News Releases

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Isakson Announces He Will Vote No on Iran Nuclear Agreement

'I will not be part of any agreement that allows the Iranians to develop a nuclear weapon'

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, today announced that he will vote no on the nuclear agreement with Iran.

“This will be one of the most important votes I will ever take as a member of the Senate. I have said from day one that I will not be part of any agreement that allows the Iranians to develop a nuclear weapon.

“I have spent countless hours in secure briefings, Foreign Relations Committee hearings, and quiet study and reflection. I am afraid that if this agreement is adopted, it will allow the Iranian regime to industrialize its nuclear enrichment program. This agreement will merely delay Iran’s ability to develop a nuclear weapon rather than eliminating Iran’s nuclear weapons capability.

“There are a number of factors that led me to my decision to vote no on this agreement. First, the agreement allows for phased nuclear enrichment as well as a continuation of nuclear research and development by Iran. Second, I am worried that this agreement will further Iran’s arms shipping business in the Middle East by lifting the conventional arms embargo after five years. Third, the deal gives up our leverage up-front by relieving sanctions without clarity on how Iran will be held accountable for violations of the deal, especially for small infractions. Furthermore, Iran has stated that any imposition of sanctions will be considered a breach of the agreement, making it difficult for the United States and our allies to hold Iran accountable for human rights violations and terrorism. 

“And while I remain deeply concerned with what I have been able to review in the Iran nuclear agreement, I am even more disturbed by the fact that there are agreements between the IAEA and Iran that Congress has not been allowed to read. These secret agreements will serve as a baseline, yet we will not be able to know where that line actually is. To vote for something that I am not allowed to read would be an injustice to the people I represent.

“We have been told that that a vote against the agreement is a vote for war. I would suggest a vote against this agreement is a vote for strength over appeasement. In my 33 years in business, the best deals I ever negotiated were the ones where I was willing to walk away from the table and started over.  For the security of my country and my grandchildren, we should say ‘no’ to this Iran deal.”

On July 22, 2015, Isakson spoke on the floor of the Senate regarding his concerns with the agreement.