May 08, 2018

Van Hollen Statement on Trump’s Decision to Withdraw from the Iran Deal

Today, U.S. Senator Chris Van Hollen issued the following statement in response to President Trump’s decision to withdraw the United States from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action:
“The Iran deal—forged with the world’s major powers—took us off the path of a disastrous war over Iran’s nuclear weapons program. The Iran deal has verifiably prevented Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon, imposed tough constraints on their nuclear program, and subjected Iran to the most comprehensive inspection and monitoring regime ever negotiated.
“That’s why Trump’s own Secretary of Defense Mattis said that staying in the Iran deal was in the national security interest of the United States. Even Trump’s Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, a critic of the deal, recently testified that Iran was in compliance with the agreement. But despite that clear consensus, the President ripped up the Iran deal and offered no plan B. And by doing that, he has freed Iran to restart its nuclear weapons program without international inspections. 
“There is no doubt that Iran has been a menace in the region—on everything from supporting Assad’s murderous regime in Syria to supplying terrorist groups like Hezbollah with weapons. The United States has and must confront this Iranian aggression. But this agreement was not designed to be a silver bullet. It was premised on the reality that a nuclear-armed Iran would be more of a menace on all these fronts than a non-nuclear Iran. That remains as true today as when the nuclear agreement was signed.

“Make no mistake: Trump’s decision was based on politics, not national security. By withdrawing from the deal, Trump has isolated America from our allies, served the interest of the Iranian hardliners, and destroyed America’s credibility.”