Brooklyn, N.Y. – Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke released the following statement in support of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), the international agreement between the United States, United Kingdom, Germany, France, Russia, China, European Union and Iran:
“After several weeks of briefings, analysis, consultation, and conversation, I have come to the conclusion that the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action is the most effective means by which the United States and her allies can achieve the goal of preventing the Iranian regime from obtaining nuclear weaponry. It will set new rules of engagement regarding nuclear capabilities with one of the world’s most hostile and menacing regimes. As one of the premier state sponsors of terrorism in the world, the Iranian regime has made its intentions clear through words and actions that it will, if left unchecked, create a nuclear weapon. The Iranian regime has the knowledge base resident with their scientists of how to build and create such weaponry, they have the materials and infrastructure to do so. By all accounts, the Iranian regime’s nuclear program is currently two to three months away from its goal of completing its uranium enrichment program, producing enough enriched uranium to make good on its threat to create a nuclear bomb. Iran is on the verge of creating a nuclear bomb, right now. The JCPOA provides a pathway that holds great potential to forever change this reality.
“The JCPOA was crafted by the United States, France, Germany, the United Kingdom, China, the Russian Federation and Iran. The high-stakes multi-lateral diplomatic negotiations that produced this plan of action were unprecedented in its scope of cooperation and agreement – the sole intent being to prevent the Iranian regime from acquiring a nuclear weapon. The resulting product of several years of painstaking multi-lateral negotiations, its singular focus and purpose is to prevent the Islamic Republic of Iran from obtaining a nuclear bomb. It provides that Iran will reduce its supply of enriched uranium, dismantle and dispose of stockpiled materials and all related nuclear infrastructure, in exchange for the removal of economic sanctions. The goal of the agreement is to ensure that through transparent and intrusive inspection and extensive verification, that Iran’s nuclear program is methodically dismantled and reduced to an exclusively peaceful capability.
“Through this agreement, Iran must allow full access at all times to International Atomic Energy Agency inspectors to monitor every aspect of its nuclear supply chain, to verify that Iran fulfills its pledge not to develop or acquire a nuclear weapon. Inspectors will be able to access and monitor all sites ‘where necessary, when necessary’ to ensure Iran’s compliance with the agreement. Only when Iran has fully implemented the agreement will the economic sanctions be removed.
“I am emphatic in my belief that the community of nations must not allow the Iranian regime to acquire a nuclear weapon that threatens the State of Israel, the United States and our allies around the world. We are all keenly aware that by virtue of proximity and statements made by leadership in Iran, that the existential threat that the regime poses to Israel, to other allies in the Middle East, to our nation and the world as we know it is very real. With the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, we finally have a vehicle through which to eliminate the threat of an Iranian regime armed with nuclear weapons and the nuclear arms race that would certainly ensue as result of such an act.
“The JCPOA is a product of an International nuclear non-proliferation pact, negotiated and achieved through diplomacy, that when carefully and painstakingly implemented will accomplish this goal. The authority established by the United States through the agreement coupled with the superior military capabilty of our nation and her allies presents the strongest effort to date in the fight to prevent a nuclear-armed Iranian regime. Given the gravity of what is at stake, the concerns of the Israeli government and her people as well as the threat to other allies and stakeholders of the region, and equally as important, the threat to the United States, it is our duty to be vigilant and to exert our rights and authority to act through our leadership in the crafting of the agreement.
“Finally, with ‘all options remaining on the table,’ I feel confident in our ability to respond to any recalcitrance on the part of the Iranian regime with regard to the JCPOA. Both President Obama, his administration and Congress must and will continue to work with our allies to prevent Iran from developing or acquiring nuclear weapons now and at any time in the future. Notwithstanding the timelines set forth in this agreement and based upon the actions taken by the United States Congress and the Obama Administration, I have no doubt that the United States and her allies are quite capable of exercising any and all prerogatives deemed necessary to protect and defend our nation and our allies should there be even the slightest deviation or breach in the terms and conditions of the agreement.
“During this time, I will continue to work with my colleagues in Congress and President Obama, members of his administration to bolster and uphold the security of our nation and of our allies around the world. I commend President Obama, Secretary of State Kerry, Secretary of Energy Moniz, their teams and the many delegates from other nations who contributed to these negotiations.
“I voted for the Nuclear Iran Prevention Act of 2013, which increased sanctions on Iran in an effort to convince the Iranian regime to discontinue and abandon their development of nuclear weapons. Indeed these sanctions in concert with International sanctions are credited with bringing about the agreement that is before us today.”
Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke is a member of the Committee on Energy and Commerce in the House of Representatives, a member of the Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing, and Trade, the Subcommittee on Communications and Technology, and the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, as well as the Committee on Ethics and the Committee of Small Business. She represents many neighborhoods in central and southern Brooklyn, NY which include Brownsville, Crown Heights, East Flatbush, Flatbush, Gerritsen Beach, Madison, Midwood, parts of Park Slope and Flatlands, Prospect Heights, Prospect-Lefferts Gardens, Sheepshead Bay, and Windsor Terrace.