Sen. Chris Coons released a statement July 18 after the Donald Trump administration re-certified that Iran is complying with the nuclear agreement signed two years ago, formally referred to as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.

Coons spoke at the Middle East Institute about challenges in U.S.-Iran policy.

“Despite its imperfections, the JCPOA has so far achieved its goal of freezing Iran’s nuclear program. The agreement helps us gather valuable intelligence on Iran’s nuclear program, it allows for intrusive inspections, and it sustains limited, useful communications channels with the Iranian government,” Coons said.

“The JCPOA was and is narrowly focused on Iran’s nuclear program, not the regime’s separate, dangerous and destabilizing actions in the region. Last month, I joined 97 of my colleagues to pass a bill to impose non-nuclear sanctions on Iran and Russia, which will impose terrorism-related sanctions on the IRGC, hold Iran’s government accountable for its human rights record and allow for sanctions on supporters of Iran’s ballistic missile activity. The House should pass this bill, and President Trump should sign it immediately.

“As I said at the Middle East Institute last week, the JCPOA buys us time while Iran does not possess a nuclear weapon. Rather than tear up the deal, as some have suggested, the United States should work with our European allies — and countries like China and Russia — to negotiate a successor agreement that will extend and expand upon the current inspections regime.”

Watch video of Coons’ statement at mei.edu/events/challenges-us-iran-policy.