REP. DEFAZIO ANNOUNCES SUPPORT FOR IRAN DEAL
WASHINGTON, DC—At a town hall meeting in Port Orford yesterday, in response to a question from a constituent about the Iran nuclear deal, U.S. Rep. Peter DeFazio announced his support for the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). The JCPOA is an international agreement reached by the P5+1 nations (France, Germany, the United Kingdom, Russia, China, and the United States) that is aimed at preventing Iran from manufacturing a nuclear weapon.
“The P5+1 and Iran have reached an historic agreement, one that brings us closer than ever before to a de-weaponized Iran,” said Rep. DeFazio. “After careful consideration of the JCPOA, I have decided that the agreement is the best option that the global community has to ensure that Iran will not develop a nuclear weapon and I will lend it my full support when it comes to the House of Representatives for consideration.”
“The threat of a nuclear Iran is too grave a risk to the United States and its allies to delay such an agreement in hopes of finding an elusive alternative—because in fact, there is no perfect deal or alternative. If the United States and Congress rejected this deal and headed back to the negotiating table, no other nation would follow us there. Unilateral U.S. actions in the Middle East have proven ineffective and we cannot afford to continue down that path. Abandoning a carefully constructed deal supported by our allies would make the region less safe.”
“Acceptance of this deal leads to Iran losing its bomb-making capabilities in a matter of months, but it is likely that rejection of the deal would lead to Iran’s increased weapons production almost immediately.”
“I have heard from many who have voiced concerns about Iran’s willingness to comply with this agreement, and I share their concerns. However, the JCPOA contains numerous measures that encourage Iran’s cooperation with the terms of the deal and checkpoints that ensure that the deal’s parameters are met before Iran receives any relief from multilateral sanctions. Should Iran violate the terms of the agreement, they will deal with substantial consequences from both the United States and the international community.”
“I have often said throughout my time in Congress that there is no such thing as a perfect deal. While the JCPOA is not perfect, it is a significant international compromise that brings us closer than ever before towards the goal of a nuclear-free Iran.”
The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) blocks every pathway to a bomb for Iran for the next ten years, and eliminates the plutonium path to a nuclear bomb permanently. It will require Iran to eliminate all but two percent of its stockpile of enriched uranium—far below the necessary amount to create nuclear weaponry. This will reduce Iran’s uranium enrichment capacity by half, and slows their timeline of creating a nuclear bomb from a matter of months to at least one year.
Under the agreement, Iran’s uranium and plutonium manufacturing capabilities will be both severely limited and strictly monitored by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). Iran must remove two-thirds of its installed centrifuges and store them under international supervision, and it must terminate the use of its advanced centrifuges to produce enriched uranium for the next ten years.
Iran will be required to repurpose the Arak water reactor, a heavy-water reactor currently under construction, for peaceful purposes. Additionally the deal directs Iran to ship all spent fuel from the reactor out of the country, and prohibits Iran from building any new heavy water reactors for fifteen years.
The IAEA will be granted 24/7 access to Iran’s uranium mills, mines, conversion facilities, centrifuge manufacturing and storage facilities for the next 25 years, making it near-impossible for the Iranian government to violate their manufacturing regulations. The IAEA will also have access to sites of concern where they believe unauthorized production to be taking place.
In exchange for compliance with these restrictions, the United States and the United Nations have agreed to lift sanctions currently in place on Iran. Sanctions relief will be phased in over the next several years. U.S. sanctions on Iran for state-sponsored terrorism, ballistic missile development, and human rights abuses will remain in place. If Iran violates the JCPOA, the sanctions can be reinstated.
Congress has 60 days to review the deal before voting on approval or disapproval.