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Menendez Statement on President Trump’s Decision to Withdraw from the Iran Nuclear Deal

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), Ranking Member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, issued the following statement on President Trump’s decision to withdraw the United States from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

“With this decision President Trump is risking U.S. national security, recklessly upending foundational partnerships with key U.S. allies in Europe and gambling with Israel’s security. Today’s withdrawal from the JCPOA makes it more likely Iran will restart its nuclear weapons program in the future.

“I remain proud that I helped lead the bipartisan work in Congress to pass a series of sanctions that -- more than anything else –were responsible for Iran’s willingness to come to the negotiating table in the first place. While I strongly opposed the JCPOA, it is a grave mistake to walk away from this deal without a plan for ensuring that Iran does not restart its nuclear weapon program, without a strategy for countering Iran’s dangerous non-nuclear activities, and without our allies and partners. The President initially had an opportunity to work with our allies and build follow-on agreements to address serious concerns with the JCPOA, including Iran’s nuclear capacity after certain restrictions expire. But now, President Trump owns the consequences of today’s decision.

“The governments of Iran, Russia, and China will seize this opportunity of self-imposed U.S. isolation to continue major weapons sales, deepen economic ties, and further challenge the United States and Europe not only in the Middle East but in other areas like North Korea.

“Congress is still waiting for the Administration to deliver the legally-mandated strategy for countering Iran that was due in January. 

“As a result of today’s announcement, the President must immediately send his national security team to Congress to explain how his Administration will continue long-standing U.S. policy to prevent Iran from developing a nuclear weapon outside of the JCPOA without partners; how the pre-JCPOA sanctions regime will be rebuilt without a coalition of the willing; and how the Administration plans to address the range of ways in which Iran continues to threaten the security of the United States and our allies.”