Home Donald Trump Sen. Mark Warner Joins Senate Ranking Dems in Urging Trump Not to...

Sen. Mark Warner Joins Senate Ranking Dems in Urging Trump Not to Abandon Iran Nuclear Agreement

876
21
SHARE

From Sen. Mark Warner:

SEN. WARNER JOINS SENATE RANKING DEMOCRATS IN URGING PRESIDENT TRUMP NOT TO ABANDON THE IRAN NUCLEAR AGREEMENT

WASHINGTON—U.S. Senator Mark R. Warner (D-VA), Vice Chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, joined a group of 11 Senate Committee ranking members on a letter calling on President Trump to not unilaterally abandon the Iran nuclear agreement.

“We have supported broad, comprehensive sanctions to target Iran’s support for terror groups, its ballistic missile program, and its human rights violations, and continue to support strong measures to counter these destabilizing and troubling actions by Iran,” the senators wrote. “All of us strongly believe that unilaterally withdrawing from the agreement at this time would be a major strategic mistake.”

Full text of the letter is available here and below: 

May 7, 2018

Dear President Trump:

We write today to strongly urge you not to unilaterally withdraw from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) absent an unambiguous Iranian violation of its terms.

As you know well, the JCPOA states that “under no circumstances will Iran ever seek, develop or acquire any nuclear weapons” and imposes strict, verifiable limitations on Iran’s nuclear activities to ensure compliance with that commitment.  Those limitations, vetted by the nuclear scientists at our national security labs, include International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) monitoring and verification of activities at all of Iran’s most sensitive nuclear sites, including the Fordow and Natanz enrichment facilities, uranium mines and mills, centrifuge production and storage locations, and heavy water production and storage sites.

According to the IAEA, the U.S. intelligence community, and our closest partners and allies, Iran continues to uphold these commitments. As long as Iran continues to abide by these restrictions, we strongly urge you uphold U.S. obligations as well. Failing to do so would not only profoundly undercut our relationship with key partners and allies, but would severely damage global nonproliferation efforts.

If the United States unilaterally withdraws from the JCPOA, Iran could either remain in the agreement and seek to isolate the United States from our closest partners, or resume its nuclear activities. Either scenario would be detrimental to our national security interests.

If Iran continues to abide by the agreement following a unilateral U.S. withdrawal, the only effective way the United States could regenerate sufficient economic leverage over Tehran would be to sanction the very same nations that helped us negotiate the JCPOA in the first place, namely persons and businesses from the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Japan, South Korea, Turkey, Taiwan, and India, among others.  Under that scenario, it is impossible to imagine the U.S. could rebuild the previous international sanctions coalition that was so effective in getting Iran to the negotiating table. 

On the other hand, if Iran chooses to resume its unconstrained nuclear activities in the wake of a unilateral U.S. withdrawal, the United States could face a second nuclear crisis at the same time that your administration is seeking a peaceful resolution with North Korea. U.S. credibility in those denuclearization discussions would be severely undermined if North Korea concludes that U.S. leaders are willing to unilaterally abrogate such nuclear agreements without cause.

We have supported broad, comprehensive sanctions to target Iran’s support for terror groups, its ballistic missile program, and its human rights violations, and continue to support strong measures to counter these destabilizing and troubling actions by Iran. All of us strongly believe that unilaterally withdrawing from the agreement at this time would be a major strategic mistake.

Instead of effectively withdrawing from the JCPOA by refusing to utilize critical waivers of U.S. sanctions against Iran and its purchasers of oil by May 12th, we urge you to work with our partners and allies to address Iran’s other malign activities while preserving and building upon with our allies the strict nuclear limitations of the JCPOA.

Sincerely,

Mark R. Warner

Vice Chairman, Select Committee on Intelligence

 

Dianne Feinstein

Ranking Member, Committee on the Judiciary

Jack Reed

Ranking Member, Committee on the Armed Services

 

Sherrod Brown

Ranking Member, Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs

 

Patrick Leahy

Vice Chairman, Committee on Appropriations

 

Richard J. Durbin

Ranking Member, Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense

 

Patty Murray

Ranking Member, Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions

 

Bernard Sanders

Ranking Member, Committee on the Budget

 

Thomas R. Carper

Ranking Member, Committee on the Environment and Public Works

Tom Udall

Vice Chairman, Committee on Indian Affairs

Amy Klobuchar

Ranking Member, Committee on the Rules and Administration

Maria Cantwell

Ranking Member, Committee on Energy and Natural Resources

  • RobertColgan

    Ignored.
    They should have told him his penis would grow 35% bigger by MidEastern Sorcery if the Iran deal stayed in place. . . .you know, appealed to his highly-trained Wharton-schooled business acumen that he depends on.

  • From Rep. Don Beyer:

    Beyer Blasts Trump for Undermining Global Security

    May 8, 2018 (Washington, D.C.) – Rep. Don Beyer today issued the following statement forcefully condemning President Trump’s decision to exit the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), also known as the Iran Nuclear Agreement:

    “President Trump’s extremely shortsighted decision to exit the JCPOA is another major step backward for our national security. Simply put, the President’s actions have made a nuclear-armed Iran more likely, and therefore made the world a more dangerous place. It will have serious negative consequences for the stability of the region, for our relationships with our allies, and will further embolden hardliners in Iran who want to develop nuclear weapons.

    “Now it is left to our European allies to attempt to pick up the pieces of the agreement and hold Iran to its commitments, even though we have not honored ours. Functionally, they are being held responsible for this administration’s irresponsibility.

    “At a time when we are trying denuclearize the Korean Peninsula, ideally with a similarly robust monitoring and verification scheme, this decision severely damages the United States’ credibility as a diplomatic and negotiating partner.

    “Both the US defense and intelligence communities, including Secretary Mattis, General Dunford, and the IAEA, have consistently certified Iranian compliance with the agreement and the robust nature of the verification regime. The President has embarked upon a path where the risks of both Iranian nuclearization and war with Iran are significantly increased. Unfortunately, it is hard to believe that President Trump has taken this path with a thoughtful plan in mind to address both the significant ongoing issues posed by the Iran as well as the renewed threat of nuclearization.

    “Once again and to our detriment, the President has shown that he will place domestic political considerations and his disdain for his predecessor above our national interest and global reputation.”

  • Rep. Gerry Connolly: “With today’s unilateral retreat, the President is now responsible for the fallout of the Iran deal. All of our allies, including President Macron & Chancellor Merkel, pointed out that the agreement is working and warned that it would be deeply destructive for the US to withdraw. By every measure Iran is in compliance with the JCPOA. Iran has poured concrete into its plutonium reactor, reduced its centrifuges from 19,000 to 6,104. It has reduced its stockpile of enriched uranium to no more than 300 kilograms enriched no higher than 3.67 percent, and submitted to continuous monitoring and inspections at its key nuclear facilities. The International Atomic Energy Agency has released ELEVEN verification and monitoring reports indicating that Iran has not violated the agreement, and the President has certified to Congress SIX times that Iran is in compliance. The leaders of all parties to the Iran deal, including many members of Trump’s own administration, maintain that Iran is in compliance. The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Joseph Dunford reiterated that ‘Iran is not in material breach of the agreement, and I do believe the agreement to date has delayed the development of a nuclear capability by Iran.’ The President’s damaging decision paves the way to an Iranian nuclear weapon and shatters U.S. credibility around the world.”

    • Tinker Mellinkoff

      Those allies were all just here, and for all you know it all’s are supporting Trump. They know as he just said that we cannot allow Iran to go nuclear. Stop the lying. Or believing this FAKE NEWS

      • CliosFanBoyNeeWoodrowfan

        boring one-note troll. zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

  • Sen. Mark Warner:

    “The President’s refusal to waive certain sanctions on Iran sets in motion the dismantling of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, which has successfully prevented Iran from developing nuclear weapons. While the JCPOA was far from perfect, by signing the agreement, Iran gave up 98 percent of its uranium stockpile, dismantled 2/3 of its centrifuges, rendered its heavy water nuclear reactor unusable, and agreed to unprecedented inspections that provide critical insight into, and early warning about, any attempts by Iran to accelerate its nuclear program. Trump Administration leaders, all parties to the agreement, and the International Atomic Energy Agency, which is charged with its verification, have agreed that Iran has complied with its terms.

    “Simply withdrawing the United States from the JCPOA will not benefit the American people and U.S. national security: it will only succeed in driving a wedge between us and our allies, whose help we need to enforce any future sanctions regime against Iran, and will effectively green light Iran’s pursuit of nuclear weapons. Withdrawing from this agreement makes the United States, and the world, less secure.”

  • From Sen. TIm Kaine:

    KAINE STATEMENT ON TRUMP DECISION TO EXIT IRAN NUCLEAR AGREEMENT

    WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Tim Kaine, a member of the Senate Foreign Relations and Armed Services Committees, released the following statement today on President Trump’s decision to break the U.S. commitment to the Iran nuclear agreement, despite Iran’s compliance with the deal:

    “President Trump showed us again today that when he says ‘America First,’ he actually means ‘America alone.’ By violating the Iran deal, the President is creating a new global nuclear crisis while we’re trying to address another one with North Korea. His decision to break from the deal makes our country less safe by damaging our diplomatic credibility, weakening our alliances, and reopening the door for Iran to start enriching uranium. The Iran deal states that ‘under no circumstances will Iran ever seek, develop or acquire any nuclear weapons.’ Why would the President blow up this deal and free Iran of that obligation? President Trump has set us on a dangerous road where war becomes more likely, especially as his advisers beat the drums for regime change, which should never be a goal of U.S policy.”

    Kaine has been a leading voice on Iran, including co-authoring the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act of 2015, which gave Congress the right to review the Iran deal before Congressional sanctions could be lifted. He has consistently supported efforts to push back on Iran’s destabilizing behavior, including supporting the Countering U.S. Adversaries Through Sanctions Act of 2017, which strengthened sanctions on Iran for its human rights abuses, ballistic missile testing, and support for terrorism, including Hezbollah, and voting in 2016 to extend the Iran Sanctions Act.

    • Tinker Mellinkoff

      Who is Kane? Please they sure do protest don’t they? This is the best thing ever happened to us, and one day your kids still here, will understand. As sadly most here have a steel trap door for a mind.. slamming shut at any rebuttal by Trump haters. They said N.Korea would kill us if he messed with them also. So may Presidents and Mavens on what is good for us. You have a President that has no reason whatsoever to harm us, why would he? Yet you make up these insane accusations of what is going to happen and so far nothing has happened. Maybe if you were to wake up tomorrow and Hawaii or Guam were gone and all the babies, animals, anything breathing no longer then you would be begging him to help. Sad state of affairs in this country we cannot even stop from hurting ourselves.

  • Great comment on the main WaPo article about Trump’s idiotic, lunatic decision:

    “I hate this man.

    I hate what he stands for. I hate what it says about our nation that he was able to be elected. I hate that his egotistical attitude and his need for immediate gratification and support from his fear-mongering base compels him to make damaging decisions. I hate that people will come out of the woodwork to justify yet another shortsighted decision with long term implications. I hate that our elected officials are impotent and incapable of reining this demagogue in.

    This isn’t about a difference in policy, or a difference of opinion. Intelligent and rational people can disagree all day about issues and still recognize that their opponents are good people who simply disagree. Trump is not a good person. He is not intelligent or rational. He’s a power hungry bully and we put him in a position of power.”

    • Tinker Mellinkoff

      the move to Iran since they are so wholesome.. PLEASE!

  • From Rep. Donald McEachin: “Together with our allies, America entered into an international agreement to make the world a safer place. Now, over the objection of domestic and global partners, we are unilaterally withdrawing from the Iran Nuclear Deal. President Trump’s own administration has repeatedly certified Iran’s compliance, and Secretary Mattis has spoken in favor of the deal. There was no need to break our promise and make the world a more dangerous place. As many have warned, this reckless and bellicose behavior does nothing to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear arms—but it does increase the likelihood of armed conflict.”

    • Tinker Mellinkoff

      Lies… Lies.. Lies..

  • Video: Liberal Redneck – Nuclear Dealbreaker

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vcW2_ON7PQs

  • Tinker Mellinkoff

    You are all Sheeple, not one of you posted a thing about the truth. Tell me exactly how do you know they have not lied? We cannot get in there where we need to get in, they stage it every time, and the inspectors are their inspectors. You people just follow the herd over and over again. The only reason other countries are not happy is they will lose a lot of money and that is the bottom line. They are not threatened.. the United States is and you can try to sugar coat how Iran is but you better start thanking God and Trump for this as they want us dead and as soon as they have the means will carry it out. N.Korea was just a little more advanced than they are, and this has to be done, both are crazy and other countries do not care about us as long as their butts are covered by bribes and turning a blind eye. THE UNITED STATES KNOWS A LOT MORE and cannot be fooled or bought..

  • Video: Sen. Tim Kaine explains why Trump’s Iran decision was such a bad one

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BtDfxshODxM

    • Tinker Mellinkoff

      What a bunch of Bull.. This is all someone’s lie. Not one thing in there is fact or reality. Funny how everyone is a maven, when you do not know even know why they are fighting this. Wake up ..

  • Video: “Furious” U.S. Marine Corps veteran Edwin Santana rips Trump, “Rubber Stamp Rob” Wittman on Iran deal pullout

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DDVhAfMNBys

  • Tinker Mellinkoff

    We made a deal with China some 50 years ago and now China is our biggest strategic threat. And the President now a Emperor that uses all the trillions of dollars on warfare not his country. So we want to make Iran a better place huh? This is all BS. They have lied about everything, and the only reason, and I say it again “Only Reason” France, Germany , the UK and others are opposed is they have gotten rich selling to Iran. They also feel this somehow makes Iran their friend. If you believe that your a lot more foolish than they are. They are infidels the terrorist attacks there are all orchestrated by Iran. Once Iran gains nuclear power they will show their gratitude by showing them the snake.

    We have allowed other Presidents to lie to the public, make deals that have put our cities, our children, our land in danger and if Trump did not stop this, it would be soon we would feel the wrath of these monsters.

    The Iranian people have been enslaved and much like “you” lied to so long the do not know up from down. They do not even have history books showing how Iran use to be a free and prosperous country. Books and statues destroyed and generations much like N.Korea raised to believe we are the infidels, N.Korea’s American bastards.

    Wake up people. Our Government has sold out and sold out and sold out. We cannot be held hostage by these terrorist regimes anymore.

  • Barack Obama nails it as usual…

    There are few issues more important to the security of the United States than the potential spread of nuclear weapons, or the potential for even more destructive war in the Middle East. That’s why the United States negotiated the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) in the first place.

    The reality is clear. The JCPOA is working – that is a view shared by our European allies, independent experts, and the current U.S. Secretary of Defense. The JCPOA is in America’s interest – it has significantly rolled back Iran’s nuclear program. And the JCPOA is a model for what diplomacy can accomplish – its inspections and verification regime is precisely what the United States should be working to put in place with North Korea. Indeed, at a time when we are all rooting for diplomacy with North Korea to succeed, walking away from the JCPOA risks losing a deal that accomplishes – with Iran – the very outcome that we are pursuing with the North Koreans.

    That is why today’s announcement is so misguided. Walking away from the JCPOA turns our back on America’s closest allies, and an agreement that our country’s leading diplomats, scientists, and intelligence professionals negotiated. In a democracy, there will always be changes in policies and priorities from one Administration to the next. But the consistent flouting of agreements that our country is a party to risks eroding America’s credibility, and puts us at odds with the world’s major powers.

    Debates in our country should be informed by facts, especially debates that have proven to be divisive. So it’s important to review several facts about the JCPOA.

    First, the JCPOA was not just an agreement between my Administration and the Iranian government. After years of building an international coalition that could impose crippling sanctions on Iran, we reached the JCPOA together with the United Kingdom, France, Germany, the European Union, Russia, China, and Iran. It is a multilateral arms control deal, unanimously endorsed by a United Nations Security Council Resolution.

    Second, the JCPOA has worked in rolling back Iran’s nuclear program. For decades, Iran had steadily advanced its nuclear program, approaching the point where they could rapidly produce enough fissile material to build a bomb. The JCPOA put a lid on that breakout capacity. Since the JCPOA was implemented, Iran has destroyed the core of a reactor that could have produced weapons-grade plutonium; removed two-thirds of its centrifuges (over 13,000) and placed them under international monitoring; and eliminated 97 percent of its stockpile of enriched uranium – the raw materials necessary for a bomb. So by any measure, the JCPOA has imposed strict limitations on Iran’s nuclear program and achieved real results.

    Third, the JCPOA does not rely on trust – it is rooted in the most far-reaching inspections and verification regime ever negotiated in an arms control deal. Iran’s nuclear facilities are strictly monitored. International monitors also have access to Iran’s entire nuclear supply chain, so that we can catch them if they cheat. Without the JCPOA, this monitoring and inspections regime would go away.

    Fourth, Iran is complying with the JCPOA. That was not simply the view of my Administration. The United States intelligence community has continued to find that Iran is meeting its responsibilities under the deal, and has reported as much to Congress. So have our closest allies, and the international agency responsible for verifying Iranian compliance – the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

    Fifth, the JCPOA does not expire. The prohibition on Iran ever obtaining a nuclear weapon is permanent. Some of the most important and intrusive inspections codified by the JCPOA are permanent. Even as some of the provisions in the JCPOA do become less strict with time, this won’t happen until ten, fifteen, twenty, or twenty-five years into the deal, so there is little reason to put those restrictions at risk today.

    Finally, the JCPOA was never intended to solve all of our problems with Iran. We were clear-eyed that Iran engages in destabilizing behavior – including support for terrorism, and threats toward Israel and its neighbors. But that’s precisely why it was so important that we prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon. Every aspect of Iranian behavior that is troubling is far more dangerous if their nuclear program is unconstrained. Our ability to confront Iran’s destabilizing behavior – and to sustain a unity of purpose with our allies – is strengthened with the JCPOA, and weakened without it.

    Because of these facts, I believe that the decision to put the JCPOA at risk without any Iranian violation of the deal is a serious mistake. Without the JCPOA, the United States could eventually be left with a losing choice between a nuclear-armed Iran or another war in the Middle East. We all know the dangers of Iran obtaining a nuclear weapon. It could embolden an already dangerous regime; threaten our friends with destruction; pose unacceptable dangers to America’s own security; and trigger an arms race in the world’s most dangerous region. If the constraints on Iran’s nuclear program under the JCPOA are lost, we could be hastening the day when we are faced with the choice between living with that threat, or going to war to prevent it.

    In a dangerous world, America must be able to rely in part on strong, principled diplomacy to secure our country. We have been safer in the years since we achieved the JCPOA, thanks in part to the work of our diplomats, many members of Congress, and our allies. Going forward, I hope that Americans continue to speak out in support of the kind of strong, principled, fact-based, and unifying leadership that can best secure our country and uphold our responsibilities around the globe.

  • Rep. Barbara Comstock (R-VA10) demonstrates yet again why she should not be in Congress.

    “I commend the President for his decision to withdraw from the misguided ‘Iran deal.’ The ‘deal,’ which had strong bipartisan opposition in 2015, has emboldened Iran to continue instability and funding of terrorism around the world, and provided them with billions of dollars through lifted sanctions.

    “The U.S. government has uncovered indisputable evidence that Iran is supporting the Houthi rebels in Yemen through its missile program, and worsening the humanitarian crisis in the region. Iran is also supporting American enemies in Lebanon, Iraq, and Syria. Iran continues to threaten our international allies, including our strongest ally, Israel. As I said in 2015, this ‘deal’ does not dismantle Iran’s nuclear weapons program, it does not provide anytime, anywhere inspections, and does not cut back Iran’s ballistic missile program.

    “I voted against the deal in Congress in 2015, due to its many shortcomings. Iran still has not and will not allow for the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) inspectors to have access to military sites and other research locations. Iran has continued to test ballistic missiles capable of carrying a nuclear weapon.

    “The JCPOA lifted missile-related sanctions without any requirements on Iran’s ballistic missile program. The agreement completely abandoned any attempt to address Iran’s missile program in any way. The United Nations resolution 2231, which accompanied the JCPOA, failed to curb Iran’s missile program at all. Finally, the deal included various clauses with expiring time lines, allowing Iran to grow its nuclear arsenal without nearly any restrictions in only a few short years.

    “By revoking the JCPOA, the United States can address some of the glaring problems with the original agreement. Any agreement with the United States and Iran must truly limit their nuclear capabilities and be enforceable. I will continue to support sanctions against Iran until the country takes real steps to implement change, and I trust we will work with our allies to stop the existential threat of an Iran with nuclear weapons.”