Senate Panel Overwhelmingly Adopts Bipartisan Legislation to Bolster Iran Diplomacy

AIPAC Press Release
Senate Panel Overwhelmingly Adopts Bipartisan Legislation to Bolster Iran Diplomacy

January 29, 2015

AIPAC applauds the Senate Banking Committee for adopting, by a vote of 18-4, the Nuclear Weapon Free Iran Act of 2015 which would bolster the nuclear talks by applying pressure on the Iranian regime to reach an agreement. The bipartisan measure, sponsored by Senators Mark Kirk (R-IL) and Robert Menendez (D-NJ), puts in place the threat of additional sanctions that would go into effect if, and only if, the current round of negotiations fails to reach a final agreement. 

The legislation fully complies with the interim nuclear agreement by not imposing any new sanctions during the course of the current negotiations. If no agreement is reached by June 30, 2015, the legislation would put in place a series of escalating prospective sanctions on Iranian petroleum and key strategic economic sectors. It would increase congressional oversight of the Iran nuclear negotiations by requiring the president to formally submit to Congress the text of any final agreement with Iran, as well as a verification assessment report, within five days of reaching a final agreement. Congress would have the opportunity to review any agreement for 30 legislative days.

Strong sanctions opened the door for diplomacy and compelled Iran to the negotiating table. The Kirk-Menendez legislation will increase the prospects for successful negotiations by making it clear to Iran that it will again face steep economic pressure if it stalls or fails to make the compromises needed to reach a deal.

AIPAC appreciates the leadership of Banking Committee Chairman Richard Shelby (R-AL), and urges the full Senate to adopt this critical legislation. Iran poses a serious threat to the United States and our allies and cannot be allowed to develop a nuclear weapon.