Kuster Announces Support for Iran Nuclear Agreement
Concord, NH – Yesterday morning, Congresswoman Annie Kuster (NH-02) released the following statement announcing her support for the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action:
“On July 14, 2015, world leaders from the United States, Russia, China, Britain, France and Germany announced the culmination of historic negotiations designed to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons. Over the past six weeks, I have read the Agreement and related texts, attended classified briefings, and met with President Obama, Vice President Biden, Secretary of State Kerry, Secretary of Energy Moniz and numerous experts and engaged constituents to assess whether the U.S. Congress should support this approach.
“After careful review, I have come to the conclusion that the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (the Agreement) is the best option we have to prevent a nuclear-armed Iran.
“For the past fifteen years, Iran has been working to develop a nuclear weapon, and world leaders have been working to stop them.
“Under the leadership of the United States, global cooperation led to international sanctions from the U.S., the European Union, and the United Nations. These sanctions ultimately brought Iran to the negotiating table over its nuclear program.
“I have met with engaged constituents on both sides of the current debate about the best way forward. Everyone agrees that a nuclear-armed Iran would not only threaten the existence of Israel, but could lead to a nuclear arms race in the Middle East, which would destabilize the region and threaten the entire world.
“My goal is clear - we cannot allow Iran to acquire nuclear weapons.
“Under the Agreement, the nuclear-related sanctions would be lifted in exchange for Iran dismantling most of its nuclear centrifuges and reducing its enriched uranium stockpile by 97 percent. To verify Iran's compliance, the Agreement provides for up to 150 inspectors stationed at designated sites in Iran.
“Perhaps most concerning about the way forward are the elements that are not spelled out in the Agreement. First, Congress must ensure that the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has the resources it needs to successfully implement the Agreement, including oversight in Iran. “Second, Congress must ensure that our military and intelligence agencies have the resources they need to closely monitor Iran’s actions, especially as Iranians gain access to formerly frozen funds and conventional weapons as sanctions are lifted.
“This is not the end of the conversation on Iran. We must continue working with our allies to address Iran’s role in global terrorism, their human rights abuses, and their destabilizing activities throughout the Middle East. But this Agreement achieves my number one goal—to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon—and that is why I plan to vote in support of the Agreement next week in the House of Representatives.”