Raises Concerns Over Iranian Nuclear Enrichment Agreement with Turkey and Brazil
Congresswoman Shelley Berkley today called for adoption by the U.N. of new sanctions targeting Iran, while also expressing concern over a reported agreement that would allow the Iranian regime to continue enriching and stockpiling uranium.
"I am pleased the U.S., China and Russia have now reached an agreement on U.N. sanctions targeting Iran. I firmly believe tough economic sanctions are the best way to stop Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons. We must not let Iran continue to employ stalling tactics as a means to avoid the consequences of their illegal and dangerous behavior. That is why I am again calling for the U.S. to enact its own sanction package at the same time as we press for adoption of similar measures through the U.N.," said Berkley.
In addition to calling for enactment of U.N. and U.S. sanctions, Berkley also expressed alarm at a new deal between Iran, Turkey and Brazil that will allow the stockpiling and continued enrichment of uranium.
"I am deeply skeptical of the nuclear agreement that has been reached between Iran, Turkey and Brazil. Any arrangement that allows Iran to continue enriching uranium, while keeping half its supply of low-enriched uranium, violates previous U.N. Security Council resolutions and calls into question the legitimacy of the negotiations. Furthermore, Iran has shown repeatedly that it will not abide by agreements to swap nuclear fuel and has reneged on other, similar offers by the United States and other international leaders. Given its record of deceit, the world community should have absolutely no realistic expectation that Iran will honor this agreement," said Berkley.
Berkley is a cosponsor of The Iran Refined Petroleum Sanctions Act (H.R. 2194). The bill was approved overwhelmingly by the House with bipartisan support in December of last year. The legislation includes further sanctions on Iran's banking sector and gives the President the power to impose sanctions against companies that supply Iran with -- or support its domestic production of -- gasoline and other refined petroleum products. Berkley has consistently warned that the U.S. cannot ignore the threat posed by Iran's drive to develop nuclear weapons and supports economic and trade sanctions as a means of pressure.
"The effective use of sanctions is the best way to avoid utilizing the military option, but when the Iranian regime is unwilling to negotiate, no response can be taken off the table," Berkley said. "We must demonstrate to the Iranians that America and its global allies will use every tool necessary to stop them from obtaining a nuclear weapon," said Berkley.