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September 02, 2015

Aguilar Statement on Support for Iran Nuclear Agreement

Rep. Pete Aguilar (CA-31) released the following statement announcing his support of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) between the P5+1 and Iran:

“As a member of the House Armed Services Committee, I have carefully reviewed the JCPOA, spent hours in military and intelligence briefings, met with the Israeli Prime Minister and President, sought out experts and diplomats who support and oppose this agreement, and heard from passionate San Bernardino County residents on both sides of this issue. There is no such thing as a perfectly negotiated agreement, and the JCPOA is no different. However, it is the best diplomatic solution available to the international community and I will vote to support the agreement.

“The bottom line is this: Iran can never be allowed to obtain a nuclear weapon. I support the JCPOA because the national security of the United States, Israel, and the entire international community would be at risk should Iran ever obtain a nuclear weapon. The agreement verifiably prevents Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon. Eliminating the pathway for Iran to develop a nuclear weapon is the safest outcome for the world and the region, and is consistent with my own nuclear non-proliferation positions.  I remain steadfastly dedicated to supporting Israel and am committed to addressing any security concerns with continued robust U.S. support. Our unwavering support of Israel—our most trusted friend and ally in the Middle East—is an important counterbalance to Iran’s ambitions in the region.

“Since 2002, the United States has worked to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon. Working with an international coalition that includes Britain, France, Germany, Russia, and China, the United States has led the way in preventing Iran from creating highly enriched uranium and weapons-grade plutonium. Iran’s pursuit of a nuclear weapon has been a destabilizing force in the region for decades. In an effort to bring Iran to the negotiating table, both President George W. Bush and President Barack Obama fought for increased international sanctions on Iran’s economy. The sanctions worked, forcing Iran to the negotiating table to find a diplomatic solution.

“In exchange for sanctions relief, the JCPOA requires Iran to abstain from creating highly enriched uranium for 15 years, significantly limits the number of centrifuges they are permitted to have for 10 years, and forces a redesign and rebuild of the Arak reactor to prevent the production of weapons-grade plutonium.  Iran also acknowledged the terms of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, of which the country is a signatory, permanently restricting the regime from acquiring a nuclear weapon.

“Iran has demonstrated a pattern of broken trust, which is why the JCPOA further mandates detailed and intricate inspections that provide international inspectors access to all Iranian locations, whether they be disclosed facilities, military installations, or currently unknown sites.

“We must stay vigilant for any possible violations of this agreement and keep all options on the table should diplomacy fail. The JCPOA does not remove any of our options to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon. The President has consistently stated that the United States will take whatever means necessary to achieve that goal, including military means. All of our options remain on the table, for the life of the deal and beyond.”