Letter to Senate Democratic Caucus on Iran Deal & McConnell’s Grandstanding

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Members of the Senate Democratic Caucus

U.S. Senate

Washington, DC 20510


Dear Members of the Senate Democratic Caucus,

We write to you regarding the political grandstanding by Senator McConnell (R-Ky.) on the Iran nuclear agreement, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.

As you are well aware, after nearly 60 days of meticulous review and consideration, 42 senators voted in support of the Iran nuclear agreement and twice blocked a resolution of disapproval from progressing through the Senate. We applaud the courage and thoughtfulness of the Democratic leadership and every member of Congress who has voted to defend this agreement.

The Iran agreement will benefit national and global security by dramatically rolling back Iran’s nuclear program and implementing extensive verification measures to ensure Iran is complying with the agreement. With this agreement, we prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons for at least the next 15 years—and likely beyond.

The agreement is supported by our international negotiating partners, the U.N. Security Council, and enough members of Congress to prevent passage of a resolution of disapproval. The focus should now be on the proper implementation of the agreement, and ensuring that every party is in full compliance with their obligations—especially Iran.

Instead, Sen. McConnell is stubbornly pushing a third wholly unnecessary vote on amendments prohibiting President Obama from using his executive authority to waive sanctions unless Iran releases four detained Americans and recognizes Israel’s sovereignty and statehood. These provisions are bad political theater and do not serve to further either important cause.

This agreement is about Iran’s nuclear program. Binding it to issues that have always fallen outside the scope of the agreement undermines the foundation of the deal. If these demands are enacted, they will scuttle the agreement, isolate the United States from its international partners, and lead to an unchecked and unconstrained Iranian nuclear program.

Sen. McConnell and the GOP Caucus are trying to embarrass the legislators who support the president and distract the debate from the agreement itself. Using important issues like the safety of American detainees and the security of our ally Israel to score political points is shameful.

We urge all members of the Democratic Caucus to stand together in solidarity against this unproductive and dishonest politicking by voting against the third cloture motion.

Thank you for your time, attention, and dedication to this important issue.

Angela Canterbury                                                  John Isaacs
Executive Director                                                 Senior Fellow