Since the 1979 Iranian Revolution and the introduction of Islamic governance, the U.S. and the international community have struggled to engage Iran over its defiant challenges to international norms.
Iran’s export of ideology and sponsorship of militant groups across the Middle East has created instability and hardened political rivalries in the region. Its large armed forces, valuable economic assets, military support for Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and intensive pursuit of nuclear weapons and ballistic missile capabilities make it a vexing global challenge. Against this backdrop, Iranian citizens have courageously taken to the streets to protest the regime, inspired by Mahsa Amini, a young Iranian woman who was murdered by Iran’s morality police in September 2022 for allegedly wearing her hijab improperly. The protests have spotlighted for the world the human costs of Iran’s clerical rule, economic mismanagement, and the internationally imposed sanctions regime.
A nuclear-armed Iran may be more emboldened to double down on these malign activities. The 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), commonly known as the Iran Nuclear Deal between Iran and several world powers including the United States, effectively and verifiably lengthened Iran’s breakout time, blocked Iran’s pathways to weapons-grade plutonium, and limited enriched uranium stockpiles. President Trump’s reckless withdrawal from the Iran Nuclear Deal in 2019 has allowed Iran’s program to advance without limits and put the world on a dangerous and confrontational path with Iran. Time is running out to stop Iran before it has enough fissile material to build a nuclear weapon. The Biden Administration came very close to arrangements to return to the Iran Nuclear Deal, but negotiations stalled in the Fall of 2022.
Americans would support returning to the Iran Nuclear Deal rather than staying out and risking Iran developing a nuclear weapon.
While a return to the original deal may now be out of reach politically, alternative negotiations and arrangements to freeze, roll back, and monitor Iran’s program are urgently needed and still technically possible. You can encourage your elected representatives in Congress to support diplomatic efforts to prevent Iran from acquiring or developing a nuclear weapon.
You can also encourage Members of Congress to express solidarity with the Iranian people and to reject any new sanctions that would add to their suffering.