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McNulty backs off Iranian blockade bill

Outgoing Congressman Michael McNulty, co-sponsor of a resolution that takes a tough stance on Iran, said he now wants to alter the wording of the resolution to avoid any room for confusion as to the use of military force against the Middle East nation.

The change comes as he and freshman Congresswoman Kirstin Gillibrand, D-Hudson, of the 20th Congressional District, are being called on by Women Against War to remove their sponsorship of the resolution.

The group says the resolution being supported by the two Democrats calls for a blockade of Iran and could result in a direct military confrontation with the country. McNulty told Spotlight Newspapers last week he does not intend to remove his name as a sponsor and that Resolution 362 calls for economic sanctions if Iran does not comply with the nuclear non-proliferation treaty it has ratified.

"It's a resolution to place pressure on Iran to suspend their nuclear enrichment activity," McNulty said. "A number of people have characterized this as a blockade. It's a legislative vehicle; it's not a binding law, it will not be something sent to the president to sign."

This week, on Monday, Aug. 4, McNulty sat down with the activist group and announced afterwards that he wants the clause calling for a possible blockade to be removed.

"We don't believe military action is appropriate and why leave any room for confusion," McNulty said. "We certainly didn't want to give the Bush Administration anything that could lead to a possible war."

After his meeting with Women Against War, McNulty said he has assurances from one of the resolution's chief sponsors, New York's 5th District Congressman, Gary Ackerman, D-Queens, that the language would be changed.

"I met with Gary Ackerman last week and told him that I understood what his intentions were, but some of the language could be misunderstood by others and I said we need to get that language changed," McNulty said. "What I am confident about is that the resolution will not come up with the current language."

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