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Kaine: Give Diplomacy A Chance To Prevent Iranian Nuclear Weapon

WASHINGTON, D.C. – In a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing today on Iran, U.S. Senator Tim Kaine, Chairman of the Subcommittee on Near Eastern, Southern and Central Asian Affairs, advocated strongly for exhausting all diplomatic options to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon. He argued that despite “good faith differences” in tactics, both sides in the Iran sanctions debate actually have the same goal: a nuclear weapons-free Iran achieved through diplomacy, rather than military force.  

“We have got to be able to look our allies and our citizens - especially the men and women we would ask to fight that battle - in the eye and tell them we have exhausted every diplomatic effort prior to undertaking that significant step,” Kaine said.

Kaine also applauded the work of Senator Menendez and others in Congress for putting the tough sanctions in place that brought Iran to the negotiating table, as well as reiterated his support for additional sanctions should current diplomatic efforts falter.

Kaine said, “I support the sanctions, and I’ll easily and gladly vote for more if we cannot find an agreement. … The joint plan of action slows and even reverses critical aspects of the Iranian nuclear program, which sanctions alone have not been able to do. And it also provides this country and our partners around the world a better, early warning system about whether or not Iran is cheating. We get more time on the clock and a better, early warning system because of this deal.”

In closing, Kaine called aggressive diplomacy an under-exercised muscle, and urged his colleagues in Congress and the administration to make this negotiation about Iran’s good faith.