AIPAC Statement on Iran Talks Extension

AIPAC Press Release
AIPAC Statement on Iran Talks Extension

November 24, 2014

After a year of negotiations, Iran received another seven-month extension of the current talks without showing any willingness to abandon its quest to build nuclear weapons. It is particularly troubling that this new extension will yield Tehran even more economic relief without increased pressure on the Islamic Republic. Iran has now received direct sanctions relief valued at approximately ten billion dollars since the negotiations began, and there is no sign those benefits have produced favorable results.

Moreover, there is evidence that Iran has not fully complied with the Joint Plan of Action with respect both to its research and development of advanced centrifuges. Iran has repeatedly failed to live up to its commitments to the International Atomic Energy Agency -- stonewalling the IAEA’s investigation of past Iranian weaponization activities.

AIPAC continues to believe that tough pressure brought Iran to the negotiations and that the threat of additional pressure will strengthen America’s bargaining position. We share the goal of an effective, sustainable agreement that ensures Iran will not have a path to the bomb, and we believe that increased pressure is the best way to achieve that objective. Conversely, gestures of accommodation to Iran have failed to yield a suitable Iranian response.

Congress delayed enacting additional sanctions over the past year to give negotiations a chance. It is now essential that Congress take up new bipartisan sanctions legislation to let Tehran know that it will face much more severe pressure if it does not clearly abandon its nuclear weapons program. We urge Congress to play its traditional and critical role to ensure that a final agreement truly eliminates any path for Iran to build a nuclear weapon.

Administration officials have appropriately and repeatedly indicated that no deal is better than a bad deal. However, endlessly continuing talks with a recalcitrant Iran without additional pressure will undoubtedly fail to reach a good deal that we all seek to achieve.

Congress must now act to send a clear message that U.S. patience is not limitless and that Iran must not be allowed to achieve a nuclear weapons capability.