July 16, 2019

As Administration Escalates Tensions with Iran, Reps. Lee, Price, and Schakowsky Introduce Resolution for U.S. Re-entry into Iran Nuclear Agreement

Washington, D.C. – As tensions rise with Iran, Congresswoman Barbara Lee (D-CA), Congressman David Price (D-NC), and Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) introduced a resolution to urge the Trump administration to re-enter the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), also known as the Iran nuclear agreement.

In addition to rejoining the JCPOA, the resolution encourages the Trump administration to engage in immediate de-escalation measures and to use sustained diplomacy as a tool to address other challenges with Iran.

"Trump's Iran policy is responsible for this self-inflicted crisis," said Congresswoman Barbara Lee (D-CA). "As someone who played a key role in building Congressional support for the JCPOA, it is disappointing to find ourselves dangerously close to a military confrontation with Iran because of the administration's disastrous decision to unilaterally withdraw from the Iran deal on May 8, 2018. We need serious and sustained diplomatic engagement to remove us from the path to war and on to a path of peace and diplomacy, and that's what this critical resolution calls for."

"If we look at current events, we see that President Trump's rash decision to pull the U.S. out of the Iran nuclear agreement has brought us no closer to bringing Iran to the negotiating table – it's only emboldened Iranian hardliners, incentivized Iran to return to previously prohibited nuclear activity, and threatened our own credibility and leadership," said Congressman David Price (D-NC). "This resolution sends a strong message from Congress to the administration: we must return to the JCPOA, and we must return to meaningful diplomatic engagement—peace, security, and United States leadership is at stake."

"The JCPOA, commonly known as the Iran deal, was working as it was intended – to verifiably cut off every pathway to an Iranian nuclear weapons capability," said Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky (D-IL).  “This isn't just my opinion; it is the view of the American intelligence community, State Department, and the International Atomic Energy Agency. With no strategy in Iran and no vision in the Middle East, President Trump's reckless decision to pull out of the JCPOA has increased tensions around the world, pushed the United States closer to armed conflict with Iran, and severely diminished U.S. leadership and leverage. We have been isolated from allies, have opened the door for Iran to become non-compliant, and have dissuaded other nations from negotiating agreements with the United States. It is time to bring Iran back into compliance, rejoin the JCPOA, and work with allies and partners on a diplomatic track to eliminate the threat of a nuclear Iran.”

The JCPOA is an international agreement culminating from years of negotiations among the P5+1 (U.S., U.K., Germany, France, Russia, China, and Iran). It prohibits Iran from ever seeking, developing, or acquiring nuclear weapons, provides for 24-hour, 7-days-a-week inspections, and critical mitigation mechanisms for any potential violations. In addition, the JCPOA provides opportunities to seek follow-on agreements with Iran. However, the administration's unilateral withdraw from the agreement undermined efforts to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon, diminished U.S. global leadership, and undercut our allies.

Iran's recent announcements to cease compliance with certain JCPOA enrichment thresholds are escalatory and counterproductive, but they are also limited and reversible. We can still protect the JCPOA's hard-fought safeguards, encourage the restoration of Iranian compliance, and re-enter the deal, but we must act now.  

The resolution is also co-sponsored by Reps. John Yarmuth (D-KY), Peter Welch (D-VT), Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), Lloyd Doggett (D-TX), Gerry Connolly (D-VA), Andy Levin (D-MI), Ruben Gallego (D-AZ), Mark Pocan (D-WI), Pramila Jayapal (D-WA), Deb Haaland (D-NM), Jamie Raskin (D-MD), Alan Lowenthal (D-CA), Donald Payne, Jr. (D-NJ), Raúl Grijalva (D-AZ), Anna Eshoo (D-CA), Ro Khanna (D-CA), Steve Cohen (D-TN), and Don Beyer (D-VA).