WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) – ranking member of the U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs – today acknowledged the Administration’s conclusion, repeatedly verified by the International Atomic Energy Agency, that Iran continues to comply with the Iran nuclear agreement, and expressed support for continuing to fulfill US obligations under the agreement.
“The President made the right decision to keep us in the Iran Nuclear agreement. A go-it-alone approach would have isolated us from our allies and undermined US interests -- including our ability to negotiate any future agreement to denuclearize the Korean peninsula. Congress has provided powerful sanctions tools to the President to counter Iran’s destabilizing activities in the region, including its repression of protesters and other human rights abuses, support for terrorism, and ballistic missile program. He should use them.”
In 2015, the United States, Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia, and the European Union reached agreement with Iran on its nuclear program. In exchange for economic sanctions relief, the agreement, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), placed tight limits on Iran's nuclear program, and required Iran to agree it would not develop or possess a nuclear weapon, to be verified by unprecedented surveillance and inspection requirements.
Last year, Senior Administration officials, including Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Joseph Dunford, testified before Congress and expressed their support for the Iran deal. Today the administration sanctioned a number of new Iranian and other entities for human rights, censorship, and proliferation-related activity. Nothing in US law prevents the US from working with its allies to extend and strengthen the terms of the JCPOA going forward. Imposing artificial deadlines on Congress, or on our allies to acquiesce to unilateral demands to change the JCPOA under threat of withdrawing the US from the agreement is unlikely to be an effective strategy.