WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Chris Coons (D-Del.), a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, released the following statement after President Trump announced that the United States will pull out of the nuclear agreement between the United States, Iran, and world powers (comprised of the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Russia, China, and the European Union). 

“President Trump’s decision to pull the United States out of the nuclear agreement is a mistake. This decision will likely make it harder for the United States and the international community to monitor Iran’s nuclear program, it divides us from our European allies, and it raises legitimate questions about the United States’ ability to lead the international community in the face of crisis.  

“Like the President, I remain deeply concerned by Iran’s continued support for terrorism in the region, its commitment to prop up the murderous Assad regime in Syria, its human rights abuses, and its ballistic missile program, but I question how walking away from the nuclear deal makes it any easier to deal with those challenges.

“Today’s decision from President Trump produces only new, increasingly difficult questions.  What is his strategy for preventing Iran from getting a nuclear weapon?  How do we now ensure that Iran does not restart its nuclear weapons program without the inspections and access guaranteed by the agreement?  How can we lead an international coalition to push back against Iran after abandoning an agreement with which Iran has largely complied?  What reasonable expectation is there for a new, stronger deal with Iran?  Why would our international partners honor any deal we might strike with North Korea? 

“On issues as serious as nuclear nonproliferation in the Middle East and the Korean Peninsula, the stakes are high. I share President Trump’s goals of ensuring Iran never obtains a nuclear weapon and denuclearizing the Korean Peninsula, but we differ greatly in how we approach these problems. Bluster is not a strategy and the alliances we have built over the past 70 years matter.

“Last year, the Senate passed, with an overwhelming, bipartisan vote of 98-2, a bill providing President Trump additional authority and support to levy sanctions against Iran.  That bill also required the President to deliver a strategy for dealing with Iran by this past January, something he has failed to do.  Today’s announcement is further proof that President Trump does not have a clear strategy for dealing with Iran, and that is dangerous not only for the United States, but also for the world.”