Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator John McCain (R-AZ), Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, released the following statement on today’s announced nuclear framework agreement with Iran:
“I appreciate the hard work that has been done by Secretary Kerry and our diplomatic team, along with our negotiating partners. The agreement reached today with Iran has the profoundest implications for U.S. national security and that of our allies, most of all Israel. While I intend to review the details of this agreement closely and look forward to a full briefing from the Administration, this agreement raises serious questions and concerns. For example:
- “It appears that Iran will not be required to ship its stockpile of enriched uranium out of the country, as previously demanded.
- “It appears that there is no process yet for resolving the possible military dimensions of Iran’s nuclear program, which is a prerequisite for any effective verification regime.
- “It appears that Iran will be allowed to conduct research and development on advanced centrifuge technologies.
- “It appears that Iran will not be required to close its hardened military nuclear facility at Fordow, as previously demanded.
- “It appears that international inspectors will not be permitted to go anywhere in Iran, at any time, to monitor Iranian compliance.
- “It appears that the agreement does, in fact, contain a sunset, after which Iran will be allowed to maintain and possibly expand an industrial-sized enrichment program.
“These and other issues must be addressed for any agreement to be a good agreement. That is why the Congress must be actively involved in reviewing and ultimately approving a nuclear agreement with Iran.
“Ultimately, we must recognize that Iran is clearly on the offensive across the Middle East. Its malign activities, from Iraq and Syria to Lebanon and Yemen, are provoking a regional sectarian conflict of massive proportions. We cannot, and should not, divorce our nuclear diplomacy with Iran from the larger strategic challenge that Iran poses. I am concerned about the impact that today’s agreement may have on the growing tensions and conflicts in the Middle East—for as Dr. Henry Kissinger has observed, the Administration’s approach to nuclear diplomacy with Iran has moved from preventing proliferation to managing it.”