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December 13, 2016

NIAC Statement on Iran’s Reaction to U.S. Sanctions Renewal

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Jamal Abdi
Phone: 202-386-6408
Email: [email protected]

Washington, DC – The National Iranian American Council (NIAC) released a statement regarding reports that Iran has ordered its Atomic Energy Organization to begin studies on nuclear-propelled ships in reaction to the U.S.’s extension of the Iran Sanctions Act: 

“Iran’s reaction to the sanctions extension provides yet another example of how Congress’s fixation with sanctions undermines U.S. national security. The obsession with imposing sanctions on Iran at any cost distorts the clarity required to best realize U.S. interests. 

“For months, we warned that ISA’s renewal would have real consequences. Today, those consequences have been realized. While Iran’s move to undertake studies related to nuclear-propelled ships is not in violation of the nuclear accord, it does undermine U.S. foreign policy objectives. By extending the Iran Sanctions Act – legislation that all parties admit was unnecessary for the President to snapback sanctions on Iran should it be required – Congress opened the door for an Iranian response. Iran is signaling that for every negative U.S. action, there will be an Iranian reaction anathema to U.S. interests. 

“This is the same dangerous dynamic we saw play out for over a decade prior to the nuclear deal. As the U.S. expanded its sanctions, Iran expanded its nuclear program. This led us to the brink, where any further escalation would have resulted in an Iranian nuclear breakout capability or a disastrous war. Thankfully, diplomatic efforts produced an offramp from that perilous situation, with the parties breaking the cycle of escalation in favor of a diplomatic solution. The Iran nuclear agreement can be the basis for a new trajectory for the two countries based on mutual interests. Unfortunately, some parties appear set on reentering a tit-for-tat, engaging in escalations that do not technically violate the nuclear agreement but which only threaten the accord and invite devastating outcomes for all parties.

“Those on both sides who do not want to see a return to the tit for tat brinksmanship that nearly took the two countries to war must stand up against provocative and escalatory actions. It is incumbent on the United States and Iran to ensure their strict adherence to the JCPOA at a time of increased political volatility in the United States and growing concern over the JCPOA’s future. We urge both the U.S. and Iran to refrain from undertaking any action intended to test each other’s commitment to the nuclear accord.”

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