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Cardin Statement on Senate Passage of Iran Nuclear Review Agreement Act of 2015

WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senator Ben Cardin, Ranking Member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee issued the following statement after the Iran Nuclear Review Agreement Act of 2015 was approved 98-1 by the U.S. Senate. 

“We have sent a clear message today that on this most vital national security issue – keeping Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons -- the Senate can find common ground and speak with one voice. We have been able to reach a reasonable compromise that embraces Democratic and Republican viewpoints. Such bipartisanship has alluded the Senate of late, but I give great credit to Chairman Corker who kept us focused on the ultimate goal. This legislation makes no judgment on the substance of an agreement with Iran but gives Congress a chance to review any accord that would suspend Congressional sanctions. The stakes are too high to allow partisan rancor to overtake national consensus that endorses Congressional review of any final deal.

“Congress authored the sanctions that brought Iran to the negotiating table and therefore only Congress can permanently alter or eliminate these sanctions. No legislative action will be taken by Congress unless and until the Obama Administration achieves a final agreement with Iran. No legislative action is required for the agreement to take effect. 

“There is bipartisan concurrence that we do not trust Iran, so we must demand a final agreement that is verifiable, transparent, allows for intrusive inspections and that result in the snapping back of sanctions if any violations occur. On such a serious national security matter that must halt Iran’s nuclear weapons program, Congress has a responsibility to fulfill its oversight obligations, to dispense with political divisions and to unite around a common purpose. Meaningful diplomacy coupled with Congressional review and oversight is the right path forward and today’s vote is a giant step forward toward achieving that objective.”