Democratic Party passes resolution calling for US to re-enter Iran nuke deal
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Democratic Party passes resolution calling for US to re-enter Iran nuke deal

‘The United States should return to its obligations under the JCPOA,’ DNC asserts in new document indicating party will reverse Trump’s withdrawal should it come to power in 2020

Eric Cortellessa covers American politics for The Times of Israel.

In this this Nov. 6, 2018, file photo, Tom Perez, Chairman of the Democratic National Committee, introduces Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi of Calif., as he speaks about Democratic wins in the House of Representatives to a crowd of Democratic supporters in Washington.(AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
In this this Nov. 6, 2018, file photo, Tom Perez, Chairman of the Democratic National Committee, introduces Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi of Calif., as he speaks about Democratic wins in the House of Representatives to a crowd of Democratic supporters in Washington.(AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

WASHINGTON, DC — The Democratic National Committee passed a resolution last week calling on the US to re-enter the Iran nuclear deal, a sign that the party’s 2020 presidential candidates will run on returning America to the landmark pact from which US President Donald Trump withdrew.

At the February 16 meeting in Washington, DC, the DNC adopted a motion solidifying the party’s position that US should rejoin the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, as the deal is formally known, according to a text of the resolution obtained by The Times of Israel.

“The United States should return to its obligations under the JCPOA and utilize multilateral and bilateral diplomacy to achieve political solutions to remaining challenges regarding Iran,” the document says.

Trump unilaterally pulled the United States out of the deal last May and renewed sanctions on the Islamic Republic, all with the intention, he said, to negotiate a new deal that would address three of his concerns: ending the sunset clauses that allow certain restrictions on Iran’s nuclear program to expire; banning Iran’s capacity to test ballistic missiles; and allowing international inspectors full access to Iran’s military sites.

President Donald Trump announcing his decision to leave the Iran nuclear deal in the Diplomatic Reception Room at the White House, May 8, 2018. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

The other parties to the deal — England, France, Germany, Russia, China and Iran — have all maintained the agreement in spite of the United States walking out.

The agreement, forged under former US president Barack Obama, was struck in July 2015 and implemented in January 2016.

The DNC resolution is an early indication as the 2020 campaign ramps up, that if a Democrat were to win the White House, he or she may bring the United States back into the accord.

Virtually all of the Senate Democrats who have already declared their candidacy — Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, California Senator Kamala Harris, New Jersey Senator Cory Booker, and Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar — opposed Trump’s decision to remove America from the deal.

The DNC resolution says that the Iran deal was working as intended to prevent Tehran from developing a nuclear weapon.

European Union High Representative for Foreign Affairs Federica Mogherini, left, and Iranian Minister of Foreign Affairs Mohammad Javad Zarif, center, take part in a Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) ministerial meeting on the Iran nuclear deal on July 6, 2018 in Vienna, Austria. (AFP/ APA/ Hans Punz)

“The JCPOA has delivered substantial nonproliferation benefits, including Iran slashing its enriched uranium stockpile by 97% to less than 300 kilograms and the IAEA instituting the world’s strongest nuclear verification regime in Iran,” the text says. 

It also quoted several world leaders — from French President Francois Macron  to EU Representative Federica Mogherini to Trump’s former secretary of state Jim Mattis — explaining the deal’s virtues.

The Iran deal “remains the best means of preventing Iran from developing a nuclear weapon,” British Prime Minister Theresa May is quoted saying.

“The JCPOA is a key nonproliferation achievement that guards against Iran developing nuclear weapons and is of central importance to American security,” the resolution states. “Returning to the JCPOA will restore America’s commitment to an agreement made with allies and prevent a renewed nuclear crisis in the Middle East.”

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