Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) released a statement following the Administration’s announcement regarding its intention to withdrawal from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA):
“I strongly disagree with the President’s decision to end U.S. participation in an agreement that constrains Iran’s nuclear program and helps prevent the regime from obtaining a nuclear weapons capability. U.S. military officials, past and present, have said that Iran is complying with the nuclear agreement and that it is in the best national security interest of our nation to keep it in place. This Administration’s national security leadership has repeatedly confirmed this. On October 3, 2017, Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis spoke about the agreement and said, “I believe at this point in time, absent indications to the contrary, it is something the President should consider staying with." In testimony before Congress in April 2018, Secretary Mattis specifically referred to the intrusive nature of our ability to examine Iran’s nuclear capabilities.
In the Senate, I led efforts to sanction and hold the Iranian regime accountable for its pursuit of a nuclear weapons capability, its development of ballistic missiles and its support for terrorist proxies. I supported the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) because it was the best available option to substantially constrain Iran’s nuclear ambitions and to improve oversight of their technology. At that time, Iran’s breakout time was only a matter of months. I have also worked to ensure full verification and enforcement of the Iran nuclear agreement and strongly counter their non-nuclear destabilizing actions. Pursuant to the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act, the Administration is required to report to Congress if there is a breach of the deal. That has not yet happened.
By taking a step that violates the JCPOA, President Trump has taken a drastic step that will increase the possibility of Iran resuming its pursuit of a nuclear weapon and make it much more difficult to reach a diplomatic agreement to constrain North Korea’s nuclear program.”