NIAC Action Executive Director Jamal Abdi issued the following statement after the House of Representatives passed H.R. 3457, the “Justice for Victims of Iranian Terrorism Act,” a bill that would threaten to kill the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action:
“This bill is just the latest cynical attempt by House Republicans to score partisan political points off of the Iran nuclear deal. By threatening to block sanctions relief until Iran pays tens of billions of dollars in claims in U.S. courts, the bill would effectively kill the nuclear deal and guarantee Iran never pays a dime toward any of the claims that have been brought against it. As a result, the consideration of the bill undermines U.S. national security interests and the perception that the U.S. can abide by its international commitments. It also risks opening the door to reciprocal action in Iran, which could threaten to link its concessions to the U.S. to outstanding claims in Iranian courts.
“Fortunately, this bill is going nowhere. Even Democratic opponents of the nuclear deal, including the ranking member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee Eliot Engel (D-NY), have voted against it. Sarah Shourd, one of the American hikers imprisoned in Iran in 2009, has warned that the bill will not lead to justice for the victims of terrorism or the release of Americans currently imprisoned in Iran. While the nuclear deal is on the path to resolution and the rest of the world prepares to engage Iran on a host of issues outside of the nuclear sphere, the Republican Congress appears determined to force countless ill-advised votes that would threaten the multilateral deal and risk returning the U.S. and Iran to a path of confrontation that ends in war.”
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