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Ruppersberger Issues Statement on Trump Decision to Decertify Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action

Oct 13, 2017
Press Release

(Washington, D.C.) – Congressman C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger (D-MD) today issued the following statement on President Donald J. Trump’s decision to decertify the landmark Iran nuclear agreement.

“In my many years as an elected official, I have worked as a bipartisan leader who fights for solutions that are best for our country, and my constituents, especially when it comes to our national security.

President Trump’s decision to decertify the JCPOA shows how fundamentally inept and inexperienced the President is in the fields of foreign affairs and national security. This is a bad decision, and it is one that could have long term negative consequences for the United States, Israel, and our allies.

The purpose of the JCPOA was to stop Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons. It was not designed to deal with Iran’s ballistic missile program or their state sponsorship of terrorism, yet President Trump continues to act as though Iran’s actions are violating the JCPOA. The “spirit of the deal,” as the President has called it, is explicitly designed to deal with nuclear issues only. The U.S. already has sanctions against Iran for their ballistic missile program and their sponsorship of terrorism.

Make no mistake, President Trump’s decision to decertify the JCPOA threatens to draw us into yet another conflict in the Middle East, at a time where we need to focus on the national security issues throughout the world.

Without the JCPOA, Iran is months away from developing a nuclear weapon they could launch on a missile, or simply give to one of the various terrorist organizations they support. If Iran gets a nuclear weapon, it will cause a ripple effect of destabilization in the region. Countries such as Saudi Arabia and Turkey will simply purchase these devastating weapons, and the Middle East will become a nuclear powder keg with our ally, Israel, in the middle.

I simply cannot understand how it is possible for President Trump to come to this conclusion concerning the JCPOA, especially when Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis recently spoke before a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing and confirmed the JCPOA was in line with the national security interests of the United States. I find it troubling that the President would disagree with Secretary Mattis’ assessment, considering the President’s total lack of national security experience.

To make matters worse, decertifying the JCPOA will damage the credibility of the United States with the international community. To decertify the JCPOA, for no valid reason, while we attempt to convince North Korea to come to the negotiating table, is a foreign policy blunder of disastrous proportions.

President Trump’s decision to decertify the JCPOA is an attempt to keep a campaign promise he made with absolutely no knowledge or concern for the national security interests of the United States, Israel, or our allies. It is irresponsible and directly contradicts the expert assessments of those in President Trump’s administration with experience in this field. Simply put, decertifying the JCPOA puts the national security of the United States, Israel, and the rest of the world at risk, while demonstrating President Trump’s prioritization of a campaign promise over the national security interests of our country and the world.”