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Christian Leader Cautions Against Iranian Nuclear Agreement

Southern Baptist Leader Richard Land Calls for Strict Verification

Contact: Dave Mohel, 703-548-1160

MEDIA ADVISORY, Oct. 22 /Christian Newswire/ -- A prominent Christian leader cautioned today against accepting a possible breakthrough in diplomatic negotiations with Iran on nuclear enrichment as a realistic solution to the Iranian nuclear problem. "Iran has a long history of not living up to its end of a deal," according to Richard Land, president of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, "and this proposed deal does not require Iran to stop enriching uranium. Furthermore, this deal assumes we know how much enriched uranium the Iranian government already has. How do we know they don't have more hidden facilities where enrichment is taking place?"

According to press reports, Iranian negotiators have said a deal that would have Iran send most of its existing enriched uranium to Russia for processing is "on the right track," but made it very clear that they have yet to gain approval of any such deal from Iran's political leadership.

Land concluded: "If the deal is signed, I think President Reagan had it right when he said, 'trust but verify,' and in Iran's case, it's trust but verify on steroids."

Recent Public Opinion Strategies polls reveal that 72 percent of American voters polled believe it is "unlikely" that Iran will live up to the type of nuclear agreement being discussed, while only 27 percent think it is "likely" they will. A full 39 percent say it is "not at all likely" that Iran will abide by the type of nuclear agreement being discussed in Vienna.

Land is one of over 50 signers of a letter sent to Congress by Christian Leaders for a Nuclear-Free Iran last month, calling for urgent action to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon. The letter urged a total arms embargo and a cut off of exports of refined petroleum products, including gasoline, as a firm yet peaceful measure against the world's leading state sponsor of terrorism.

To view the letter vist http://clnfi.org/