Washington D.C. – House Armed Services Committee Ranking Member Adam Smith made the following statement after leaving a meeting at the White House to discuss the progress of negotiations to halt Iran's nuclear program:
“Preventing Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon is in our national security interests and we should expend every effort to achieve this goal peacefully and through diplomacy.
“With the strong support of Congress, this Administration put in place one of the most effective sanctions regimes in history. The sanctions were designed to force Iran to come to the table and negotiate a deal to abandon its goal of obtaining a nuclear weapon. The sanctions are working, and Iran is now at the table. I am concerned that adding new sanctions at this time could undermine the international consensus on sanctions that got Iran to the table in the first place. Without this consensus, the existing sanctions regime cannot work.
“The short-term P5 + 1 deal, which would halt the Iranian nuclear program in exchange for short-term sanction relief, could serve as a bridge to a long-term deal. With this deal, we have the opportunity to roll back Iran’s nuclear program and gain a better understanding about a potential long-term deal. If Iran fails to live up to its side of the deal, the sanctions could simply be restored. These negotiations give us a chance to make significant progress towards halting Iran's nuclear program.”