KENNEDY STATEMENT ON IRAN NUCLEAR DEAL
Newton, MA – Congressman Joe Kennedy III today released the following statement on the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) negotiated by the P5+1 and currently under Congressional Review according to the Iran Nuclear Review Act of 2015.
“For the better part of a century, Republican and Democratic administrations alike have sought to end the proliferation of nuclear weapons. Despite these efforts, Iran continued to make progress on an illicit nuclear program, until a punishing regime of international sanctions forced them to the negotiating table. The diplomatic agreement reached as a result is intended to shut down that program and keep nuclear weapons out of Iranian hands. When this deal comes before Congress for a vote, I will support its adoption because I believe it is the most effective means we have to achieve that goal.
“Under the proposed deal, the international community has stated unequivocally that Iran will never be permitted to build a nuclear weapon—not today, not tomorrow, not in 10 or 20 or 50 years. Iran will be allowed to develop specific aspects of a peaceful nuclear program, but the deal’s restrictions paralyze progress on every single path to a bomb. Additionally, the most rigorous inspections regime ever negotiated puts us in a powerful position to ensure these paths remain closed for the lifetime of the agreement.
“Successful execution of this deal will require vigilance, verification and cooperation across the international community. If Iran cheats, they must be exposed and stopped. If Iran continues to support terrorist groups that target our allies, they, along with their proxies, need to be held accountable for any attack. And the United States must compliment enforcement of this deal with a clear and strong foreign policy throughout the region that upholds remaining arms embargoes, reinforces alliances in the Gulf States, and renews our commitment to Israel’s Qualitative Military Edge.
“Critics of the agreement have voiced valid concerns about the risks inherent in this deal. I share many of them. But the ultimate question before us is how to put the United States in the strongest possible position to stop a nuclear Iran. I believe opposing this deal outright leaves us with a weaker hand than executing it with vigorous enforcement, a clear-eyed acknowledgment of its shortcomings, and a commitment to improving it in the months to come.
“After several weeks of analysis, briefings, and extensive conversations with constituents, I support this deal not because it is perfect or without risk. I support this deal because it is rooted in science and anchored by verification. I support it because it decreases the odds we will need to use military force in Iran and strengthens our position to do so if we ever must. I support this deal because it is the best means before us today to keep nuclear weapons out of Iranian hands.”