10/03/2017 — 

WASHINGTON, DC – With the Trump Administration, already struggling with an incoherent policy toward North Korea, U.S. Senator Jack Reed (D-RI) is urging President Trump not to further jeopardize national security by unilaterally dismantling the Iranian nuclear agreement known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

Reed, the Ranking Member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, stated:

“According to all assessments, including those of senior Trump Administration officials, the Iran deal is achieving its intended purpose – namely halting Iranian efforts to develop a nuclear weapon.  If President Trump walks away from the deal it could be a costly, strategic mistake that would end strong international consensus on the issue and leave the United States isolated from our allies and partners.

“Both Secretary Mattis and General Dunford, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, have testified that staying in the Iran deal is in our national security interest.  The President should listen. 

“Withdrawing from the deal would also be a devastating blow to our efforts at diplomacy with North Korea – and, for that matter, any future diplomatic efforts to constrain aggressive behavior by our adversaries.  Why would any nation engage with us in serious dialogue to resolve differences if they fear we will later withdraw unilaterally and without cause?

“As Secretary Mattis told the Armed Services Committee at his confirmation hearing “when America gives her word, we have to live up to it and work with our allies.”   Despite previously expressing concerns about flaws in the Iran deal, Secretary Mattis testified today that it is in the national security interests of the United States to remain in the agreement.  When we don’t live up to our word, we dramatically weaken our diplomatic tools, thereby making military action far more likely.

“And General Dunford recently told the Armed Services Committee, “I believe that the U.S. will incur damage vis-à-vis our allies if we unilaterally withdraw from the JCPOA.  Our allies will be less likely to cooperate with us on future military action to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon and less likely to cooperate with us on countering other destabilizing aspects of Iranian behavior that threaten our collective interests.”