As Path is Cleared for Implementation of Iran Agreement, Shaheen Urges Unified Response from European Allies to Any Iran Violations

September 22, 2015

(Washington, DC) – Last week marked the end of the 60 day period established by Congress to review the international agreement intended to curb Iran’s nuclear capabilities, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). As the lead Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations European Affairs Subcommittee, Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) has sent a letter to our European allies who partnered with the United States in negotiations urging a unified response to any Iranian violation of the agreement.

 

In the letter, which was addressed to the British, German and French ambassadors, she outlined the vigilance and cooperation necessary to ensure that the agreement is strictly enforced, particularly if Iran commits small-scale violations. Shaheen also cited Iran’s aggression in the region, a continued concern to the U.S. and our allies, and encouraged a coordinated policy to address it.   

 

Senator Shaheen’s letter reads in part:

 

As you know, responding to potential Iranian violations will require our continued cooperation, particularly regarding possible small-scale incidents of Iranian non-compliance.  I look forward to working with your government to develop a common approach to this challenge… The JCPOA contains strong incentives for Iran to meet its nuclear commitments, but a unified response to any Iranian violation is the best way to ensure the long-term success of this agreement.

 

The letter continues:

 

Finally, as you know, our mutual concerns with Iran have always included the non-nuclear policies of the Iranian regime—its human rights violations, its support for terrorism, its backing of the Assad regime in Syria, and its efforts to destabilize the region and threaten allies such as Israel.  While these issues lay outside of the scope of the nuclear deal, it is my firm belief that the JCPOA will only truly be effective if it is part of a broader Iran policy.

 

The full text of the letter can be read here:

 

Dear Ambassador:

 

As you are aware, last week marked the end of the formal period established by Congress to review the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).  Now that the President can begin implementing the agreement, I write to express my gratitude for the role your government, and you personally, have played in bringing the JCPOA to this point—from the strict enforcement of tough economic sanctions on Iran, to maintaining firm lines in negotiations, to advocating forcefully and intelligently for the agreement in Washington.

 

I strongly believe that the strength and unity of our transatlantic coalition will continue to play a positive role in the long-term success of this deal.   Each of our governments has emphasized our commitment to ensuring that Iran meets its obligations under the JCPOA and to strictly police Iran’s compliance.  As you know, responding to potential Iranian violations will require our continued cooperation, particularly regarding possible small-scale incidents of Iranian non-compliance.  I look forward to the joint efforts of our two governments to develop a common approach to this challenge.  And even as the Iranian economy begins to attract more robust international investment, our coalition is afforded the option to re-impose current sanctions and, if necessary, further increase pressure, should Iran materially breach the JCPOA.  The JCPOA contains strong incentives for Iran to meet its nuclear commitments, but a unified response to any Iranian violation is the best way to ensure the long-term success of this agreement.

 

Finally, as you know, our mutual concerns with Iran have always included the non-nuclear policies of the Iranian regime—its human rights violations, its support for terrorism, its backing of the Assad regime in Syria, and its efforts to destabilize the region and threaten allies such as Israel.  While these issues lay outside of the scope of the nuclear deal, it is my firm belief that the JCPOA will only truly be effective if it is part of a broader Iran policy.

 

Thank you for your continued leadership in deepening our transatlantic ties.  

 

In August, Senator Shaheen announced her support for the Iran agreement, concluding that it was the best available option for preventing Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon.