One hundred-forty U.S. lawmakers from both parties urged the Biden administration on Tuesday to aim for bipartisan consensus and seek a "comprehensive" deal with Iran that addresses not just its nuclear program, but a range of other national security issues, according to a letter shared first with ABC News.
In a divisive political moment, on among the most sensitive and fraught foreign policy challenges, it's a rare example of bipartisanship -- but it may be short-lived as the administration pushes for negotiations with Iran and other world powers that could involve more controversial tactics.
"Despite everything you see, there is bipartisanship going on in DC, even over something as contentious as the Iran deal," said Rep. Mike Waltz, R-Fla., who helped spearhead the letter. "We're thrilled to have been able to come together on a number of these points... encouraging the administration to encompass all of Iran's malign behavior."
The letter, sent to Secretary of State Antony Blinken Tuesday, was signed by 70 Republican and 70 Democratic House members. It shares some common ground with Biden's proposal -- calling for an agreement or set of agreements that reinstate limits on Iran's nuclear program, curtail its ballistic missile program, and address its "malign behavior throughout the Middle East." That regional activity includes the American hostages it continues to detain, its support for militants in Lebanon and Yemen, and its arms for militias in Iraq, including those that have attacked U.S. forces in recent weeks.
"We're encouraging the administration to look at how do you bring Democrats and Republicans together around an issue that should unify us, and that is addressing the risk presented by Iran," said Rep. Anthony Brown, D-Md., who helped organize Democratic signatures.