Brown Statement on President Trump Decertifying the Iran Nuclear Agreement

WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) – ranking member of the U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs – slammed the Trump Administration’s decision to decertify the Iran Nuclear Agreement today despite repeated assurances by international inspectors, the U.S. intelligence community and President Trump’s own experts that Iran is in compliance. Brown, who helped pass tough new sanctions on Iran into law this summer, said the decision will erode the United States’ diplomatic leadership and credibility abroad, undermine our allies, and likely boost hard-liners in Iran.

While the President’s decision today does not nullify the nuclear agreement, it could lead to the deal's unraveling. Experts agree the deal has curbed Iran’s nuclear program and subjected Iran to rigorous inspection that would not otherwise be possible.

Brown pointed out that failure to stand behind our commitment on the Iran deal could make it more difficult to secure a favorable outcome in North Korea by forcing our allies and the North Korean regime to question whether the United States will stand by our commitments. 

"There is no question we must crack down on Iran's destabilizing activities in the region, including its support for terrorism -- which is exactly why Congress enacted tough new sanctions this summer. The President should use those sanctions, instead of leading us down a path toward unraveling the Iran nuclear agreement, which his own Defense Secretary has said would not be in our national interest" Brown said.

In 2015, the United States, the United Kingdom, China, France, Germany, Russia, and the European Union reached an agreement with Iran to halt its nuclear weapons program. The agreement, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), placed limits on Iran's nuclear program in exchange for economic sanctions relief.

Senior Administration officials, including Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Joseph Dunford, recently testified before Congress and expressed their support of the Iran deal. This summer the Treasury Department and the State Department imposed more sanctions on Iranian entities for engaging in transnational criminal activity, supporting its ballistic missile program, and providing support to Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps.