Congressman Garamendi’s Statement in Support of Iranian Nuclear Agreement

Sep 3, 2015 Issues: Foreign Policy

DAVIS, CA – Today, Congressman John Garamendi (D-Fairfield, CA) issued the following statement in support of the Iran nuclear agreement, formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action:

"My top priority is what we all want: an Iran which never obtains a nuclear weapon. I believe that the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) is the best available option to achieve this goal.

“The JCPOA puts restrictions on Iran’s nuclear program. It blocks every pathway Iran could take to develop a nuclear weapon. Iran must also reduce the amount of enriched uranium it keeps on hand to less than that required for even a single nuclear weapon.

“These strong restrictions are only as good as the strong verification measures put in place to enforce them. Under this deal, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) will have access to Iran’s nuclear program for much of the next quarter century and will continue to monitor Iran’s nuclear program thereafter. If Iran attempts to cheat, we will detect it and sanctions will be re-imposed without hesitation.

“I think it would be a terrible mistake for Congress to walk away from this deal. Without it, Iran could resume its uranium enrichment and have enough material for a nuclear weapon in a matter of months. Without this deal, our negotiating partners have told us that the robust sanctions regime would begin to fray and could collapse altogether. Without this deal, we would lose this historic opportunity to sideline Iran’s nuclear ambitions. If we reject this deal, every plausible alternative I see is more limited, uncertain, and dangerous than the opportunity presented by the JCPOA.

“The international community, including the United Kingdom, France, Germany, China, Russia, and the European Union, has endorsed this deal. They have told us that there is no better deal and that they will not return to the negotiating table. Rather than walk away from our negotiating partners and from diplomacy, we should work with the international community to enforce the terms of this deal and achieve our goal: an Iran that never acquires nuclear weapons. I will vote in support of the agreement, and I encourage my colleagues in Congress to join me.”

Congressman John Garamendi is a member of the House Armed Services Committee. He was the first Member of the House Strategic Forces Subcommittee to announce his support for the JCPOA. The Strategic Forces Subcommittee oversees our nation’s strategic weapons and is responsible for ensuring readiness for missile or nuclear attacks.