Washington DC â€“ December 19, 2013 â€“ News Release â€“ Today, a coalition of twenty-six Senators introduced a new bill that could kill Americaâ€™s greatest opportunity to achieve a diplomatic solution to Iranâ€™s nuclear program.
â€œThis new bill is directly contradicts, and could endanger, a deal that provides America and its allies with the ability conduct daily inspections on Iranâ€™s nuclear facilities and ensure Iran is not pursuing a nuclear weapon,â€� said Laicie Heeley, director of Middle East and defense policy at Council for a Livable World. â€œPassing new sanctions now, whenever they kick in, is still passing new sanctions. This move risks ending talks with Iran, and even more importantly, breaking apart the international sanctions regime Congress has worked so hard to put in place.”
In the P5+1â€™s first-step agreement with Iran, Iran agreed to open its facilities to daily inspections, neutralize its stockpile of twenty percent enrichment uranium, and end enrichment of uranium above five percent. In exchange, the U.S. and its international partners agreed to modest sanctions relief and a promise that no new sanctions would be introduced while a final long-term deal was negotiated.
The 52 page bill runs counter to the Administrationâ€™s position and is being led by Senators Robert Menendez (D-NJ), Mark Kirk (R-IL), and Charles Schumer (D-NY). It is trying to have 100 Senators make foreign policy, which is a recipe for disaster.
â€œFurther sanctions at this time run counter to the opinion of senior Senate leaders that have been most involved in this issue for years including Armed Services Committee Chairman, Carl Levin (MI), Intelligence Committee Chairwoman Dianne Feinstein (CA), Banking Committee Chairman Tim Johnson (SD) and Chief Deputy Whip Barbara Boxer (CA),â€� added Heeley.
Council for a Livable World is a non-partisan advocacy organization dedicated to increasing national security, particularly through reducing of the danger of nuclear weapons proliferation. The Council advocates for a strong and sensible national security policy and helps elect congressional candidates supporting those ideals.