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Senators Reintroduce Resolution Ruling Out 'Containment' Strategy of Nuclear-Armed Iran

Press Release

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Date:
Location: Washington, DC

A bipartisan group of U.S. Senators has reintroduced the Graham-Lieberman-Casey resolution that will put the Senate on record as ruling out a strategy of containment for a nuclear-armed Iran. The original resolution, S.Res.380, was introduced in February 2012 and has been cosponsored by a bipartisan supermajority of 78 Senators. The new Senate Joint Resolution has been updated to reflect statements made by President Obama since the original resolution was put forward, ruling out containment.

Senators Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina), Joe Lieberman (I-Connecticut), and Bob Casey (D-Pennsylvania), along with Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-Connecticut), Kelly Ayotte (R-New Hampshire) and John Hoeven (R-North Dakota), issued the following statements in support of a united message that Iran cannot obtain a nuclear-weapons capability.

"I am very dubious that the negotiations in Baghdad and any agreement with IAEA will bear fruit," said Graham, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee. "However, hope springs eternal. The importance of this resolution cannot be understated. The Iranians need to know without any doubt that the policy of the United States is clear and certain. We will not try to contain a nuclear capable Iran; we will prevent the Iranian regime from ever acquiring a nuclear capability. This should be taken up in a very expeditious manner so it can have maximum influence on the outcome of any efforts to change Iranian behavior."

"When it comes to Iran, all options need to be on the table except for one -- and that is containment," said Senator Lieberman. "Since we first introduced this resolution in February, President Obama has announced that he agrees that containment is unacceptable, and a bipartisan supermajority of 78 Senators has endorsed this position. Now we need to have a vote on the Senate floor on this resolution, so we can send a clear and united message to Tehran that they will not be allowed to get a nuclear weapons capability under any circumstances."

"Iran's intent to develop and possess a nuclear weapons capability presents a grave threat to the United States and our allies in the Middle East and Europe," said Senator Casey. "To date, Iran has refused to negotiate in good faith on its nuclear program, or to provide any guarantees that it will uphold its international obligations under the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty. While I am hopeful that the negotiations in Baghdad will yield positive results, we must be crystal clear about our expectations -- Iran must suspend its uranium enrichment program and allow for a comprehensive program of international inspection and verification. This important bipartisan Senate resolution helps to send that message."

"A nuclear-armed Iran poses an enormous threat to our national security, and the security of our allies. Iran is negotiating only because of increased pressure and crippling sanctions," said Blumenthal. "Diplomatic progress will be realized only if strong and vigorous pressure against Iran continues. I am proud to support Senator Graham's resolution on this issue, and I thank him for his leadership."

"This resolution demonstrates that there is a strong bipartisan commitment in the Senate to ensuring that Iran does not obtain a nuclear weapon," said Senator Ayotte, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee. "If Iran were to obtain a nuclear weapon, it would be a national security disaster for the United States, for Israel, and for the world. Worst of all, there is a real danger that Iran might share nuclear weapons with terrorist groups, who could use them to attack Americans and our allies."

"This bipartisan resolution sends a clear and unambiguous message to the Iranian government that our country is truly united in our resolve to stop their nuclear ambitions," Hoeven said. "They must immediately end their efforts to develop a nuclear weapon and they must provide adequate transparency so that we can verify, beyond a doubt, that they no longer pose a nuclear threat."

The resolution:

· Rejects any policy that fails to prevent the Iranian government from acquiring a nuclear weapons capability and instead relies on efforts to contain a nuclear weapons capable Iran;

· Reaffirms that the United States has a vital national interest in preventing Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapons capability;

· Urges continued and increasing economic and diplomatic pressure on the Iranian government until it agrees to and implements the full and sustained suspension of all uranium enrichment-related and reprocessing activities; complete cooperation with the

· International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) on all outstanding questions related to Iranian nuclear activities; and a permanent agreement that verifiably assures that Iran's nuclear program is entirely peaceful.


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