McConnell on the President’s Iran Announcement
‘I am committed to working with the Trump Administration to constrain Iran’s support for terrorism and proxy militias, impede the threat of ballistic missiles and deny Iran the path to a nuclear weapon.’
LOUISVILLE, KY – Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) issued the following statement after the president’s announcement on the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act:
“This new strategy announced by the president to contain Iran’s regional ambitions, its malign conduct and efforts to dominate the broader Middle East is an appropriate response to the consequences of the Obama Administration’s failed policies. The Obama Administration’s determination to draw down America’s conventional military presence from across the globe, avoid conflict with competitor nation states even when those same countries threatened our national security interests, and its drive to negotiate an agreement with Iran that left a state sponsor of terror with an internationally recognized nuclear enrichment program was simply inadequate.
“The president’s decision not to certify that the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) is ‘in the vital national security interests of the United States’ now provides the opportunity for Congress to strengthen the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act and create a standard for certification that is consistent with our interests. And it makes clear to our allies that more work must be done to contain Iran’s malign behavior. I am committed to working with the Trump Administration to constrain Iran’s support for terrorism and proxy militias, impede the threat of ballistic missiles and deny Iran the path to a nuclear weapon. Strengthening the criteria attached to a presidential certification is solely within the powers of the American government and based on making the verification of the JCPOA more in keeping with our national interests.
“An element of this new approach to Iran is to recognize that our strategy must be based on the national security interests of the United States, such as preventing the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, countering terrorism and preserving our security and that of our allies. This overall approach to staunch Iranian aggression cannot be held hostage to the JCPOA. For too long the Obama Administration ignored Iranian harassment of U.S. naval ships in the Persian Gulf, efforts of Shia militias to create a land bridge through Iraq and Syria to Hezbollah and the arming of the Houthis in Yemen. The Trump Administration now has the opportunity to work with the Congress and our allies to respond appropriately to these actions.”
Background: In response to the new Iran strategy, the Senate will consider what if any legislative measures will be needed to ensure our national interests. As has been reported, Senators Corker and Cotton are collaborating on legislation that is intended to strengthen the certification criteria contained in the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act.
Related Issues: Iran Nuclear Deal, Iran