A bipartisan group of 140 lawmakers urged the Biden administration on Tuesday to ensure any resumption of talks with Iran goes beyond its nuclear program to include activities the US considers 'malign.'
Lawmakers said negotiations should also address Iran's ballistic missile program, support for militant proxy groups and the Islamic Republic's cyber activities.
'We call upon the administration to address these actions by Iran, de-escalate tension in these conflicts, and ensure the security of all nations in the region,' they wrote in a letter to Secretary of State Antony Blinken spearheaded by congressmen Anthony Brown and Michael Waltz.
'America and our allies must engage Iran through a combination of diplomatic and sanction mechanisms to achieve full compliance of international obligations and a demonstrated commitment by Iran to addressing its malign behavior,' they added.
The letter comes on the heels of a US offer sent via its European allies to sit down with Iranian officials to resume talks the Biden administration has said would address the nuclear program, and lead to what it said will be a broader pact to address several of the items listed by the lawmakers.
Iran rejected the offer in late February, maintaining the US first lift the economic sanctions it agreed to rescind as part of the 2015 nuclear deal. Former President Donald Trump withdrew Washington from the accord in 2018, reinstated economic penalties and added new ones amid mounting tensions between the rivals.
Iran retaliated by taking steps away from its Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action commitments and has said that it will not return to full compliance until the US reverses course.
By Michael Hernandez in Washington