Congressman Alan Lowenthal (CA-47), today released the following statement regarding President Trump’s reckless decision to withdraw the United States from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) agreement between the P5+1 nations and Iran aimed at preventing Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon:
“Iran must never have a nuclear weapon and the world cannot tolerate a nuclear-armed Iran. The JCPOA is a strong internationally-agreed bulwark against Iran moving any further down the nuclear path. The JCPOA is also the best way to avoid the use of military force and the catastrophic armed conflict this would unleash. The President's misguided action has assured one thing: the world is less safe today: for my constituents, for our nation, for Israel, and for the world.
"As a member of the House Foreign Relations Committee (HFAC) during the development of the JCPOA in 2015, I was able to engage in lengthy, careful, and deliberative review of the JCPOA agreement. I met with President Barack Obama, attended numerous classified congressional briefings, attended hearings as a member of the HFAC, met with pro-Israel groups such as AIPAC and J Street, spoke with the Israeli Ambassador to the U.S., read almost all related classified and unclassified documents, met frequently with other Jewish members to discuss the proposed deal, talked directly to constituents, and read every constituent e-mail and letter on this issue.
"All of this consideration led me to determine that the JCPOA agreement is the best chance we have at preventing a nuclear-armed Iran.
"I know the JCPOA is not a perfect agreement. There were downsides to rejecting the agreement and downsides to accepting the agreement. However, by pulling out of this agreement, we send a message to the world that even after careful negotiation and follow through by all parties involved, the U.S. cannot be trusted to stick by its agreements. This is always an unwise course of action, but now especially so, as the President plans to meet with a current nuclear state, North Korea, regarding a negotiation to possibly freeze its nuclear program.
"We have all drawn a line that states—unequivocally—that Iran must never be allowed to possess nuclear weapons. As a Jewish Member of the U.S. House of Representatives, I am proud of our unbreakable bond with Israel--without question our closest ally in the region, and one whose security is of critical importance to us. The JCPOA offers the best security for our nation and allies, and offers the least risk of violent conflict which would benefit no one. The President has instead chosen a path that makes the world that much more dangerous.”