B’nai B’rith International applauds the introduction of a bill in the U.S. Senate that would increase sanctions against Iran should it fail to meet the criteria laid out in the preliminary nuclear negotiating agreement between the P5+1 (the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council, plus Germany) and Tehran.
The Nuclear Free Iran Act, which has strong bipartisan support, would continue to apply pressure on Iran while diplomatic approaches and the negotiating process unfold. The efforts of Senators Robert Menendez (D-N.J.), Mark Kirk (R-Ill.), Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) are to be commended for taking the initiative on this important legislation, which sends a clear message to Tehran about the seriousness of the negotiations and the consequences should Iran continue its march toward nuclear weapons.
If enacted, every 30 days the U.S. government must confirm that Iran is holding up its end of the Geneva deal. If the United State finds that Iran operating within the agreement, negotiations would continue under the status quo. However, if Iran violates the agreement, the bill would reinstate sanctions that were eased as a part of the “Joint Plan of Action” and expand them to include restrictions on Iran’s oil trade, as well as its shipping and mining spheres.
We remain dubious of Iran’s true intentions over its nuclear program given the more than 20 years of deception by the regime in Tehran. This concern has been underscored by its continuing to test ballistic missiles, asserting its nuclear “rights,” continuing to enrich uranium and forging ahead in the constructing of the Arak nuclear reactor—despite the conclusion of the interim agreement.
B’nai B’rith International urges further bipartisan support to adopt this important piece of legislation. We believe the United States needs to continue a forthright approach in dealing with Iran and its nuclear program, and this legislation can greatly strengthen the hand of the P5+1 in the difficult negotiations ahead.