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Oregon lawmakers react to Iran deal pullout

May 16, 2018
In The News

U.S. Sen. Jeff Merkley, an Oregon democrat and member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, released a statement after President Donald Trump announced that he would pull the U.S. out of the Iran nuclear deal. In the statement, Merkley called the move a mistake for enormous proportions for American safety security.

The senator said a nuclear-armed Iran would be a catastrophe, adding that the best way to prevent that would be to “not blow up the deal that is verifiably preventing Iran from getting a nuclear weapon.

“We can and should work with international partners to take on Iran’s other malign actions, including its ballistic missile program and destabilizing support for terrorism and proxies in the Middle East,” Merkley said. “But it’s entirely possible to do so without jeopardizing the progress we’ve already made in containing Iran’s nuclear program. Instead, President Trump’s action today puts the U.S., Israel, and the entire world at risk by reopening the path to a nuclear Iran.”

 

Merkley said Trump’s own State Department as well as the Secretary of Defense and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff had certified that Iran had continued to fulfill its nuclear-related commitments. He added that the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) had continually certified that Iran had executed all of its obligations under the deal while undergoing “the most stringent inspection regime in history.”

“Critical U.S. allies – particularly the European Union, United Kingdom, France, and Germany – have continued to stress that the implementation of the JCPOA is vital to global security,” Merkley said. “Not only does President Trump’s violation of the deal isolate the United States, rather than Iran, from these partners and the international community, it delivers a blow to global non-proliferation efforts.”

“Everyone agrees that Iran is a bad actor and we need to push back aggressively on their bad acts,” he said. “Is it easier to push back on a bad actor with a nuclear weapon or without one?”

 

U.S. Rep Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR) made also issued a statement after Trump announced he was not waiving sanctions under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, effectively removing the United States from the Iran Deal. In the statement, she expressed disappointment with the decision.

“I’m deeply concerned about President Trump’s unilateral decision to back out of the Iran deal,” Bonamici said. “The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action was negotiated through cooperation, and it hinges on verification that Iran is not pursuing nuclear weapons.”

Bonamici said every official inspection and report thus far indicated Iranian compliance. She said dismantling the deal without any alternative in place put the country and our allies at risk and diminished national credibility.

“The US alone cannot prevent Iran, and other nations, from developing nuclear weapons,” she said. “We must work in concert and coordination with our global partners.”