Senators call for a final agreement that verifiably results in the termination of Iran’s nuclear weapons program and prevents Iran from achieving a nuclear weapon capability.
Washington, D.C. – Joined by 25 Senators, U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) today introduced the Nuclear Weapon Free Iran Act, bipartisan legislation proposing prospective sanctions on Iran should the regime violate the interim Joint Plan of Action agreed to in Geneva or should Iran fail to reach a final agreement.
The legislation was co-sponsored by 26 senators, including: Senators Rubio, Ayotte, Begich, Blumenthal, Blunt, Cardin, Casey, Collins, Coons, Corker, Cornyn, Cruz, Donnelly, Gillibrand, Graham, Hagan, Johanns, Kirk, Landrieu, McCain, Menendez, Moran, Pryor, Roberts, Schumer and Warner.
The prospective sanctions legislation requires further reductions in purchases of Iranian petroleum and applies additional penalties to strategic elements of the Iranian economy, to include the engineering, mining and construction sectors. Simultaneously, it gives the Administration continued flexibility and up to one year from the conclusion of an implementing agreement to pursue a diplomatic track resulting in the complete and verifiable termination of Iran’s illicit nuclear weapons program.
“As I’ve said before, I believe that the administration’s agreement with Iran makes a nuclear Iran more, not less likely. However, this bipartisan bill is a first step towards ensuring that there will be serious repercussions for Iran if it violates the agreement made in Geneva or it becomes clear that, as many of us fear, Iran is not serious about fully abandoning its nuclear weapons program,” said Senator Rubio. “Even as I support this bill focused on Iran’s nuclear program, I plan to continue to work with colleagues in Congress next year to find additional ways to ensure that Iran’s continued human rights violations and its sponsorship of terrorism are highlighted and the elements of the Iranian regime responsible are penalized.”
“Current sanctions brought Iran to the negotiating table and a credible threat of future sanctions will require Iran to cooperate and act in good faith at the negotiating table,” said Senator Menendez, Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. “The Iranians last week blamed the Administration for enforcing sanctions; now, they criticize Congress. The burden rests with Iran to negotiate in good faith and verifiably terminate its nuclear weapons program. Prospective sanctions will influence Iran’s calculus and accelerate that process toward achieving a meaningful diplomatic resolution.”