Durbin Presses Trump Administration On Decision To Violate The Iran Nuclear Deal

WASHINGTON—U.S. Senate Democratic Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL), Vice Chairman of the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee, today questioned Secretary of Defense James Mattis and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Joseph Dunford on President Trump’s decision to put the United States in violation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), better known as the Iran Nuclear Agreement.

In 2015, Durbin led the effort in the Senate that ultimately allowed the Iran Nuclear Agreement to proceed, securing enough votes to block an effort to derail it.

“President Trump’s decision yesterday to basically exit the United States from this Iran Nuclear Agreement, I believe, is not only wrong, but reckless.  By walking away from this agreement, we are forsaking the opportunity to continue to monitor in detail the work done by Iran to make certain that they live up to its terms,” Durbin said.  “Equally important – and you’ve acknowledged it – our allies are important to us around the world.  Our allies joined us in sticking their necks out – France, Germany, U.K., the European Union, China, and Russia joining us – to make certain that this agreement had a kind of universal support beyond Iran.  And now the United States is walking away from it.  That, I cannot believe, will inspire any confidence among our allies about our word and our reliability in the future when it comes to these agreements.”

Video of Durbin’s remarks in the hearing is available here.

Audio of Durbin’s remarks in the hearing is available here.

At today’s Defense Appropriations Subcommittee hearing, Durbin also questioned Secretary Mattis and Chairman Dunford on the United States’ continued military involvement in Afghanistan and the Trump Administration’s new South Asia Strategy.