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Washington Times - "Dems bury resolution due to war fears"

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Washington Times - "Dems bury resolution due to war fears"

The House Democratic leadership has effectively shelved a resolution calling for what critics say would amount to a naval blockade of Iran because of concerns that it could provoke another war, officials on Capitol Hill said.

Even though the document would not be a law but a "statement of policy" aimed at preventing Tehran from obtaining a nuclear weapon, the Democratic leadership is worried that it could be viewed by the Bush administration as a green light to use military force against Iran, officials said.

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However, critics argue that, in effect, the resolution would authorize a blockade of the Islamic republic and significantly raise tensions in the Persian Gulf.

"There is language in this resolution that may imply congressional approval of a blockade of Iran," Rep. Tom Allen, Maine Democrat, said during the summer. "I believe our nation should be engaging in tough diplomatic talks with Iran that will permanently dismantle that country's nuclear weapons program, and that sanctions should be part of that strategy."

Mr. Allen and several other members who initially supported the draft have since withdrawn their signatures.

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