No fewer than five declared candidates have told Al-Monitor over the past few weeks that they would rejoin the deal without preconditions should they win the presidency — as long as Iran continues to live up to its end of the 2015 pact. These include well-known lawmakers such as Sens. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt. and Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., who both voted for the deal in 2015, along with Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., who was elected in 2016.
The trend comes as pro-deal advocacy groups are ramping up their outreach to Democrats ahead of the first primary debate in June. Al-Monitor has learned that National Security Action, a group of former Barack Obama administration officials, has circulated a draft memo to all declared Democratic candidates asking them to rejoin the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or JCPOA.
“While we won’t speak to private conversations, the message we have been sending is clear and simple,” said Ned Price, the group’s policy director. “If Iran remains in compliance, the next administration should rejoin the Iran deal and use principled diplomacy to negotiate a follow-on agreement to keep the Iranian nuclear program in a box for the long term.”