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Representative Barbara Lee of Oakland has introduced a bill calling on President Obama to “appoint a high-level United States representative or special envoy for Iran for the purpose of ensuring that the United States pursues all diplomatic avenues to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon, [and] to avoid a war with Iran.” Rep. Bob Filner of San Diego has signed on as a co-sponsor of the measure, H.R. 4173, along with eight other Democrats. The bill currently has no Republican sponsors.

The proposal specifically instructs the secretary of state to rescind the United States’ “no contact” policy with Iran and to establish an office in the Department of State to support the work of the chosen representative or envoy who would be responsible for leading U.S. diplomatic efforts with Iran and would serve as a liaison to intelligence agencies.

Introduced last Thursday, the bill was referred to the House Committee on Foreign Affairs.

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