Written Testimony of Under Secretary of the Treasury David S. Cohen for the Senate Foreign Relations Committee

Iran Nuclear Negotiations: Status of Talks and the Role of Congress
January 21, 2015

Good morning. Chairman Corker, Ranking Member Menendez, and distinguished members of the committee: Thank you for the invitation to appear before you to discuss the state of sanctions on Iran, and whether our efforts to achieve a diplomatic solution to one of the most difficult and enduring national security problems that we face – Iran’s nuclear program – would be advanced if Congress were to enact new sanctions legislation at this time.

I will focus my testimony today on the robust international sanctions regime that helped bring Iran to the negotiating table, the intense pressure that sanctions continue to place on the Iranian economy, and our continued vigorous enforcement of those sanctions over the course of the Joint Plan of Action (JPOA).  And I will explain why new sanctions legislation now – even if implementation were delayed – would more likely hinder, rather than advance, the prospects for a diplomatic solution that verifiably prevents Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon.