The Nuclear Weapon Free Iran Act of 2015 (S.269), authored by U.S. Senators Mark Kirk (R-IL) and Robert Menendez (D-NJ) strengthens American diplomatic leverage, and should increase the chances for reaching an acceptable agreement with Iran.
Original cosponsors of the bill include Sens. McConnell (R-KY), Schumer (D-NY), Ayotte (R-NH), Blumenthal (D-CT), Coats (R-IN), Peters (D-MI), Rubio (R-FL), Manchin (D-WV), Graham (R-SC), Donnelly (D-IN), Cruz (R-TX), Casey (D-PA), Burr (R-NC), and Blunt (R-MO). The legislation fully complies with the President Barack Obama‘s comments to impose no new sanctions during the course of negotiations with Iran.
The framework of the legislation is straightforward. If, and only if, Iran and the P5+1 nations are not able to reach a final agreement by June 30, 2015: Sanctions waived against Iran during the interim agreement will be re-imposed on July 6th.
The legislation then imposes an escalating series of new sanctions against Iran each month starting in August and ending in December.
The legislation provides the President with authority to waive new sanctions for short periods of time if he feels an agreement is near and needs more time to conclude a comprehensive agreement with Iran.
Call Senator Gillibrand at (202) 224-4451
Sample Phone Script:
“I am calling Senator Gillibrand because I was really surprised and disappointed not to see her as an original cosponsor of The Nuclear Weapon Free Iran Act of 2015 (S.269), especially since she was a co-sponsor of similar legislation last year. The legislation strengthens American negotiators’ leverage and at the same time does not call for the immediate imposition of sanctions. Sanctions would be re-imposed if, and only if, Iran and the P5+1 nations are not able to reach a final agreement by June 30, 2015, the end of extended talks with Iran.”
Provisions of the Nuclear Weapon Free Iran Act of 2015
Reiterates U.S. policy that Iran must not be able to develop a nuclear weapons capability.
In the event an agreement is reached, requires the President to transmit to the appropriate congressional committees the text of the agreement and a verification assessment report.
Provides that implementation of any agreement will not begin until Congress has 30 legislative days to review the deal.
Puts in place a series of escalating prospective sanctions if no agreement is reached by June 30, 2015.
Provides the President with waiver authority for 30-day periods if he felt it necessary to defer new sanctions to enable completion of negotiations with Iran.
As supporters of a diplomatic path to ending Iran’s nuclear program, we are disappointed that after more than year of intense negotiations large gaps remain on virtually all of the issues to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapons capability.
Congress enacted no new sanctions in 2014. In 2015, we believe Congress should pass legislation to let Iran know that economic pressure will again mount if – and only if – an acceptable agreement cannot be reached.
Sens. Kirk and Menendez have drafted legislation to impose prospective sanctions should the current talks not conclude with an agreement. In deference to the President, and in compliance with the interim agreement with Iran, the legislation imposes no sanctions during the talks. Instead, it puts Iran on notice that tough new sanctions will be forthcoming should Iran continue to stall.
The bill provides the President additional flexibility to waive the imposition of new sanctions for short periods of time should he feel it is needed to reach a final agreement with Tehran.
We believe that without additional pressure, Iran will continue to stall. The status quo is unacceptable; it will ultimately lead to a collapse of the sanctions regime and leave Iran with a dangerously large nuclear infrastructure.
A year ago Iran’s economy was in free-fall and Tehran was willing to talk seriously about its nuclear program for the first time in a decade. Unfortunately, since receiving limited sanctions relief, Iran’s economy has stabilized, and its position in the region is strengthened as a result. Iran’s leadership is less inclined to make the compromises necessary to reach an acceptable deal.
The legislation targets Iran’s remaining oil exports and strategic sectors of the Iranian economy.
Call Senator Gillibrand at (202) 224-4451.