The White House announced today President Donald Trump’s new strategy on Iran that includes not certifying the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) also known as the “Iran Deal.” Elements of Trump’s new strategy also include:
- A revitalization of the United States’ traditional alliances and regional partnerships as bulwarks against Iranian subversion in order to restore a more stable balance of power in the region.
- Denying the Iranian regime – and especially the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) – funding for its malign activities, and oppose IRGC activities that extort the wealth of the Iranian people.
- A plan to counter threats to the United States and allies from ballistic missiles and other asymmetric weapons.
- Rally the international community to condemn the IRGC’s gross violations of human rights and its unjust detention of American citizens and other foreigners on specious charges.
- Deny the Iranian regime all paths to a nuclear weapon.
The Trump administration says the Iranian regime’s activities severely undercut whatever positive contributions to “regional and international peace and security” the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) sought to achieve.
They also noted that the Iranian regime has displayed a disturbing pattern of behavior, seeking to exploit loopholes and test the international community’s resolve. Iranian military leaders have stated publicly that they will refuse to allow International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) inspections of their military sites. The White House says these statements fly in the face of Iran’s commitments under JCPOA and the Additional Protocol. Not long ago these same organizations hid nuclear facilities on military sites.
U.S. Senator Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) today announced that she supports Trump’s actions toward Iran.
Two years ago, I warned that the JCPOA fell dangerously short of its intended goal to dismantle Iran’s nuclear program. Today, it is clear that the flawed agreement negotiated by then-President Obama has indeed paved the way for Iran to obtain and deliver a nuclear weapon without repercussion.
Overtly, the Iranian regime continues to exploit loopholes in JCPOA to advance its ballistic missile capability. Covertly, Iranian weaponization efforts are unknown, as military leaders have stated publicly they will refuse to allow International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) inspections of their sites. All the while, sanctions relief has fueled Iran’s support for its terrorist organization proxies engaged in malign activities in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Yemen, Afghanistan, and elsewhere – places where these groups are engaged in direct combat with American servicemembers or our partners. Indisputably the JCPOA failed to meet its requirements to appropriately and proportionally contain Iran’s nefarious activities – the original purpose of the agreement.
Therefore, I support President Trump’s decision not to certify the deal under the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act. This action does not withdraw the United States from the JCPOA, but rather, it provides an opportunity for Congress to work with the Trump administration and our allies to fix the failures of the original agreement. We will maintain a position of global leadership by upholding our obligations, while finally beginning to hold Iran accountable for not meeting the expectations of the international community. This starts today with the President’s decision not to certify the deal, and his decision to target the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps for proliferating weapons, abusing human rights, and sponsoring terror.
I look forward to working with the Trump administration, my congressional colleagues, and overseas partners in the weeks and months ahead to formalize a strategy that successfully achieves its objectives and protects American interests.