Washington, D.C. – NIAC Action Executive Director Jamal Abdi issued the following statement ahead of the expected passage of new Iran sanctions legislation in the House of Representatives:
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“As Donald Trump is recklessly working to kill the Iran deal, Congress is whistling past the graveyard. The sanctions being passed by the House are nothing new, they are largely duplicative of counterproductive Iran sanctions already passed into law by Congress earlier this year. But even if passing this new bill is symbolism over substance, it is a risky provocation at the worst possible time. Donald Trump just refused to certify the Iran deal and called on Congress to unilaterally change the terms of the agreement, which would be a blatant violation of the accord. If they refuse, Trump said he would kill the deal himself.
“At best, the passage of these sanctions are an attempt by cooler heads on the Hill to pull the President back from the ledge without killing the deal. The reality is that many lawmakers who have publicly opposed the Iran deal privately recognize that it must be kept in place and that it serves U.S. interests. The President accidentally called their bluff by decertifying the agreement and now they want to dangle a shiny object in front of him to distract him, yet that can only work for so long.
“The stakes on Iran policy could not be higher. If the Iran nuclear deal is unraveled by Trump or Congress, the U.S. would face a second nuclear crisis and the very real threat of a new war of choice in the Middle East. Instead of passing more sanctions to try to placate Trump, Congress needs to put its foot down and reassure the rest of the world that the U.S. will abide by its word, it will not let Donald Trump kill the deal, and it will put the interests of the country above our current domestic political situation.”