News Releases

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Senators Call on State Department to Reinstate Sanctions on Iran Following Reported Nuclear Procurement Efforts

Urge Secretary Kerry to respond to German intelligence report

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., today joined his Senate colleagues in calling on Secretary of State John Kerry to investigate Iran’s illicit behavior and to re-impose sanctions on Iran for its extensive nuclear and missile procurement attempts in Germany. The attempts are likely related to weapons of mass destruction and, if confirmed, run directly counter to Iran’s explicit commitments the Obama administration’s nuclear deal and the subsequent international agreement – United Nations (UN) Security Council Resolution 2231.

Isakson also expressed concerns about the implementation of the Iran deal during a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing Wednesday, on the anniversary of the deal. Watch Isakson’s remarks here.

Last week, Germany’s Annual Report on the Protection of the Constitution stated that there was a high level of “illegal proliferation-sensitive procurement activities in Germany”  in 2015. The report stated, “Against this backdrop it is safe to expect that Iran will continue its intensive procurement activities in Germany using clandestine methods to achieve its objectives.”

While the evidence of potential violations is clear, the Obama administration has failed to follow through on the promises it made to the American people to investigate Iran’s illicit behavior, punish the rogue nation, and snap back sanctions when violations, small or large, occur.

The letter, led by U.S. Senator David Perdue, R-Ga., was signed by Isakson along with U.S. Senators Mark Kirk, R-Ill., Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, Ted Cruz, R-Texas, Bill Cassidy, R-La., Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, Jim Inhofe, R-Okla., Pat Toomey, R-Pa., Dan Sullivan, R-Alaska., and Joni Ernst. R-Iowa.

In their letter to Secretary Kerry, the senators ask the following questions:

  1. If these reports are true, would these procurement actions not clearly violate the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action and UN Security Council Resolution 2231? 

  2. Can you confirm and corroborate these domestic intelligence reports from the German government, and have these procurement activities indeed continued in Germany as the annual report predicted?

  3. Could you explain why such investigations and prosecutions of illegal Iranian procurement efforts have not taken place since the signing of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, and why these violations have not resulted in severe and tangible punishments?

  4. If Iran is attempting to seek such materials outside of the procurement channel established by the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, why aren’t Iran’s attempts to violate the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action and UN Security Council Resolution 2231 treated as the transgressions that they are?

  5. What specific steps to do you intend to take to penalize Iran for its possible non-compliance?

  6. In light of the German reports, it is now more important than ever to demonstrate to Iran that the United States is prepared to punish Iran for any noncompliance. Will the Obama administration support renewal of the Iran Sanctions Act?

  7. Given that the administration repeatedly promised a continuous, rigorous verification scheme to hold Iran accountable under the deal, this seemingly lax enforcement of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action forces us to question: is the framework for addressing violations, as laid out in the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, working at all?

Full text of the senators’ letter is available here