Mariel Saez 202-225-3130
WASHINGTON, DC - House Democratic Whip Steny H. Hoyer (MD) released the following statement this evening after the Obama Administration announced the extension of Iran nuclear talks:
“I welcome the unified efforts of the P5+1 to reach a final agreement with Iran on the dismantling of its nuclear weapons program. The Administration has affirmed that the negotiations have resulted in freezing Iran’s nuclear program and that the sanctions regime has held, but status quo is not the goal. The goal has always been – and must continue to be – to ensure that Iran never achieves a nuclear weapons capability. That is why I have concerns about continued extensions of these negotiations. Specifically, I continue to be concerned about ongoing centrifuge-related research and development and military projects relating to the development of deployment systems.
"In the days and weeks ahead, Iran must grant the IAEA complete and unfettered access to those facilities for which it has requested access. The Administration ought to provide a detailed accounting of what sanctions relief is being contemplated along with a proposed plan for how such relief would be phased-in. Over the coming months there must be a robust discussion between the Administration and Congress – and in consultation with our global partners – as to what additional pressure ought to be applied to compel Iran to sign a final agreement. This discussion must include the possibility of further sanctions that remind Iran’s leaders what is at stake if they continue to dissemble and delay. Any eventual agreement must lead to the dismantling of Iran's nuclear arms infrastructure, be fully verifiable, and include an inspections regime that provides transparency into all aspects of Iran’s nuclear program.
“It is my expectation that the Administration will be briefing the Congress prior to its adjournment on the specifics of this extension. I look forward to receiving those briefings, and I will continue to monitor developments closely.”