Sen. Cruz: U.S. Must Cease Negotiations with Iran Until Concessions are Made
Files S. Res. 328; Co-sponsored by Sens. Inhofe, Roberts and Hatch
WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, has introduced S. Res. 328, which would require that Iran immediately and without conditions release all United States citizens unjustly detained in Iran and publicly affirm the right of Israel to exist as a Jewish state before any further negotiations between Iran and the United States. Co-sponsors include Sens. Jim Inhofe, Pat Roberts and Orrin Hatch.
“The United States should always negotiate from a position of strength, not weakness. Unfortunately, the deal we struck with Iran in November compromises our strength, and will free substantial economic relief to Iran with virtually no concessions,” Sen. Cruz said. “Now we are essentially investing in a nation that openly promotes the annihilation of Israel and has innocent Americans imprisoned under deplorable conditions, while having no assurance that Iran will take any meaningful steps to pause their efforts to acquire nuclear weapons. The United States must cease any further negotiations until Iran agrees to these reasonable concessions.”
In November, the United States agreed to a Joint Plan of Action outlining first step, voluntary measures that will be taken over six months providing Iran about $7 billion in relief from economic sanctions, while extracting no substantive concessions from Iran regarding its nuclear program. Iran’s nuclear development is the gravest national security threat to the United States, yet the deal struck doesn’t require Iran to dismantle a single centrifuge or turn over a single pound of enriched uranium.
“The Iranians have yet to implement any of the interim agreement requirements set over a month ago,” Sen. Roberts said. “To expect the Iranians will do more in six months is foolish. The Administration should be protecting our greatest ally in the region and demanding Iranians publically state their acceptance for the State of Israel while also working to ensure the release of innocent Americans before taking another step closer to President Rouhani.”
Additionally, representatives of the United States involved in these negotiations, failed to rebuke their Iranian counterparts for their vicious rhetoric against Israel, one of our closest allies, or raise the issue of the United States citizens imprisoned in Iran, including Pastor Saeed Abedini, Amir Hekmati, and Robert Levinson, declaring such issues "on the margins" of the nuclear negotiations.
"Our commitment to the security of Israel while Iran is unapologetically pursuing nuclear capability must be beyond doubt," Senator Cruz added. "And no American citizen unjustly detained by a hostile foreign regime should feel forgotten in the pursuit of diplomacy. These two simple steps give the Iranians the opportunity to demonstrate their recent promises of moderation are more than tweets and cell phone calls."
Last September, Sen. Cruz introduced S. Res. 252 calling for the same conditions to be met prior to any future meeting between President Obama and Iran President Hasan Rouhani, while advocating for the release of Pastor Saeed Abedini, who is serving an eight-year sentence in Iran under brutal conditions for his Christian faith.