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Tuesday
Oct152013

Senators Want US Nuclear Negotiators to Take Hard Line with Iran

iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- In spite of some thawing in the relations between Washington and Tehran, Senate lawmakers say that the U.S. needs to play hardball as talks resume Tuesday over Iran's rogue nuclear program.

Representatives from the so-called P5+1 countries -- U.S., Britain, France, Russia, China and Germany -- are meeting with their Iranian counterparts in Geneva in hopes of convincing Tehran to come clean at last about its nuclear ambitions.

Ahead of the talks, six Democratic senators and four Republicans, all from the Foreign Relations Committee, say they would consider lifting even tougher sanctions being considered by Congress, provided Iran agrees to a complete suspension of uranium enrichment -- a key step to making nuclear weapons.

The lawmakers made their proposal in a letter to President Obama that was released on Monday.

The White House says that Iran has a right to nuclear energy but only for peaceful purposes -- a claim its leaders have made for years.

However, no one in the West believes that to be the case and the senators said that U.S. negotiators need to emphasize that "a credible military threat" still remains if Iran pursues uranium enrichment.

Furthermore, the senators contend that existing sanctions that have crippled Iran's economy must stay in place until Iran abandons its nuclear arms capability.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio