Merkley Statement on Iran Sanctions

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Oregon’s Senator Jeff Merkley released the following statement after voting against Iran sanctions legislation in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee:

“Iran is a destructive and malevolent force on the global stage. Iran’s pursuit of ballistic missile technology, its crimes in Syria, its support for terrorism and attempts to destabilize governments throughout the region, its persistent and belligerent threats toward Israel—these actions are abhorrent and unacceptable, and we all agree that the United States must push back.

“The question is how to do so in a way that advances our long-term goals of preventing Iran’s development of a nuclear weapon and diminishing or halting their other destabilizing actions. We need to keep all tools on the table, consistent with our obligations under the JCPOA, and we need to be deliberate and strategic about how and when we deploy them. I respect the judgment of my colleagues on the committee and share their determination to resist Iran’s malevolent activities in the region, but I do not believe that passing a largely symbolic sanctions bill the week after the Iranian people signaled their desire for a less confrontational approach to the West is the best way to achieve those strategic goals.”