Murkowski Against Iran Nuclear Deal

Senator Announces “Definitive Position” After Reviewing Documents, Talking With Alaskans

Senator Lisa Murkowski today announced her opposition to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, and shared her reasoning with Alaskans:

“I will vote to disapprove of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action with respect to Iran when the matter is put to a vote on the Senate floor in September. From the start, I viewed the proposed agreement with skepticism but owed it to my constituents to take an objective look. Since then I have reviewed the documents, received input from Alaskans, participated in the administration's closed door briefings, and considered the views of foreign policy experts on all sides of the issue. Having completed my due diligence, I am now prepared to express and explain a definitive position on the matter.

“In light of the progress that Iran has made in its quest to develop a nuclear weapon, it is imperative to me that an agreement not simply arrest Iran’s nuclear ambitions but require the abandonment of those ambitions. The agreement before us, viewed in the most favorable light, does not accomplish this goal. At best it puts a pause on Iran’s final preparations toward becoming a full-fledged nuclear state. But to regard that pause as meaningful requires me to suspend disbelief. I must suspend my disbelief that Iran can be trusted to live up to the terms of the agreement. I must believe that even though Iran is not required to fully disclose the military dimensions of its existing nuclear program, the international verification mechanisms are indeed effective. I must also believe that other nations will be inclined to meaningfully call Iran out on violations, not simply rationalize them away in order to keep up appearances that the deal is working. Each of these assumptions is a bridge too far for me.        

“Before causing the release of billions of dollars in frozen Iranian assets and allowing sanctions to expire, I seek clear, convincing, and unequivocal evidence of Iran's commitment to change its ways and act as a responsible player on the world stage.       

“Whether measured by Iran's express intentions to use unfrozen assets to ferment global terror, its continued commitment to the destruction of the State of Israel, or the fact that it continues to hold four Americans in captivity, it is clear that Iran has not and will not change its ways.      

“So at the end of the day, I conclude that Iran got the most out of this negotiation and gave the least. Iran's strategy of nuclear extortion has not been disabled. To the contrary, it has been rewarded.  

“This agreement on its terms, with Iran’s interpretation of those terms and as further interpreted through “secret deals” between Iran and the International Atomic Energy Agency now coming to light give me great concern. The administration claims this deal makes the world a safer place, but I have grave doubts. As such, I will vote against the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action when it comes before the Senate in September.”