Dear Mr. Stoda,
Thank you for your letter reg arding U.S. policy toward Iran.
As you know, Iran’s government has a history of consistently disregarding the international community’s warnings to halt support for international terrorism and abandon their nuclear program. Although Iranian President Hassan Rowhani is seen by some as a moderate who may provide an opportunity to advance negotiations to end Iran’s nuclear programs, I remain worried about Rowhani’s past statements expressing support for Iran’s nuclear programs. I also remain concerned that, despite the new presidency, power resides largely with Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who has repeatedly demonstrated resistance to any slowdown of Iran’s nuclear activities.
The prospect of a nuclear-armed Iran is a serious threat to the Middle East’s stability and to our national security. Iran has repeatedly refused to abide by international agreements that require inspection of nuclear facilities, details of facility designs, acquisition, and production and management of nuclear materials. Diplomacy certainly sounds like the best option, but I am concerned that negotiations relied too heavily on statements by Iranian leaders without considering them in the broader context of Iran’s past history of repeated resistance in ending their nuclear programs.
I cosponsored and supported the passage of the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act of 2015, which requires Congressional procedural review and oversight of any final agreement related to Iran’s nuclear program. Most importantly, the bill prevents the administration from providing any further sanctions relief to Iran until Congress has an opportunity to weigh in and provide its views to the American people. This bill was signed into law on May 22, 2015.
Unfortunately, the administration’s recent announcement of reaching a nuclear agreement with Iran marks a dangerous step forward in the advancement of Iran’s illicit nuclear program and confirms that the president was desperate to get a deal with Iran at any price. This is a bad deal for the United States and one that will embolden our adversaries and jeopardize the security of our allies. The stated goal of the negotiations was to ensure Iran never develops the capability to produce a nuclear weapon, yet the president agreed to a deal that does the opposite.
I appreciate your thoughts on this issue and will keep them in mind as Congress reviews and votes upon the final deal as agreed upon amongst the P5+1 and Iran.
Again, thank you for contacting me. I look forward to continuing our conversation on Facebook ( www.facebook.com/SenatorBlunt ) and Twitter ( www.twitter.com/RoyBlunt ) about the important issues facing Missouri and the country. I also encourage you to visit my website ( blunt.senate.gov ) to learn more about where I stand on the issues and sign-up for my e-newsletter.
United States Senator