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Ruppersberger Issues Statement on President Trump’s Decision to Abandon Iran Nuclear Deal

May 8, 2018
Press Release
Ruppersberger is former Ranking Member of the House Intelligence Committee

(Washington, DC) — Congressman C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger (D-MD) today issued the following statement on President Trump’s decision to effectively walk away from the landmark Iran nuclear agreement known as the JCPOA.

“President Trump’s decision to abandon the agreement – without a better one in its place – is shocking in its recklessness and benefits nobody but Iran. If the plan dissolves, the Middle East could become a nuclear powder keg with our closest ally – Israel – in the middle. Countries like Saudi Arabia and Turkey may actively pursue nuclear bombs of their own.

The JCPOA is our best shot at preventing Iran from developing nuclear weapons and by all accounts from the IAEA – the United Nations agency charged with babysitting nuclear programs – it was achieving that goal. In fact, the agreement gave the agency the world’s ‘most robust,’ real-time verification system in place in Iran, according to its director general. He also said that Iran has complied with every request made by his inspectors so far and confirmed that Iran has shipped out or eliminated 95 percent of its enriched uranium stockpile and dismantled two-thirds of its centrifuge machines.

Now, that verification system is in jeopardy – which is why all of our allies as well as countless American national security experts have urged President Trump not to abandon the deal. As former CIA Director Michael Hayden said, we know more about Iran’s program with the deal than without it. President Trump has invited Iran to pursue a bomb in secret.

This agreement was never designed to address outstanding issues like Iran’s ballistic missile program or their sponsorship of terrorism. We have sanctions separate from the JCPOA to address these – and they should be used aggressively – but actions in these areas are not violations of the JCPOA as President Trump has continued to claim.

It is not Iran who has violated the agreement – but the United States. President Trump has chosen to make good on a campaign promise at the expense of our national security and the credibility of our country. I hope President Trump realizes that, as he begins conversations with North Korea to end its nuclear program – he has turbo-charged Iran’s nuclear ambition.”