06
Aug

UPDATES: P5+1 Iran Nuclear Negotiations Resource Center

Washington, D.C. – Like much of the world, Iranian Americans have followed the Iran nuclear negotiations and ensuing developments with great interest. The PAAIA Public Policy Center is pleased to provide a resource page that provides easily accessible information about the on-going nuclear negotiations between Iran and the members of the P5+1 (U.S., U.K., France, Russia, China, and Germany). 

The resource page includes a compilation of information provided by the U.S. government on the negotiations as well as viewpoints from members of Congress, editorials from leading news sources, and analyses from foreign policy and national security experts. 

While PAAIA supports efforts to pursue a diplomatic resolution to the decade-long stalemate over Iran’s nuclear program, we recognize the importance of ensuring that Iranian Americans are well informed and aware of the positions held by their elected officials and others related to this matter. 

Set forth below is a collection of the most recent updates to the P5+1 Iran Nuclear Negotiations Resource Center.

 *The views expressed in these articles are solely the views of author or the interviewee, and should not be attributed to the views of PAAIA.*

 

White House Statements

August 5, 2015

President Barack Obama

“As Americans, we should be proud of this achievement. And as members of Congress reflect on their pending decision, I urge them to set aside political concerns, shut out the noise, consider the stakes involved with the vote that you will cast. If Congress kills this deal, we will lose more than just constraints on Iran’s nuclear deal or the sanctions we have painstakingly built. We will have lost something more precious: America’s credibility as a leader of diplomacy. America’s credibility is the anchor of the international system.”

 

Supportive Congressional Statements

 

August 6, 2015

US Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY)

I have decided to support this deal after closely reading the agreement, participating in multiple classified briefings, questioning Energy Secretary Moniz and other officials, consulting independent arms control experts, and talking with many constituents who both support and oppose this deal. 

 

US Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH)

“Over the last three weeks, I have studied this agreement, attended hearings and briefings, and reviewed classified assessments on our ability to verify Iran’s compliance. This agreement slashes Iran’s stockpile of enriched uranium, bans weapons grade uranium enrichment and puts in place a rigorous and intrusive inspections regime. The agreement reduces Iran’s number of centrifuges by more than two-thirds for a decade and maintains inspectors’ access to Iran’s uranium mines and mills for a quarter century. Nuclear experts are confident that we will be able to detect violations by Iran and, importantly, the US can respond unilaterally to a violation by snapping back sanctions.”

 

US Representative Gerry Connolly (D-VA)

“My decision to support the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) negotiated between the P5+1 and Iran is grounded in the hard reality that the alternative to this nuclear agreement is an opaque and unconstrained Iranian nuclear program hanging like the sword of Damocles over the security of the U.S. and our allies, including Israel.”

 

August 5, 2015

US Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT)

“The test for this agreement, then, is simple: is Iran less likely to obtain a nuclear weapon with this deal than without it? Because I answer this question affirmatively, I will support this agreement when it comes before the United States Senate for a vote in September.”

 

US Representative Jim McGovern (D-MA)

“With a strong set of comprehensive restrictions, this agreement will take the clear and concrete steps needed to stop Iran from developing a nuclear weapon. The diplomatic solution before us is not perfect, but it provides the robust framework we need to monitor Iran’s nuclear program and ensure that it remains peaceful. This agreement would establish the most intrusive inspections regime ever negotiated. And if Iran cheats, this agreement ensures that the consequences will be severe and that the United States and our allies will have the power to re-impose sanctions.”

 

August 4, 2015

US Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA)

“Today, after meeting with some of our strongest allies, I am more convinced than ever that a rejection of the Iran nuclear agreement would be a victory for Iranian hardliners and would accelerate their ability to obtain a nuclear weapon.”

 

US Senator Time Kaine (D-VA)

“The nuclear program will only stop by diplomatic agreement or military action,” he said Tuesday in a speech from the Senate floor. “This deal takes a nuclear weapons program that was on the verge of success and disables it for many years.”

 

US Senator Bill Nelson (D-FL)

“Unless there is an unexpected change in the conditions and facts before the vote is called in September, I will support the nuclear agreement between Iran and the P5+1.”

 

US Representative Andre Carson (D-IN)

“Since the P5+1 began negotiations with Iran, it has pursued the singular objective of preventing Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon.  I approached my review of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action with the same goal in mind and have determined that it if enacted it will make significant progress toward degrading Iran’s nuclear capabilities. I support this agreement because after decades of dangerous provocation, I believe it is clear that a nuclear Iran would pose a threat to the United States and its allies, destabilize the Middle East, and stoke armed conflict.  This agreement shuts down all pathways to a bomb and is a responsible way to ensure Iran never becomes a nuclear power.”

 

US Representative Mark Pocan (D-WI)

“Since the announcement of the historic Iran deal, I’ve had the chance to carefully review the proposed plan and consult with members of the Obama Administration and numerous independent experts. What’s clear is that ensuring Iran does not obtain a nuclear weapon is paramount to the safety and security of the Middle East and the global community. Decades of sanctions have not prevented Iran from pursuing nuclear capabilities, but with this diplomatic agreement I firmly believe we now have the opportunity to verifiably prevent a nuclear Iran by supporting and implementing this deal.”

 

August 3, 2015

US Representative Anna Eshoo (D-CA)

“In the face of a legitimate threat of immense magnitude from a nuclear-capable Iran, I believe this agreement is the right path forward. My decision is not based on trusting Iran. To the contrary, the regime has a long list of offenses that I deeply object to, but there must be a mechanism in place to keep them from becoming a nuclear power. Nor would I suggest the agreement is perfect. But, in my view, to reject it would be a grave mistake for the United States, a repudiation of our allies in the effort, a danger to Israel, and further deterioration in the Middle East.”

 

US Representative Patrick Leahy (D-VT)

“The President has been unwavering in his insistence that the goal of this agreement is to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon, and I commend him for his vision and resolve. It is now up to Congress to carry out its oversight responsibility. We can strive to make this work, keeping in mind the vital national security interests at stake for our country and for our allies, or impulsively sabotage this chance.”

 

US Representative Seth Moulton (D-MA)

““It is not a perfect deal, and it is easy to point out the many ways in which it could theoretically be stronger,” Moulton, a Salem Democrat, said in a lengthy statement explaining his decision. “That being said, it is by far the best viable option before us.”

 

US Representative Adam Schiff (D-CA)

“At the end of the day, I could not find an alternative that would turn out in a better way than the deal. Rejection of the deal would not lead to something credible. And I think that there are enough ways to mitigate the risks associated with the deal that it makes sense to me to move forward. The risks associated with rejection of the deal are quite a bit higher than the risks associated with going forward.”

 

Critical Congressional Statements

August 6, 2015

US Representative Ted Deutch (D-FL)

“Too many issues I have long raised as essential to any nuclear deal with Iran are not adequately addressed in this agreement. I will vote against it when Congress reconvenes in September.”

 

US Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY)

“Advocates on both sides have strong cases for their point of view that cannot simply be dismissed. This has made evaluating the agreement a difficult and deliberate endeavor, and after deep study, careful thought and considerable soul-searching, I have decided I must oppose the agreement and will vote yes on a motion of disapproval.”

 

August 4, 2015

US Representative Steve Israel (D-NY)

““I tried very had to get to yes. But at the end of the day, despite some positive elements in the deal, the totality compelled me to oppose it.”

US Representative Nita Lowely (D-NY)

“In my judgment, sufficient safeguards are not in place to address the risks associated with the agreement.  Relieving UN sanctions on conventional arms and ballistic missiles and releasing billions of dollars to the Iranian regime could lead to a dangerous regional weapons race and enable Iran to bolster its funding of terrorists.   The deal does not explicitly require Iran to fully disclose its previous military work to the IAEA’s satisfaction before sanctions relief is provided, and inspectors will not have immediate access to the most suspicious facilities. There are no clear accountability measures regarding punishment for minor violations, which could encourage Iran to cheat.”

 

Supportive Op-Eds

 

August 1, 2015: International New York Times Editorial Board –  Republican Hypocrisy on Iran

“The exaggerations and half-truths that some Republicans are using to derail President Obama‘s important and necessary nuclear deal with Iran are beyond ugly. Invoking the Holocaust, Mike Huckabee, a contender for the Republican presidential nomination, has accused Mr. Obama of marching Israelis “to the door of the oven.” Tom Cotton, a senator from Arkansas, has compared Secretary of State John Kerry, who helped negotiate the deal, to Pontius Pilate.”

 

July 31, 2015: Vali Nasr  – Why did Iran sign on to a deal that will weaken its regional hold?

“Opponents of the nuclear agreement with Iran see it as a license for Tehran to wreak havoc in the region. Freed from economic pressure and flush with financial resources, the thinking goes, Iran can be expected to unleash its emboldened minions upon Israel and Arab states and undermine U.S. interests. However, contrary to what the critics say, the nuclear deal is far more likely to curb Iran’s regional ambition. It is rather the instability that would follow the failure of the deal that should worry them.”

 

July 30, 2015: Roger Cohen – One Congressman’s Iran

“Representative Sander M. Levin, Democrat of Michigan and the longest-serving Jewish member of the House, said something important this week: “In my view, the only anchors in public life are to dig deeply into the facts and consult broadly and then to say what you believe.”’

 

July 30, 2015: Nicholas Kristof – Why the Naysayers are Wrong About the Iran Deal

“Mike Huckabee says President Obama is using his nuclear deal to “take the Israelis and march them to the door of the oven.” Mitt Romney describes it as a “generational calamity.” And while polls diverge, one recently taken by CNN suggests the public wants Congress to reject the agreement by a 52 percent to 44 percent majority.”

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