NIAC Statement on Secretary Kerry’s Sanctions Warning

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Ryan Costello
Phone: 202-386-6319
Email: rcostello@niacouncil.org

Washington, DC – The National Iranian American Council issued the following statement in response to former Secretary of State John Kerry’s warning to his former Senate Foreign Relations Committee colleagues against proceeding with S. 722, new Iran sanctions legislation scheduled for a mark-up tomorrow morning that would violate the Iran nuclear deal:

“Sec. Kerry’s public intervention cautioning against new Iran sanctions legislation should be another wake-up call that this is the wrong bill at the wrong time. Sec. Kerry would not be turning to the microphones unless the bill was an Iran deal-killer and private efforts to remove poison pills had failed.

“Lawmakers must ask themselves why they would give President Trump a mandate to undermine the Iran nuclear deal, ratchet up tensions in the region and undermine Iran’s moderates on the heels of their election victory. Tens of millions of Iranians voted in favor of openness and engagement with the outside world while Trump danced with unelected Saudi monarchs and called for Iran’s isolation.

“The record is now clear. No former official involved in the negotiating of the nuclear deal has said this bill is a good idea. The diplomat and former SFRC chairman most responsible for peacefully rolling back Iran’s nuclear program, Sec. Kerry, says this is not the time for a new sanctions bill. It would be the height of irresponsibility for the Senate to throw caution to the wind and hope Trump uses new sanctions authorities wisely – he has not earned such discretion, to say the least.

“It is time for all Senators, including Ranking Member Cardin, to step away from this flawed bill and let the dust settle following Iran’s major election and Trump’s doubling down on Saudi Arabia.”

Below find the transcript of Kerry’s Tweets:

@JohnKerry

1. My first “tweet storm.” What recovering Senator could be constrained by 140 characters?! #Fillibuster habits die hard.

2. Tomorrow, #SFRC is considering the Iran bill. Big decision. I respect SFRC’s prerogatives – I spent 28 years there myself.

3. #SFRC has made constructive contributions over years, both sanctions + exploring Iran nuclear issue substantively.

4. On #JCPOA, we engaged in an important back and forth. And I welcomed that debate.

5- But to my friends & former colleagues, here is my take: this is a time to tread carefully.

6. After Rouhani’s reelection, there is much up in the air/room for misinterpretation. This is not the moment for a new Iran bill.

7. There are many tools to up the pressure already in place and at our disposal. We need to weigh/consider risk to JCPOA.

8. We need to consider the implications of confrontation without conversation.

9. Must also consider how to make any move in coordination/consultation with our European allies, who were and are essential.

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