Hawaii senator declares support for Iran nuclear deal

U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz (D-HI)
U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz (D-HI) | Courtesy of the U.S. Senate
U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz (D-HI) released a statement on Monday declaring his support for the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JPCA), which is the agreement between the international community and Iran concerning the nation's nuclear program.

Schatz said there is a majority consensus among nuclear energy experts, including former U.S. Ambasador to NATO Nicholas Burns,  that it is the "best alternative" possible.

“While there are legitimate concerns about the agreement, we must remember this plain fact: there is no other alternative that achieves these results," Schatz said. "We do not have the luxury of being able to pick this deal apart. The United States negotiated this deal with the other major world powers; and if we walk away now, the multilateral sanctions that the United States helped put in place to bring Iran to the negotiating table will certainly crumble. Our negotiating partners will see us as the intransigent one, lift their sanctions, and Iran will get economic relief without any restrictions on its nuclear program."

The JPCA would lift economic sanctions imposed on Iran in exchange for allowing the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to conduct regular, comprehensive monitoring of the country's nuclear program to prevent the creation of a nuclear bomb. The IAEA is also tasked with reporting any unusual activity, including violations of the agreement.

“In general, if we believe that Iran is in significant noncompliance with the agreement at any time, we can unilaterally request that U.N. sanctions be reimposed and neither Russia, China, nor Iran can veto that request," Schatz said. "If Iran cheats, we will know, and have the ability to respond."

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U.S. Senator Brian Schatz

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