WASHINGTON, D.C. – Oregon’s Senator Jeff Merkley, a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, released the following statement after President Trump announced that he will pull the U.S. out of the Iran nuclear deal:
“This is a mistake of enormous proportions for America’s safety and security.
“A nuclear-armed Iran would be a catastrophe. And the best way to prevent Iran from getting a nuclear weapon is to not blow up the deal that is verifiably preventing Iran from getting a nuclear weapon.
“We can and should work with international partners to take on Iran’s other malign actions, including its ballistic missile program and destabilizing support for terrorism and proxies in the Middle East. But it’s entirely possible to do so without jeopardizing the progress we’ve already made in containing Iran’s nuclear program. Instead, President Trump’s action today puts the U.S., Israel, and the entire world at risk by reopening the path to a nuclear Iran.
“President Trump’s own State Department, along with leaders like Secretary of Defense Mattis and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Dunford, have certified that Iran has continued to fulfill its nuclear-related commitments and that staying in the deal is in the United States’ national interest. Additionally, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has continually certified that Iran has executed all of its obligations under the deal while undergoing the most stringent inspection regime in history.
“Critical U.S. allies – particularly the European Union, United Kingdom, France, and Germany – have continued to stress that the implementation of the JCPOA is vital to global security. Not only does President Trump’s violation of the deal isolate the United States, rather than Iran, from these partners and the international community, it delivers a blow to global non-proliferation efforts.
“Everyone agrees that Iran is a bad actor and we need to push back aggressively on their bad acts. Is it easier to push back on a bad actor with a nuclear weapon or without one?”