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Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) speaks on the U.S. Senate floor in this file photo. (Credit: C-SPAN)

To Halt 'Drift Toward War,' Sanders Urges Congress to Defend Iran Nuke Deal

Senator calls Trump's announcement to decertify agreement both "rash" and "reckless"

Jon Queally, staff writer

In response to President Donald Trump's "disgraceful" announcement on Friday that he will not recertify the nuclear agreement signed with Iran and other leading nations, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) condemned the decision as both "rash" and "reckless" and said it was now up to members of the House and Senate to protect the deal.

"Breaking the Iran agreement would not only free Iran from the limits placed on its nuclear program," declared Sanders in a statement, "it would irreparably harm America’s ability to negotiate future nonproliferation agreements. Why would any country in the world sign such an agreement with the United States if they knew that a reckless president might simply discard that agreement a few years later?"

Despite the fact that even Trump's own national security team said the Iran deal was working and should be upheld, Sanders said Trump's move will only serve to further isolate the U.S. from the global community—including from key allies. France, the U.K., and Germany—signatories to the deal—said Sanders, "all continue to support the agreement and have consistently said that it is in their own national security interests."

Moreover, he continued, sabotaging the deal, and the hardwork that went into it, only serves to "alienate Iran’s people and strengthen the regime’s hardliners, who are much more comfortable dealing with a hostile America than with a reasonable, peace-seeking one."

With Trump decertifying the agreement, but not abandoning it fully, the responsibility now falls to lawmakers in the House and Senate who may have to contend with bills from anti-Iranian hawks that would kill the agreement entirely.

"Now that this decision has been put in Congress' hands," said Sanders. "It's up to us to stop this drift toward war. We should listen to what virtually the entire national security community is saying – that this deal is working – and protect it."


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