MNA – United States Senator John McCain, while noting that the Congress will continue to press Iran, avoided any clarification on US double standards towards Islamic Republic.
Chairman of Committee on Armed Services at the United States Senate John McCain is one of the most influential figures in the US military and political power structure. It is not an exaggeration to describe him as one of the most powerful people in the political structure of America. Currently, Washington’s policy on Afghanistan, Iran, Russia, etc. is influenced by McCain’s views. His influence on the Pentagon is also evident.
His doctrine in Afghanistan is currently underway, and his opposition and hostility to Russia has prevented Donald Tramp from improving relations with Moscow. In the case of Iran, the policy of regime change is followed by politicians like McCain who are accompanied by figures like Secretary Rex W. Tillerson.
In his latest exclusive interview with Mehr News International Service, Senator McCain expressed his viewpoints on the future of Iran’s deal with the 5+1 group of countries also dubbed as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). It is worth noting that McCain and his co-sponsors are serious opponents of the deal who can now act more freely in the light of presidency of Donald Trump.
What alternative will be introduced to the JCPOA in case Trump breaks the international deal?
After extensive negotiation talks to limit Iran’s nuclear capabilities in return for lifting sanctions, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) was finally reached with Iran in July 2015. The agreement set out to reduce the number of Iranian centrifuges, placed bans on enrichment at key facilities, and limited uranium research and development.
In July 2017, the Trump Administration certified that Iran was in compliance with the JCPOA and announced that it would continue to abide by the agreement. However, at the same time, the administration penalized Iran for its recent missile launches and the Treasury Department imposed new sanctions on six Iranian firms connected with their ballistic missile program.
For its part, the Senate passed the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act, which strengthens and expands sanctions not only on Iran, but also Russia and North Korea. I was a proud cosponsor of this bill and I believe it is important to hold Iran accountable for its actions by imposing new sanctions on Iran’s ballistic missile program, applying terrorism sanctions to the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps, imposing sanctions on Iranians engaged in human rights abuses, and tightening enforcement of arms embargoes on the Iranian regime. It is long past time the United States and the international community hold Iran accountable for its dangerous behavior, and I was pleased to see this bill pass with overwhelming bipartisan support.
Why does America insist on its failed policy of changing the Iranian system?
For almost 40 years, the United States’ policy towards Iran has been simple – contain the Islamic Republic’s threatening actions and malign influence, strengthen Israel and our Arab partners, reduce regional tensions, and prevent the Iranian regime from acquiring nuclear weapons capability in the future.
What further steps do you perceive the US Congress will take against Iran?
I will continue to work with my colleagues in Congress to keep the pressure on the Iranian government to stop its sponsorship of terrorism worldwide, roll back all aspects of its malign activities across the region, and immediately release all American detainees.
Born August 29, 1936, John Sidney McCain III, is an American politician who currently serves as the senior United States Senator from Arizona, in that office since 1987. He was the Republican nominee in the 2008 presidential election, which he lost to Barack Obama.
Interview by: Javad Heirannia