The president’s violation and abandonment of the international agreement blocking each of Iran’s pathways to a nuclear weapon is more than an egregious foreign policy blunder, it is an unprovoked and unjustified assault on international peace and security.
The president’s decision is a wholly baseless rejection of the conclusion of our closest allies’ military and intelligence services, international nuclear experts and his own Secretary of Defense that the agreement is working. It flies in the face of the consensus opinion of the Israeli security establishment, expressed by Israeli former commanders who wrote last month that “American abandonment of the agreement would undermine not just the deal, but Israel’s security as well.” It sends the clear message to friends and adversaries around the world that the United States cannot be taken at its word or be relied upon to act in global — or even its own — security interests.
This reckless move risks leading us down the path to a costly and bloody war of choice against Iran, a country nearly four times Iraq’s size with more than twice its population.
Make no mistake, if the president’s decision leads to the unraveling of the agreement, he will own what comes next. But responsibility for the consequences of this move will not be on his hands alone. All of those who have sought to undermine the agreement by spreading fear and misinformation about it will bear their share of the culpability.
We call on Congress to act urgently to avert the most dire potential consequences of the president’s action. Lawmakers should move to bring the United States back into compliance with the agreement by suspending the necessary sanctions legislatively. Congress should also make clear that the president does not presently have its authority to engage in military operations against Iran, and should otherwise limit existing authorizations for the use of military force to restrict his ability to provoke an armed conflict with Iran in other theaters.