Senator Lankford Introduces Resolution to Hold President Obama Accountable for Iran Nuclear Deal Commitments

WASHINGTON, DC – Senator James Lankford (R-OK) today introduced a Senate resolution (S.Res 414) to ensure President Obama follows through on his commitment to reimpose sanctions if Iran violates the nuclear deal.

“National security remains on the mind of every American,” said Lankford. “The fact that Iran is still the world’s largest state-sponsor of terrorism is impossible to ignore. The Obama Administration caved to Iran’s demands to import arms, and Iran has continued to pursue a ballistic missile capability. It is imperative that we show we are determined to curb Iran’s hostile behavior. If Iran violates the nuclear agreement in any way, the United States should reimpose crippling sanctions, restrict their military build-up, and reapply U.N. Security Council sanctions on Iran. Until Iran proves it is a peaceful, responsible nation, we must remain vigilant and steadfast.”

The intent of the Nuclear Deal, technically called the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), was to constrain Iran’s nuclear activity in exchange for a relaxation of nuclear-related sanctions. Unfortunately, several non-nuclear related concessions were thrown in at the last minute. Much of the deal’s language is ambiguous and open to misinterpretation, and the Administration’s commitment to the so-called ‘snap-back’ sanctions remains in serious question. This resolution is an important step to clarify our expectations and set in stone the Senate’s view of U.S. actions, if the terms of the deal are breached.

Senator Lankford’s resolution expresses the sense of the Senate that, should Iran violate the JCPOA, the U.S. should:

  • Immediately reapply nuclear-related sanctions on Iran.
  • Seek the adoption of a new U.N. Security Council resolution that limits exports of defensive weapons to Iran.
  • Force Iran to make public its uranium enrichment plans, R&D plans, and procurement requests.
  • Work with the European Union to reapply European sanctions waived as part of the JCPOA.
  • Seek the reinstitution of U.N. Security Council resolutions which were lifted pursuant to JCPOA implementation.
  • Seek additional punitive sanctions with respect to Iran.

The JCPOA was negotiated by the Obama administration and five other world powers and signed on July 14, 2015. A procedural vote on a Senate resolution of disapproval, which was the first step to block President Obama from implementing the JCPOA, failed by two votes on September 10, 2015. Senator Lankford consistently fought and voted to block the deal, but it failed because 60 votes were required to move to debate and a vote. 

Senator Lankford serves on the Homeland Security and Intelligence Committees in the Senate.