WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Ranking Member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and the coauthor of the 2015 Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act (INARA), released the following statement Wednesday amid continuing reports President Trump will not certify Iran’s compliance with the terms of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), commonly known as the Iran nuclear deal, as required by October 15:
“I am disturbed by continuing reports that President Trump will not certify Iran’s compliance with the JCPOA, even though he has produced no evidence to Congress to warrant such a decision. If President Trump proceeds as has been reported, it will set the United States on a dangerous path to re-impose nuclear sanctions on Iran, and ironically result in the United States being the country that breaks the international commitments it made under the JCPOA and United Nations Security Council resolutions.
“Leaving the JCPOA at this point, absent concrete facts and material determinations, would isolate us from our allies and partners when we need them to counter Iran’s destabilizing activities and deal with other pressing global challenges, such as the North Korean nuclear crisis.
“When it comes to the JCPOA, the President should be focused on and motivated by vigorous enforcement as a party to the agreement.
“I also call on the President to immediately announce a broader strategy to push back on Iran. Congress has already spoken on Iran’s non-nuclear activities with the passage of the Countering U.S. Adversaries Through Sanctions Act of 2017. In addition to vigorously enforcing the Iran agreement, the President should immediately follow the law by implementing these sanctions, working with our European allies, rather than sending the United States down a path that undermines our ability to continue pressure through sanctions on Iran, North Korea, and Russia; weakens the trans-Atlantic alliance; and damages U.S. leadership and credibility.
“Congress dealt the President a strong hand in dealing with Iran’s human rights abuses, support for terrorism, and violations of arms embargoes. It is time for the President to play that hand.
“What’s more, the United States will not be in a strengthened position to ensure Israel’s security if we are isolated from and causing uncertainty among our allies. Under President Trump, U.S.-Russian ceasefire arrangements in Syria have paved the way for Iran to move closer to Israel’s borders. This dangerous situation will only be worse for Israel if Iran is unleashed from its JCPOA obligations, sanctions on Iran for its non-nuclear activities stall or collapse, and international cooperation to push back on Iran is undermined.
“It’s not too late for President Trump to do the right thing for U.S. national security. The very credibility of the United States is on the line, and the world is watching.”