The International Atomic Energy Agency’s (IAEA) unprecedented and detailed report released recently provides the agency’s first public confirmation that Iran is closing in on the capability to produce nuclear weapons. This stark determination is a wake-up call that we must act now to prevent Iran’s nuclear breakout. The United States and our allies must immediately impose biting sanctions on Iran to dissuade the regime from building nuclear weapons.
The Iran, North Korea, and Syria Sanctions Consolidation Act in the Senate and the Iran Threat Reduction Act of 2011 in the House add significant new sanctions to our diplomatic arsenal while there is still time to press Iran to abandon its illicit nuclear program and repressive activities. Both pieces of legislation would impose tough new sanctions on Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), which not only is the major instrument of regime repression in Iran, but also controls Iran’s nuclear program and much of the economy.
The bills would, for the first time, enshrine in law that it is U.S. policy to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons. They would escalate the level of sanctions against the regime’s human rights violators and sharply tighten the enforcement of existing sanctions law. The new legislation also provides an opportunity for Congress to highlight the Iranian threat and make clear that the United States will not lose focus on Tehran’s destabilizing activities.
Director, JCRC San Diego