a foreign subsidiary that would violate current US sanctions;
  • Expand sanctions under the Iran Sanctions Act of 1996 by holding responsible and culpable U.S. subsidiaries of foreign corporations that violate U.N. sanctions.
  • Deny tax benefits or the use of any taxpayer funds to companies violating the Iran Sanctions Act;
  • Increase America's emphasis on Iran's human-rights violations, and direct sanctions against the violators.
  • Reform the Voice of America's Persian News Network, ensuring that it informs and supports the pro-freedom movement in Iran
  • Transfer responsibility for pro-democracy funding in Iran from the State Department to the National Endowment for Democracy. Authorize the State Department to deny entry to the United States of foreign national CEOs and other designated principal officers of companies that are investing in Iran's petroleum or weapons program under ISA;
  • Require an expedited campaign at the Treasury Department to designate the hundreds of front companies and agents operating on behalf of the Iran Revolutionary Guards Corp (IRGC) and provide for secondary sanctions against any firms continuing to do business with them; and
  • Increase pressure on entities that pay in advance for oil deliveries or sign long-term contracts to purchase oil and gas from Iran.

Iran continues to hide its nuclear program from inspection by the IAEA and it is believed that it continues its secret development of nuclear weapons. Recent reports indicate that Middle Eastern leaders are every bit as worried about a nuclear-armed Iran as we and our European allies are.  Leaked diplomatic cables made public by Wikileaks indicate a high state of alarm among key U.S. strategic allies in the Arab world, including Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and the Gulf states. We urge your immediate attention to this pressing threat, and ask that you help bring legislation to the floor for passage as soon as possible.

Christian Leaders for a Nuclear-Free Iran is an ad hoc coalition of evangelical, Roman Catholic and other faith leaders who have come together as a united voice that is reaching out to policy makers and opinion leaders calling for urgent action to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons.  The coalition argues that Iran's nuclear weapons program will destabilize the Middle East, lead to an arms race in a volatile part of the world, and threaten the United States and its allies in Europe.

Signed:

Dr. Pat Robertson, Chairman and Founder of CBN and Regent University
Dr. Richard Land, President of Southern Baptist Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission
Paul F. Crouch, Jr., Chief of Staff, TBN
Gary Bauer, President, American Values
John C. Hagee, Senior Pastor, Cornerstone Church, San Antonio, Texas
Tom McClusky, Sr., Vice President, Family Research Council Action
Stuart Epperson, Chairman of the Board, Salem Communications
Deal Hudson, President, Catholic Advocate, Washington, DC
Dr. Jim Garlow, Chairman, Renewing American Leadership
Dr. James Merritt, Senior Pastor, Cross Pointe Church
William Donohue, President, Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights
Mark Williamson, Founder and President, Federal Intercessors
Jerry Newcombe, Author and TV Host
Jim Martin, Chairman, 60 Plus Association
Ken Timmerman, President and CEO,  Foundation to Democracy in Iran
Micah Clark, Executive Director, American Family Association of Indiana
Mathew Staver, Founder and Chairman, Liberty Counsel
Mandi Campbell, Legal Director, Liberty Center for Law and Policy
Jordan Sekulow, Director of International Operations at American Center for Law and Justice
Dr. Robert E. Reccord, President, Total Life Impact Ministries
Richard W. C. Falknor, Chairman, Maryland Center-Right Coalition
Dr. Rusty Hayes, Pastor, First Free Church, Rockford IL
Dr. Mark A. Smith, President, Ohio Christian University
Dr. Barrett Duke, Vice President, Southern Baptist Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission
Al Kresta, President and CEO of Ave Maria Radio
Michael P. Jones, National Chairman, Young Americans for Freedom
Elmer F. Hansen, Jr., Director, Catholic Leadership Conference
William Haygood Shaker, President, RepublicanPac.com
C. Preston Noell, III, President of Tradition, Family, Property, Inc.
Dr. Richard G. Lee, President, There's Hope America
Rev. Louis Sheldon, Chairman, Traditional Values Coalition
Michael D. Little, President and Chief Operating Officer, Christian Broadcasting Network
Dr. Jeffrey J.  Karls, President of The College of Saint Mary Magdalen
Anthony Verdugo, Founder and Executive Director of Christian Family Coalition
Colin Hanna, President, Let Freedom Ring
Jonathan Youssef, International Director, Leading the Way
James Robison, President and Founder, Life Outreach International
Penny Nance, CEO, Concerned Women for America