Extremely Disappointed in IAEA Ending Probe into Possible Military Dimensions of Iran’s Nuclear Program
WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, called for the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) to hold Iran accountable for an illicit ballistic missile test after a panel of experts assessment confirmed the October launch violated UNSC Resolution 1929. He also expressed disappointment over the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA’s) Board of Governors decision today that ends an inquiry into possible military dimensions (PMD) of Iran’s nuclear program.
“Now that it is absolutely verified that Iran has violated U.N. Security Council Resolution 1929, it is incumbent upon the U.N. Security Council to enforce it,” said Corker. “The failure to impose consequences on Iran for its violation sets a dangerous precedent before implementation of the nuclear agreement when sanctions are lifted and the leverage shifts to Iran.”
“With inaction over the missile tests and an IAEA process that was not conducted with integrity, the nuclear deal is getting off to a terrible start,” added Corker. “We know Iran concealed its nuclear weapons development and yet the investigation into possible military dimensions is now closed despite their deception. As the Senate Foreign Relations Committee continues its vigorous oversight of the nuclear deal this week, we will press the administration on the implications of these events and enforcement of the agreement.”
Following Iran’s October 10 ballistic missile test, Senator Corker, along with committee members Senators Cory Gardner (R-Colo.), Tim Kaine (D-Va.), Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), David Perdue (R-Ga.), and Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.), wrote a letter to Secretary of State John Kerry seeking a determination on whether the test violated UNSCR 1929 and how the U.S. would respond. The State Department’s letter in response asserted U.S. authority and precedent for imposing unilateral penalties for Iran’s missile-related activities. So far the administration has not taken such action despite acknowledging Iran’s violation of the UNSC resolution.
Senators Corker and Ben Cardin (D-Md.), ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, in a separate letter to President Obama presented their plans for ongoing oversight of the Iran nuclear deal. The two senators coauthored the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act of 2015 which requires the administration to certify every 90 days that Iran is in compliance with the nuclear agreement. A failure to provide the certification or a material breach by Iran would make available expedited procedures for consideration of legislation in Congress to reimpose sanctions. An additional semi-annual report from the administration also will provide detailed information regarding Iran’s nuclear-related activities, including work on ballistic missiles.