“The President of the United States has a responsibility to exercise leadership when it comes to crucial national security issues such as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) with Iran. He should let the facts inform him and bear the burden of making the right decisions to safeguard our country’s interests. Instead, President Trump is abdicating his responsibility and kicking the question to Congress, in what appears to be a cravenly political attempt to have it both ways. That is as juvenile as it is dangerous.
“Congress must now act responsibly on this issue. Reneging on our obligations under the JCPOA by snapping back sanctions would seriously harm the national security interest of the United States. It could result in war or a nuclear-armed Iran. It would leave the United States isolated from our allies and partners who continue to support the JCPOA. It would undermine our global diplomatic efforts by sending a signal that the United States does not keep its commitments. And it would further destabilize the Middle East. We cannot afford to trigger any of those outcomes, especially at a time when we are confronting so many other grave national security crises.
“As the President’s decision not to decertify based on noncompliance implicitly admits, the Iranian government has not failed to deliver on its obligations under the JCPOA, whose terms are limited to the development of nuclear weapons. We have other methods of countering Iran’s malign activities—such as missile launches and terrorist activity—that fall outside the scope of the agreement. We should apply them vigorously to contain and counter Iranian actions that threaten our national security. But we should not take actions that violate our commitments under the JCPOA when adhering to its terms is the best option available, and when the alternatives would invite disaster.”