Statement: Win Without War Calls Out Magical Thinking at Iran Hearing, Calls for Restored JCPOA

No War With Iran

WASHINGTON – Win Without War Government Relations Director Eric Eikenberry released the following statement in response to the May 25 Senate Foreign Relations Hearing on the Iran nuclear deal:

“Today, opponents of restoring the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), or Iran nuclear deal, attempted to undermine diplomacy and whiffed, badly. As they have for years, deal opponents either lied or laid out their magical thinking for how, if only the United States continued the utterly failed ‘maximum pressure’ policies of the previous administration, the government of Iran would concede on every U.S. demand.

“Despite these efforts – and despite attempts to corner U.S. Special Envoy for Iran Robert Malley into making statements that could undermine negotiations’ short-term prospects – deal opponents could not shake that restoring the JCPOA is in the fundamental interests of the United States, Iran, and the world. Restoring the JCPOA prevents the Iranian government from developing a nuclear weapon, provides much needed sanctions relief to people in Iran, and prevents a likely nuclear proliferation crisis among Iran’s neighboring countries.

“Thankfully, longtime Senate champions asked questions or made statements reinforcing the distinction between needed diplomacy and deal opponents’ muddled ‘strategy,’ which all but guarantees an escalation towards direct conflict.

“Regrettably, the panel perspectives they had to work with were limited. Under Chairman Menendez and Ranking Member Risch’s leadership, committee witnesses included only one administration official to offer a defense of a complex diplomatic portfolio, an ‘expert’ panel dominated by deal skeptics, and no women or non-binary witnesses, despite the leading role that women play in shaping U.S. policy towards Iran as officials, independent experts, and outside advocates. Also missing was any discussion of the devastating impact that U.S. sanctions have on communities in Iran which, despite having little say in their government’s foreign policy, bear extraordinary costs in sanctions-driven food insecurity and diminished access to healthcare.

“Today’s hearing was a weak attempt at political theater from inflexible opponents of diplomacy. And this theater will continue until President Biden heeds the advice of experts in and out of his administration: expedite U.S. reentry into the JCPOA and make the case for its necessity directly to Congress. Otherwise, at the next hearing, administration officials may be forced to navigate a far more dangerous environment: loud calls for a disastrous war with Iran.”


Win Without War is a diverse network of activists and national organizations working for progressive foreign policy in the United States.