AIPAC has consistently supported diplomatic efforts to end Iran’s nuclear weapons program, and we appreciate the commitment and dedication of President Obama and his administration throughout these negotiations. Unfortunately, this proposed agreement fails to halt Iran’s nuclear quest. Instead, it would facilitate rather than prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon and would further entrench and empower the leading state sponsor of terror.
During these negotiations, we outlined criteria for a good deal that Congress itself had set in five critical areas: inspections, possible military dimensions, sanctions, duration, and dismantlement. In each of these areas, the proposed agreement has significant flaws:
- The proposed deal does not ensure “anytime, anywhere” short-notice inspections;
- The proposed deal does not clearly condition sanctions relief on full Iranian cooperation in satisfying International Atomic Energy Agency concerns over the possible military dimensions of Tehran’s program;
- The proposed deal lifts sanctions as soon as the agreement commences, rather than gradually as Iran demonstrates sustained adherence to the agreement;
- The proposed deal lifts key restrictions in as few as eight years;
- The proposed deal would disconnect and store centrifuges in an easily reversible manner, but it requires no dismantlement of centrifuges or any Iranian nuclear facility.
In return for this flawed agreement, Iran will receive over $100 billion in sanctions relief. Tehran will use these funds to fuel its hegemonic ambitions, support the killing of civilians in Syria, fund the terrorist organizations Hamas and Hezbollah, and spur deadly conflicts throughout the region.
This agreement not only fails to achieve its objectives in the nuclear arena, but it releases Tehran in a matter of years—regardless of Iranian behavior—from ballistic missile sanctions and an arms embargo imposed by the United Nations Security Council. This late, unexpected concession will provide additional arms for terrorism and proxy wars, while strengthening Iran’s capabilities against our regional allies.
This accord threatens the future of the nuclear non-proliferation regime. By leaving Iran on the threshold of a nuclear weapon—despite its history of violating international obligations—other countries in the region will have a dangerous incentive to initiate their own nuclear programs. The resulting nuclear arms race would severely destabilize the region.
Proponents of the proposed agreement will argue that the only alternative to this agreement is military conflict. In fact, the reverse is true. A bad agreement such as this will invite instability and nuclear proliferation. It will embolden Iran and may encourage regional conflict.
We strongly believe that the alternative to this bad deal is a better deal. Congress should reject this agreement, and urge the administration to work with our allies to maintain economic pressure on Iran while offering to negotiate a better deal that will truly close off all Iranian paths to a nuclear weapon.
Congress should insist on a better deal.