Larsen: Derailing Iran Agreement Short-Sighted, Ineffective

Feb 2, 2016

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Rep. Rick Larsen, WA-02, today voted against a bill that would undermine the U.S. government’s ability to carry out the international agreement to prevent Iran from building a nuclear weapon. The vote comes after Implementation Day has already been declared, when the International Atomic Energy Agency verified on January 16 that Iran met the requirements under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) and sanctions began to lift. 

I support the JCPOA because I believe the agreement is the best available option to halt Iran’s progress toward building a nuclear weapon. Derailing the agreement just as it gets started is short-sighted, ineffective and damages our international reputation. Our partners in this agreement are moving forward, and if Iran continues to fulfill its commitments, nuclear sanctions will continue to be lifted. It is far better for national security if sanctions relief comes with the agreement’s stringent limitations on the Iranian nuclear program and a robust inspections regime,” Larsen said.

Iran has taken more than 40 steps to curtail its nuclear program, including removing more than 70 percent of its centrifuges, rendering the Arak facility reactor core inoperable, and reducing its uranium stockpile by 98 percent.

The bill (H.R. 3662), which passed the House by a vote of 246 to 181, essentially stops the JCPOA from going forward by preventing the President from lifting any sanctions against Iranian banks or officials, even though the U.S. and other countries involved in the agreement have already lifted some sanctions as a result of the progress Iran has made so far.