September 17, 2015, Washington, DC – On the final day of the sixty-day voting period granted by the Nuclear Agreement Review Act, Senator Chris Coons spoke at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, marking the success of Congressional Democrats and President Barack Obama for passing the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA, or the Iran Nuclear Deal). Coons enumerated his support for the deal and his hopes for its successful implementation in the future.
The United States, he noted, must accept the multilateral nature of the JCPOA. The challenge of this deal is its implementation and ensuring all involved parties do their part, meaning the United States needs to lead through partnership, not unilateralism. The coalitions and consensus of international institutions and alliances made the nuclear deal possible – without them, the United States and Iran would have never reached an agreement.
But he was not without his doubts, underscoring the most difficult part of the JCPOA would be implementing it. “Today,” he emphasized, “the real work on this agreement begins.” The security of the United States and Israel under the JCPOA can only be ensured by the deal’s strict enforcement. The deal needs to be accepted by Congress in order for it to be successful; if Congress adds additional amendments or provisions for its implementation, it sets a precedent for Iran to do the same. He urged the United States government to work with the P5+1 in containing Iran’s nuclear program, threatening to reinstate tough sanctions if Iran cheats on the deal.
Besides preventing Iran from cheating on the JCPOA, Senator Coons offered additional policy proposals to ensure the deal’s successful implementation and stabilizing impact on the Middle East. The United States needs to reinforce its support of Israel and assure American commitment to Israeli security. Additionally, the United States must strengthen the Non-Proliferation Treaty, applying the strongest parts of the JCPOA to international standards. In the long run, these policies will uphold the provisions of the JCPOA after the agreement expires and protect the security of Israel and the United States.
PAAIA is proud to have the support of Senator Coons in the JCPOA’s implementation process. His willingness to successfully implement the deal shows his dedication to build bridges between the United States and Iran, and Congressional Representatives like him show that diplomacy can stand a chance.