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Monday, February 6th, 2023

Senate bill supports Biden efforts to rejoin Iran Nuclear Deal

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A group of Senators introduced legislation supporting President Joe Biden’s efforts to rejoin the Iran Nuclear Deal, also called the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

The Iran Diplomacy Act Full says the United States and Iran should promptly return to full compliance with all of their commitments under the JCPOA, which required that Iran refrain from producing either the highly enriched uranium or the plutonium that could be used in a nuclear weapon.

The bill adds that after all sides return to their commitments under the JCPOA, the United States should lead international efforts to strengthen the restrictions on Iran’s ballistic missile program and counter the proliferation of such technology to other countries and actors. The US would also lead efforts to address the sunset of select provisions of the JCPOA and other elements of the agreement that merit strengthening and advance any other diplomatic measures that promote United States, regional, and international security.

The JCPOA was signed in 2015 by Iran and the P5+1 — China, France, Germany, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States. In 2018, President Trump said the U.S. would withdraw from the JCPOA and reinstate U.S. nuclear sanctions on Iran.

“The Trump administration’s decision to leave the Iran nuclear agreement was shortsighted and dangerous,” Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), one of the bill’s sponsors, said. “Iran is now far closer to the production of a nuclear weapon, proving the agreement was, in fact, an effective tool to prevent the proliferation of nuclear weapons. I applaud the Biden administration for its diplomatic engagement to constrain Iran’s nuclear program in order to improve regional and international security.”

The bill was co-sponsored by Sens. Edward Markey (D-MA), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Bernie Sanders (I-VT, Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Chris Murphy (D-CT), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Patty Murray (D-WA), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) and Jeff Merkley (D-OR).

“President Biden is right to pursue diplomatic steps that verifiably shut the door on an Iranian nuclear weapon,” Markey said. “President Trump’s 2018 exit from the Iran Nuclear Deal alienated the United States from allies whose support is needed to confront the full-range of Tehran’s bad behavior. Trump’s ‘maximum pressure’ campaign brought us to the brink of war and allowed Iran to edge ever closer to nuclear weapons capability. All sides must return to their commitments under the Iran Nuclear Deal so we can take the existential threat of a nuclear Iran off the table and provide the momentum to advance multilateral and bilateral diplomatic efforts to address Iran’s burgeoning ballistic missile program, extend elements of the Iran deal due to expire, and combat the Iranian government and its proxies’ malign activities throughout the region.”