Nadler Statement on Trump’s Withdrawal from Iran Nuclear Deal

May 8, 2018 Issues: Foreign Affairs/Israel

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Today, Congressman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), Ranking Member of the House Judiciary Committee, released the following statement in response to President Trump’s announced decision to withdrawn from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action:

“Today, President Trump presented no coherent argument or factual reason to justify his withdrawal of the United States from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) negotiated by the P5+1.  The President acted to satisfy his own personal political interest, motivated by vindictive stubbornness rather than by any imminent national security reasoning, and, as a result, has placed our country, our allies, and the entire world at greater jeopardy, with Iran now more likely to pursue a nuclear weapon.  In fact, the President’s decision leaves us further from stopping Iran’s nuclear ambitions or countering its illicit conduct.

“When I voted in support of the JCPOA in 2015, I did so based on the judgement that Iran with a nuclear weapon represented an existential threat, that a non-nuclear armed Iran was better than a nuclear armed Iran, and that the agreement would put us in a better position to prevent Iran’s development of a nuclear bomb going forward.  At the time, I also acknowledged the deal’s shortcomings, including the sunset of certain provisions and the fact that we would still need to address Iran’s ballistic missile program and destabilizing regional behavior.  But as I stated then, and continue to believe today, the ability to severely restrain Iran’s nuclear program outweighed the JCPOA’s limitations.

“I have been outspoken on the need to vigilantly counter Iran’s nefarious behavior—both within and beyond the scope of the nuclear agreement—and was successful in receiving a promise from President Obama that the Administration would, in supplement to the agreement, target Iran’s ballistic missile program, support of terror, and human rights abuses.  Yet President Trump has failed to live up to this same guarantee.  Instead, it seems he would rather attend rallies and hold press conferences where he can preen and posture in opposition to a negotiated agreement that effectively prevents Iran from developing a nuclear bomb for a minimum of 10-15 years.

“President Trump has done zero to counter Iran’s growing influence in the region, zero to crack down on Iran’s human rights behavior, zero to add international pressure against Iran’s development of ballistic missiles, zero to stop Iran from its continued support for terrorism.  And with his withdrawal earlier today, President Trump has provoked an unnecessary crisis and handed Iran the alibi it needs to restart its nuclear activities.

“Experts have repeatedly confirmed that Iran has complied with, and is not in violation of, the JCPOA.  Yet, after today, Iran has the ability to refuse inspections while reaping the benefits of continued trade with countries adhering to the agreement.  Iran can also strategically leverage this decision to drive a wedge between the United States and the rest of the international community that continues to see the value of the agreement.  And I fear that Iran will feel even further emboldened to bolster its terrorist proxies in the Middle East and to escalate tensions with Israel as a result of this decision.

“The President has now escalated the possibility of war, put thousands of lives at risk, and further damaged this country’s ability to conduct negotiations around the world.  Let me be clear: the President bears full responsibility for this decision and for any negative consequences that unfold in response to today’s announcement.”

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