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Md.'s senators must stand up to those pushing for war with Iran

The Sun's editorial ("The GOP's poison pen note," March11) hits all the right notes regarding the absurd "Cotton 47" letter to the Iranian leadership. While the clear intent was to torpedo peace talks with Iran, the only thing these "statesmen" and women damaged was their own reputations and that of the U.S. Senate.

Maryland's two senators, Barbara Mikulski and Ben Cardin, need to take care to separate from their 47 colleagues who have no apparent alternative to diplomacy with Iran, other than war. While they, and other Democrats, wisely stayed far away from the ludicrous letter, they need to make clear they support smart, patient, tough multilateral negotiations with Iran.

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Senators Mikulski and Cardin should clearly, publicly oppose bills brewing in the Senate to enact new economic sanctions on Iran and to impose congressional judgment before a deal is even concluded. They could co-sponsor Sen. Barbara Boxer's Iran Congressional Oversight Act to support a responsible Senate role. Mr. Cardin's voice as a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee is particularly important. Diplomacy, not war, is the only way forward to enhance peace and security in the Middle East.

Kevin Martin, Silver Spring

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The writer is executive director of Peace Action.

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