Washington, D.C. — January 12, 2018 — In response to reports that President Trump will continue waiving nuclear-related sanctions on Iran while also imposing new non-nuclear sanctions, Paul Kawika Martin, Senior Director for Policy and Political Affairs at Peace Action, released the following statement:
“Trump’s assertion that the Iran nuclear agreement is not in our national security interest is patently false. Thanks to the agreement, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has implemented rigorous verification and monitoring systems that grant us the peace of mind that comes with knowing all of Iran’s potential pathways to a nuclear weapon remain blocked. After two years of verifiable success, the Iran agreement is a paragon of international diplomacy; a testament to the power of dialogue to resolve the most complex and contentious issues between nations. Unfortunately we have a president who’s hellbent on unraveling the achievements of his predecessor, and who’s idea of sound nuclear policy includes a tenfold increase in our nuclear stockpile and threatening other nuclear-armed nations with ‘fire and fury.’
“Thankfully, Trump has signaled that for now, he won’t violate the agreement by re-imposing nuclear-related sanctions on Iran, but the accord is still vulnerable to less direct forms of sabotage. For some time, Congress and the administration have been using non-nuclear sanctions to try to goad Iran into walking away from the deal so they can blame Iran for its collapse. With new sanctions coming down the pike again, and Congress reportedly considering legislation that would seek to unilaterally rewrite the terms of the agreement, these sideways attacks on the Iran accord are still a real threat.
“Walking away from the agreement, or pushing Iran to walk away, would be exceedingly reckless in its own right, risking an end to all inspections and constraints on Iran’s nuclear program and raising the prospect of war. But killing the deal has broader implications for the future of American diplomacy. Just as talks between North and South Korea begin and hopes for direct talks between the U.S. and North Korea abound, Trump is demonstrating that America’s international commitments can be as short-lived as our presidencies. That’s a dangerous signal to send when diplomacy on the Korean Peninsula may be the only way to avert a catastrophic war.”
Founded in 1957, Peace Action (formerly SANE/Freeze), the United States’ largest peace and disarmament organization, with over 100,000 paid members and nearly 100 chapters in 36 states, works to abolish nuclear weapons, promote government spending priorities that support human needs, encourage real security through international cooperation and human rights and support nonmilitary solutions to international conflicts. The public may learn more and take action at www.PeaceAction.org.