Below is a statement from Congressman Bill Keating, Ranking Member of the Terrorism, Nonproliferation, and Trade Subcommittee, on President Trump’s threat to undermine the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) addressing Iran’s nuclear capabilities. The President is expected to speak on the issue this afternoon.
“The President’s expected actions are opening the door to probably the greatest threat to U.S. and global nuclear safety in my time in Congress.
“The JCPOA has halted the Iranian effort to obtain nuclear weapons, a capability they were a mere two months away from at the time of the deal. President Trump may plan on only sending a political message to supporters. But his decision not to certify will have both immediate and lasting consequences and directly pose a danger to our security.
“Failure to certify creates a roadblock to China’s intervention to halt North Korea’s nuclearization and it splits the coalition we created with our strongest allies in the West. It also creates a dangerous 60-day period where a single malign incident in the Middle East – whether by happenstance or orchestration – can provoke some in Congress to totally unravel the entire deal.
“Perhaps the most long-term consequence will be to call into question any other negotiation we have around the world. Turning our back on the JCPOA signals to other countries that they cannot place their confidence in current and future American deals.
“In the 1996 Iran Sanctions Act, America tried to address the threats posed by Iran unilaterally and it didn’t work. The success of the JCPOA negotiations was the result of collaborating with our international partners to apply the necessary pressure on Iran to bring them to the negotiating table. Now, we may find ourselves isolated with a nuclear Iran. This action will take us not back to the place where we were before the deal, but somewhere far worse.”