Washington—Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) joined Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) and a group of their colleagues to introduce the Iran Diplomacy Act, a bill supporting President Joe Biden’s diplomatic effort to return all sides to full compliance with their commitments under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), also known as the Iran Nuclear Deal.
Last week, the Biden administration said it would be willing to join talks with Iran and other remaining parties to the JCPOA. This would represent an important first step in the process to restore full implementation of the 2015 agreement, which required that Iran refrain from producing either the highly enriched uranium or the plutonium that could be used in a nuclear weapon.
“The Trump administration’s decision to leave the Iran nuclear agreement was shortsighted and dangerous,” said Feinstein. “Iran is now far closer to the production of a nuclear weapon, proving the agreement was, in fact, an effective tool to prevent the proliferation of nuclear weapons. I applaud the Biden administration for its diplomatic engagement to constrain Iran’s nuclear program in order to improve regional and international security.”
“President Biden is right to pursue diplomatic steps that verifiably shut the door on an Iranian nuclear weapon,” said Markey. “President Trump’s 2018 exit from the Iran Nuclear Deal alienated the United States from allies whose support is needed to confront the full-range of Tehran’s bad behavior. Trump’s 'maximum pressure' campaign brought us to the brink of war and allowed Iran to edge ever closer to nuclear weapons capability. All sides must return to their commitments under the Iran Nuclear Deal so we can take the existential threat of a nuclear Iran off the table and provide the momentum to advance multilateral and bilateral diplomatic efforts to address Iran’s burgeoning ballistic missile program, extend elements of the Iran deal due to expire, and combat the Iranian government and its proxies’ malign activities throughout the region.”
In addition to Feinstein and Markey, the bill was cosponsored by Senators Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass), Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), Tammy Baldwin (D-Wisc.), Patty Murray (D-Wash.), Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) and Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.).
Full text of the bill is available here.
Specifically, the Iran Diplomacy Act states the following:
- Full implementation of the JCPOA would represent a meaningful step to both preventing an Iranian nuclear weapon and a costly future armed conflict
- The United States and Iran should promptly return to full-compliance with all of their commitments under the JCPOA
- After such time that all sides return to their commitments under the JCPOA, the United States should lead international efforts to:
- strengthen the restrictions on Iran’s ballistic missile program and counter the proliferation of such technology to other countries and actors;
- address the sunset of select provisions of the JCPOA and other elements of the agreement that merit strengthening; and
- advance any other diplomatic measures that promote United States, regional, and international security.
- The United States should reaffirm its commitment to United Nations Security Resolution 2231 (2015).
- President Biden’s National Security Memorandum-1, and other steps, will better foster an environment in which financial institutions and entities can make practical use of existing exemptions and mechanisms “allowing for the sale of agricultural commodities, food, medicine, and medical devices to Iran,” and help Iran battle the COVID–19 pandemic.