Washington D.C. – House Armed Services Committee Ranking Member Adam Smith made the following statement in response to the extension of negotiations with Iran:
While I had hoped that we would have been able to reach a final deal, I support the extension of the interim deal that maintains a freeze on Iran’s nuclear program and makes progress towards a final deal. The President has made it abundantly clear through his words as well as his actions, that under his leadership the United States will not allow Iran to obtain a nuclear weapon. I firmly support that goal, which is why I support the extension of negotiations. During negotiations, Iran’s nuclear program will remain frozen and the painful sanctions will stay in place. The extension keeps the pressure on Iran.
It is clear that sanctions are having an effect, and that the economic impact has brought Iran to the negotiating table in a real way. We should continue to pursue this path and not forget that the President has assembled a rare level of international cooperation. The European Union has put in place forceful sanctions. China, India and South Korea are all cutting back on oil purchases from Iran or making it harder for Iran to profit. The world has united to isolate the Iranian regime, which cannot be lost on those making decisions in Tehran. We should allow the time and space to see if negotiations can work.
We must also remember that negotiations are difficult, and they require significant effort from all sides. The issues are complicated and politically sensitive for all parties involved. Moreover, any potential deal must be lasting, enforceable and achieve the desired outcomes. Forcing an outcome that falls short of our goals or walking away from negotiations at this point in time would not be wise.