New Iran Sanctions Could Have Grave Consequences

January 6, 2014

Weapon Program: 

  • Nuclear


The Iran Project

In a letter today, a bipartisan group of senior foreign policy luminaries urged senators not to pass new sanctions against Iran, warning that additional sanctions would jeopardize ongoing diplomatic efforts and potentially move the U.S. closer to war. The letter’s nine signers include Ryan Crocker, former Ambassador to Iraq and Afghanistan, Daniel Kurtzer, former Ambassador to Israel and Thomas R. Pickering, former Under Secretary of State for Political  Affairs, and former Ambassador to Israel, India Jordan, Russia and the United Nations.

The letter was delivered to the co-sponsors of the Nuclear Weapon Free Act of 2013 introduced by Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ) and Sen. Mark Kirk (R-IL). The bill would add more sanctions on Iran and purchasers of its oil as well as position the U.S. to support Israel militarily, economically and diplomatically if they choose to take military action against Iran.

“The bill will threaten the prospects for success in the current negotiations and thus present us and our friends with a stark choice – military action or living with a nuclear Iran,” the authors wrote.

The letter’s authors agree with Obama Administration officials that this sanctions bill, even if it took effect in 6 months, would call into serious question Washington’s good faith and possibly isolate the U.S. within the P5+1 with dangerous results for the existing sanctions regime.

“We urge you to take a second look at this legislation, accept that you have achieved your objective of putting down a marker for Iran, but not press this bill to a vote,” the letter read.