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October 1, 2015

NIAC Action Opposes Unhelpful Iran Legislation

Contact: Ryan Costello
Phone: 202-386-6325
Email: [email protected]

NIAC Action Executive Director Jamal Abdi issued the following statement after Sen. Ben Cardin (D-MD) and eight other Democrats introduced the Iran Policy Oversight Act of 2015:

“This bill, while an improvement over earlier drafts of the legislation, appears aimed at providing political cover to legislators so that they can assert their hawkish bona fides on Iran. At best, the wrongheaded measures included in the bill are empty symbolic gestures aimed at reasserting a more confrontational posture in the region. At worst, they are an actionable policy agenda that would undermine the gains secured by diplomacy and set us on a path to unraveling the nuclear deal. This is the wrong bill at the wrong time, and could become the second act for nuclear deal opponents.

“Problematic elements of the bill include doubling down on rhetoric in support of a military option, requiring the President to detail a regional strategy specifically aimed at countering Iran, authorizing the President to provide additional offensive weaponry to Israel to counter Iran, and a mechanism providing for the expedited consideration of additional sanctions legislation on Iran due to issues outside the nuclear sphere. NIAC Action will issue a detailed analysis of the bill in the days ahead.

“The President and our negotiating partners among the P5+1 have secured a major diplomatic victory and as a result have significantly moved U.S.-Iran relations in a positive direction for the first time in decades. The deal boosts U.S. national security and that of our allies including Israel, and was achieved despite significant obstruction from Congress. The deal does not need strengthening or reinterpretation from Congress now that it is sealed. In fact, moving forward with the bill threatens to return the U.S. and Iran to a negative tit for tat that could undermine implementation of the nuclear deal. As a result, legislators should withhold support for this unhelpful bill and instead urge the administration to pursue diplomacy to address remaining issues of concern with Iran, including the crisis in Syria, Iranian human rights and imprisoned Americans in Iran.”


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