AIPAC Press Release

April 2, 2015

AIPAC appreciates the hard work and the diplomatic efforts of the Administration to reach an agreement with Iran to end its nuclear weapons program. We have long supported a diplomatic path to achieve this objective. However, we have concerns that the new framework announced today by the P5+1 could result in a final agreement that will leave Iran as a threshold nuclear state and encourage a nuclear arms race in the Middle East. Iran’s long history of cheating on its international obligations and its leading role in sponsoring terrorism and violating human rights should disqualify it from possessing the infrastructure for a nuclear weapons program.

The P5+1 appears to have stepped back from prior demands  backed by large majorities in Congress to dismantle significant elements of Iran’s nuclear infrastructure so that it has no path to a nuclear weapons capability. For example, Iran will be able to maintain its once secret underground facility at Fordow and continue research and development on advanced centrifuges. We note that the framework relies heavily on supervision by the IAEA, whose demands for access to suspect nuclear sites have been ignored by Tehran for well over a decade.

Going forward, we believe that the proponents of this agreement must answer many questions, among them: (1) Will this time-limited agreement actually prevent Iran from developing a nuclear weapons capability? (2) How will sanctions be reinstated if Iran cheats on the agreement? (3) What will actually happen to the enriched uranium that the framework promises to neutralize? (4) Will all sanctions relief to Iran be delayed until it comes clean on its past weapons development activities? (5) How will Iran be prevented from perfecting its advanced centrifuges so that it cannot rapidly produce highly enriched uranium after 10 years?

Because these questions and concerns are central to the definition of what constitutes a good deal, we believe this framework and any subsequent agreement must come before Congress for review. We are encouraged that the two key sponsors of the bipartisan Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act of 2015 (S. 615) – Senators Corker and Menendez – have reaffirmed their commitment to mark up this legislation on April 14.

Some claim that the only alternatives to this framework are capitulation or military action. We reject that assertion. A clear alternative to a bad deal remains a good deal that is achieved by the application of increased economic and political pressure on Tehran to reach an agreement that transparently does not allow Iran a path to a nuclear weapons capability. That is the best way to ensure that Iran will not develop a nuclear weapons capability and to reinforce nuclear nonproliferation in the Middle East.