WASHINGTON – Senator Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), Ranking Member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, issued the following statement regarding a new International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) report that found Iran has increased its stockpile of enriched uranium to five times what it had in July 2018, as well as documenting Iran’s concerted obstruction of IAEA officials from accessing suspected nuclear sites:
“It is incredibly disturbing to see Tehran’s decision to rapidly increase its stockpiles and restart previously disconnected centrifuges has already halved the amount of time necessary to amass enough fuel for a nuclear weapon. While we have many profound concerns with Iran, this report reminds us our highest priority must remain preventing a nuclear-armed Iran and should prompt serious conversations among our European allies about a pathway forward.
“To be clear, the Trump administration’s lack of a comprehensive, coherent diplomatic strategy to deal with Iran has brought us to this point. Although I did not mince words in my opposition to the JCPOA, the Administration’s unilateral withdrawal isolated the United States from our European allies, dangerously escalated American military tensions with Iran, made our key partner Israel more vulnerable, and ultimately allowed Iran to move closer to a nuclear weapon.
“Moving forward, the United States must renew a holistic, diplomatic surge to ensure Iran never obtains a nuclear weapon and addresses its ballistic missile capabilities, and support for terrorism. We must find a tangible diplomatic path with our allies that takes us away from escalatory attacks that threaten the United States, our assets, and our allies and closer to stopping Iran from ever developing a nuclear weapon.”
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