Foster Statement on Iran Nuclear Deal Decertification
WASHINGTON, DC - As the only PhD physicist in Congress, I supported the Iran Deal after a review of its technical enforceability and its ability to functionally dismantle Iran’s nuclear weapons program. It has succeeded in every aspect of what was agreed to and has made the world safer thanks to the broad international coalition that made this deal a reality.
Despite President Trump’s acknowledgement that Iran is in full compliance with the terms of the agreement, he announced today that he will refuse to certify that compliance to Congress on the grounds that he personally does not believe that the deal is in our national interest. Furthermore, he threatened to unilaterally withdraw from the deal any time he wants. This sort of irresponsible behavior undermines the credibility of the U.S. as a stable and reliable negotiating partner and undercuts our efforts to negotiate agreements to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons throughout the world.
There is no doubt among the scientific and diplomatic community that the deal successfully rolled back Iran’s ability to develop a nuclear weapon. This deal gave us the ability to monitor Iran’s nuclear capability, so Iran no longer has the capability to produce a nuclear weapon without our knowledge. Iran has disconnected, removed, and placed in IAEA-monitored storage, two-thirds of its installed centrifuges, reduced their stockpile of low-enriched uranium by 98 percent, removed all fissile material, centrifuges, and enrichment infrastructure from the underground facility at Fordow. The calandria - the core of Iran’s heavy water nuclear reactor - has been removed and filled with concrete so it is now permanently inoperable. All these actions will be reversed if President Trump walks away from the deal.
There remains a long list of Iranian misbehaviors in the non-nuclear arena. They were never covered by the deal, because the international coalition that brought Iran to the negotiating table was focused only on the prevention of a nuclear Iran. This fact does not provide justification for Trump’s announcement today.
Fortunately, as long as Congress acts responsibly and refuses to take Trump’s bait, President Trump’s announcement today will have no direct effect on the Iran Nuclear Deal.