Mariel Saez 202-225-3130
WASHINGTON, DC - House Democratic Whip Steny H. Hoyer (MD) released the following statement today on the negotiations regarding Iran's nuclear program:
“I am pleased that the June 30 deadline did not lead to a bad deal with Iran and that negotiations in pursuit of a peaceful end to that country’s nuclear program are continuing. I agree with the President that no deal is better than a bad one that fails to achieve key objectives. Negotiations should end if Iran cannot make the tough decisions required to achieve the objectives that the Administration, the U.S. Congress, the IAEA, and the United Nations demand.
“A final agreement must prevent Iran from producing, procuring, or otherwise acquiring fissile material for a nuclear weapon during the period of the agreement and afterwards – and must include a strict enforcement mechanism and clear consequences for violations. There is bipartisan consensus, with which I agree, endorsed by former Ambassador Dennis Ross, former National Security Advisor Stephen Hadley, former Rep. Howard Berman and other experts, that an acceptable agreement must include several specific components in order to close off Iran’s path to a nuclear weapon successfully. As I have said all along, I will be looking closely at the specifics of any final deal to make certain that it does so.
“Those components include no new sanctions relief until Iran takes all the steps required under an agreement; continued enforcement of all non-nuclear sanctions; full and timely IAEA access to documents, people, and places where it suspects involvement in past or ongoing nuclear weaponization activities; and strict limits on advanced centrifuge research and development, ideally for at least twenty years. Sanctions relief must be based on Iran's performance of its obligations. Suspension or lifting of sanctions must not occur until the IAEA confirms that Iran has taken all the steps required to come into compliance with an agreement. Non-nuclear sanctions, such as for Iran’s sponsorship of terrorism, must remain in effect and be vigorously enforced. Most important, an agreement must provide the complete, prompt, and unfettered access necessary to verify that Iran is not engaged in clandestine work supporting its pursuit of nuclear weapons, which includes access to military, IRGC, and other sensitive facilities, without the potential for Russia or China to block such access.
“Should Iran break any of its commitments under such an agreement – including denying or delaying IAEA access – multilateral sanctions must be reinstated immediately without the potential for a veto in the U.N. Security Council.
“At the end of the day, any final agreement must deny Iran any pathway to a nuclear weapon and remove the threat such a weapon would pose to the United States, Israel, and our European and Gulf allies. I want to see the terms of an agreement before reaching any conclusions, but there should be no ambiguity about where the United States stands on the requirements for an agreement or our nation’s readiness to enforce all options should Iran continue its pursuit of a nuclear weapon. I will continue to monitor negotiations closely and urge the Administration to ensure that the result achieves the objectives that the Administration, the U.S. Congress, the IAEA, and the United Nations have set forth as requirements, consistent with international law and regional and international security.”