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“I can say, as a member of the other party, that he would have great support of the Congress,” said Mr. Sessions, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee. “There would be no division in the country if that decision would need to be made.”

Former Rep. Lee Hamilton, Indiana Democrat and former chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, told the forum that diplomacy and tough economic sanctions might yet bring Iran to renounce its nuclear ambitions.

“Today, Iran is isolated in a region in deep trouble, rapidly deteriorating with an economy that is a mess, political infighting and factional feuding erupting all over the place and a crisis of confidence,” said Mr. Hamilton, who also served as vice chairman of the 9/11 Commission that investigated the 2001 terrorist attacks on the U.S.

The bipartisan forum was moderated by former Rep. Patrick J. Kennedy, Rhode Island Democrat and son of the late Sen. Edward M. Kennedy of Massachusetts. He urged the resistance supporters to image a democratic Iran, free of the religious extremism of the ruling mullahs, as they celebrate the Persian New Year on March 20.

“We can begin to think about what a new year would look like in a country that is the birthplace of civilization but still is governed in a way that relegates it to the Stone Age,” he said.

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