Democrat Bob Menendez and Republican Lindsey Graham have agreed on a strategy to contain Iran’s nuclear ambitions, beyond the 2015 nuclear deal.
They both suggested a plan that ensures a broad and integrated bipartisan diplomatic approach aimed at containing Iran’s nuclear ambitions and limiting its destabilizing activities in the region.
“There is a common misperception that those of us who opposed the Iran nuclear deal are simply opposed to diplomacy with Iran,” they wrote in an article published in the Washington Post.
“Nothing could be further from the truth. In more than 25 years in Congress, we have consistently supported diplomacy backed by sanctions, with the objective of ending Iran’s dangerous nuclear plans and curbing its regional aggression.”
They urged President Joe Biden to think beyond the mere restoration of the nuclear deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), which the Obama administration and its European partners, China and Russia, reached with Iran six years ago.
Menendez and Graham suggested a way to achieve a compromise that will find support among the countries of the region, meet Iran’s stated goal for peaceful nuclear power and avoid an arms race in the Middle East.
“We believe that countries that desire a peaceful, responsible nuclear power program to provide electricity and jobs to their people should be able to do so safely,” they noted.
As a concrete step toward this end, they suggested building on a proposal made by various countries in the past that calls for “creating a regional nuclear fuel bank.”
Moreover, they stressed that following the Trump administration’s unilateral withdrawal and Iran’s ensuing escalatory nuclear advancements, the deal itself is “all but broken.”