WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Congressman Dave Joyce (OH-14) joined a bipartisan coalition in urging the Biden Administration to prevent Iran from developing a nuclear weapon and address the regime’s wide range of illicit behavior. Specifically, the coalition, which was comprised of 70 Republicans and 70 Democrats, wrote to Secretary of State Antony Blinken and highlighted three areas of concern that must be addressed – Iran’s nuclear program, Iran’s ballistic missile program and Iran’s funding of terrorism.
“As Democrats and Republicans from across the political spectrum, we are united in preventing an Iranian nuclear weapon and addressing the wide range of illicit Iranian behavior,” the lawmakers wrote.
You can read the full letter here and below:
Dear Secretary Blinken:
As the Biden administration considers negotiations with Iran, we write to express our bipartisan and shared view that we must seek an agreement or set of agreements with Iran that are comprehensive in nature to address the full range of threats that Iran poses to the region. Though more work must be done on what the parameters of a final deal should entail, and the process by which it is reached, we have a bipartisan consensus on the following set of issues.
Since the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) entered into force, Iran has continued to test ballistic missile technology that could potentially be applied to nuclear capable missiles, funded and supported terrorism throughout the Middle East, and engaged in cyber attacks to disrupt the global economy. Following the decertification of the JCPOA, Iran violated the previously agreed upon restrictions on refining fissile material and stated that it was no longer bound by any of its limits.
We call upon the administration to address these actions by Iran, de-escalate tension in these conflicts, and ensure the security of all nations in the region. America and our allies must engage Iran through a combination of diplomatic and sanction mechanisms to achieve full compliance of international obligations and a demonstrated commitment by Iran to addressing its malign behavior. Three core tenets – their nuclear program, their ballistic missile program, and their funding of terrorism – must be addressed from the outset.
First, restrictions on Iran’s nuclear program must be extended until the regime conclusively demonstrates that it has no interest in a nuclear weapons program. Members of Congress and presidents from both parties, including President Biden, have long held that Iran must never be able to acquire nuclear weapons. The current inspection regime must be tightened to prevent the delays international inspectors have faced visiting suspect sites and Iran must resolve recently emerging concerns with its nuclear archive and the IAEA’s discovery of undeclared uranium particles.
Second, diplomacy with Iran must limit not only the production of nuclear material but also ensure that Iran cannot develop a nuclear-capable ballistic missile. Over the past five years, Iran has defied the international community with respect to its ballistic missile program and continued its development of technology that could be used for a delivery system. This refinement and advancement of missile technology is destabilizing and increases the potential threat of a nuclear attack on nations within the region.
Third, Iran’s malign behavior throughout the Middle East must be addressed. It has sowed chaos in Syria and Yemen, continued to arm Hezbollah and worked to provide the terrorist group with precision guided missiles to attack Israel, backed forces in Iraq that have targeted American troops and worked to undermine the Iraqi government, taken American citizens prisoner, and committed human rights violations. These and potential future actions must be addressed and Iran must release their political prisoners.
As Democrats and Republicans from across the political spectrum, we are united in preventing an Iranian nuclear weapon and addressing the wide range of illicit Iranian behavior. There is consensus within Congress that allowing one of the world’s leading state sponsors of terrorism to obtain nuclear weapons is an unacceptable risk. We recognize that there is not a singular diplomatic path forward on these objectives and we look forward to working with you as partners to achieve lasting peace in the region.