January 16, 2016

Kaine Welcomes Iran Deal Implementation Day And Release Of American Prisoners

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Tim Kaine, a member of the Senate Foreign Relations & Armed Services Committees and co-author of the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act, released the following statement on Implementation Day of the Iran nuclear deal and Iran’s release of four American prisoners:

“Today is a good day for international security. Significant, concrete steps have now been taken to ensure that Iran cannot create or acquire a nuclear weapon. Additionally, the news that Iran is releasing four American prisoners is additional evidence that America can often accomplish with diplomacy what it cannot accomplish with isolation. I especially am happy that Washington Post reporter Jason Rezaian can now return home.

“Before the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, the status-quo was an Iran with 19,000 centrifuges and 12,000 kilograms of LEU, a plutonium reprocessing facility under construction and very few inspections. Iran now has no plutonium or uranium pathway to a bomb and is the most inspected nation in the world.  These actions would not have happened without the nuclear deal and they make the United States and the world dramatically safer.

“I look forward to the robust, around-the-clock enforcement of the JCPOA by the International Atomic Energy Agency, America and the entire global community to ensure Iran complies with every tenet and detail of the deal. I will continue to press the Administration to demand that Iran uphold its international obligations and make sure there are swift consequences for Iran’s aggressive activities, including its recent ballistic missile tests and human rights violations.  I will also press for the close oversight of sanctions relief to deter Iran from using funding for enhanced terrorist activities in the region, and for strong support to our regional partners and allies.

“Today we face a vastly reduced threat of a nuclear Iran.  It is now time for both supporters and critics of the deal to unite in insisting upon the strictest implementation of the JCPOA and to push for the success of this deal.”  

Kaine recently traveled to the IAEA in Vienna and met with Director-General Amano and other senior officials responsible for the monitoring and verification of the Iran deal. The announcement of Implementation Day marks the first major milestone in Iran’s meeting of its obligations under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).  As a result of the JCPOA, Iran has:

· Shipped out over 11,000 kilograms of low-enriched uranium (LEU) to Russia, slashing its uranium stockpile by 97% for 15 years.  Iran now retains only 300 kilograms of LEU; significantly less than what Iran would need to produce a single nuclear weapon;

· Dismantled thousands of centrifuges from Natanz used to enrich uranium.  This is yet another block on Iran’s uranium pathway to a bomb;

· Permanently disabled its nuclear reactor in Arak, filling its core with concrete.  This eliminates Iran’s plutonium pathway to a bomb; and

· Accepted continuous monitoring and inspector access to its nuclear sites.  Enhanced inspections are now underway for 25 years, more than any nation has to comply with.