Today, Congressman Alcee L. Hastings (D-FL) made the following statement in response to a seven-month extension through July 1, 2015 on nuclear talks with Iran, after negotiations to reach a comprehensive deal on the country’s nuclear program by the P5+1 surpassed the self-imposed deadline of November 24, 2014:
“While I agree that all efforts to secure a diplomatic solution must be continued, providing sanctions relief without considerable progress and assurances sets a dangerous precedent and threatens to eliminate the very leverage that brought Iran to the negotiating table to begin with. Moreover, as talks remain ongoing, Tehran continues to support international terrorism around the globe, most notably against the State of Israel.
“I have remained committed to supporting a wide range of efforts in Congress to prevent a nuclear Iran, as well as strengthen Israel’s enduring partnership with the United States and ability to protect itself. These include the Iran Counter-Proliferation Act, Iran Sanctions Enabling Act, Iran Threat Reduction Act, Iran Refined Petroleum Sanctions Act, Iran Diplomatic Enhancement Act, and Comprehensive Iran Sanctions, Accountability, and Divestment Act of 2010, among many other pieces of legislation.
“The United States must work with its allies around the world and partners in the region to hold a firm line against Iran’s acquisition of these dangerous, destabilizing weapons, while simultaneously continuing to support the Iranian people’s efforts to reform their government and uphold the rights of all citizens. And, should any further sanctions relief be on the table during the course of these continued negotiations, Congress has a duty to weigh in. I urge members of the international community to support every effort to keep pressure on the Iranian regime to dismantle its nuclear weapons program in compliance with international law.”
Congressman Alcee L. Hastings serves as Senior Member of the House Rules Committee, Ranking Democratic Member of the U.S. Helsinki Commission, and Co-Chairman of the Florida Delegation.