Okla. Senator Lankford Leads Effort To Deter Iran's Nuclear Program

Oklahoma Senator James Lankford is helping lead a bipartisan push in Congress to keep Iran, which he cites as one of the leading sponsors of terrorism in the world, from being able to advance its nuclear program any more than it already has.

Wednesday, June 28th 2023, 5:25 pm



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Oklahoma Senator James Lankford is helping lead a bipartisan push in Congress to keep Iran, which he cites as one of the leading sponsors of terrorism in the world, from being able to advance its nuclear program any more than it already has.

Since the United States withdrew from the Iran nuclear deal and reimposed sanctions on Iran at the direction of then-President Donald Trump in 2018, Iran has stepped up its nuclear program. In fact, a report of the International Atomic Energy Agency in February stated that Iran had the capacity to make enough weapons-grade uranium for a nuclear bomb in as little as 12 days.

"Iran, with a nuclear weapon is a very different threat than what they are even now," said Sen. Lankford (R-OK) in an interview last week.

Lankford said Iran is a "destabilizing force" in the Middle East and around the world, oppressing its own citizens, funding terror groups and supplying Russia with attack drones for use in Ukraine. He said it's critical push back on the ruling regime and still protect the Iranian people.

"The Iranian people are not our problem," said Lankford, "the Iranian people have the same problem we have: they’re stuck under this regime that is imposing on them all these things."

Lankford and a bipartisan group of Senators traveled to the Middle East earlier this past January to assess the impact of fledgling Abraham Accords, which are an effort to normalize relations between a handful of Arab nations and Israel.

New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) was in the group and now she and Lankford want to encourage the administration to work with our allies to keep Iran's nuclear program in check while offering hope to Iranian citizens.

"My fear is, the more the Biden administration actually engages with this regime," said Lankford, "the more it diminishes what actually happens on the street and [citizens] feel like the Americans are listening to the regime, not to the people of Iran."

In a June 16 letter to President Biden signed by Lankford, Gillibrand and 24 Senate colleagues, they said, "We must make Iran understand, in no uncertain terms, that further advances in its nuclear program will be met with unified international action."

Sen. Lankford said the message he and his colleagues want to send to Iranian leadership is very clear: "We see your terrorism, we see your nuclear ambitions, and we see your oppression of your own people and we can’t allow that."

There was a news report about a week before the Senators sent the letter that claimed U.S. and Iranian negotiators were nearing the announcement of an interim nuclear agreement, but both sides said the report was false.

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