Women. Power. Peace.

What Women Leaders Are Saying on the Iran Nuclear Negotiations

Statements Updated in November 2014

Senator Dianne Feinstein

Senator Tammy Baldwin

Congresswoman Barbara Lee

Senator Barbara Boxer

Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky

Susan Rice, National Security Advisor


Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright

“I agree the Obama Administration should test the words of this new Iranian government and work to turn them into deeds in order to open a path to a peaceful solution to this long worrisome and growing nuclear concern….While the complete end to Iran’s nuclear program would be the best solution, an accord by which Iran would curb its nuclear ambitions under strict and intrusive inspections program would greatly improve the long-term security of the United States and our closest allies in the Middle East.” -November 20, 2013



 Senator Dianne Feinstein

“Sufficient progress has been made in the negotiations between the P5+1 powers and Iran to justify an extension. I support the decision to continue negotiations as these talks are the only way to peacefully ensure Iran never obtains a nuclear weapon… I urge my colleagues in Washington to be patient, carefully evaluate the progress achieved thus far and provide U.S. negotiators the time and space they need to succeed. A collapse of the talks is counter to U.S. interests and would further destabilize an already-volatile region.” – November 24, 2014





Former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton

“[Imposing new unilateral sanctions] could rob us of the diplomatic high ground we worked so hard to reach, break the united international front we constructed, and in the long run, weaken the pressure on Iran by opening the door for other countries to chart a different course….If the world judges – rightly or wrongly – that negotiations have collapsed because of actions in the United States Congress, even some of our closest partners abroad – to say nothing of countries like Russia and China – may well falter in their commitment.” – January 26, 2014

Undersecretary of State Wendy Sherman

W Sherman“If the talks end at their Nov. 24 deadline without a deal] escalation will be the name of the game, on all sides. That is why I say the stakes are quite high here. The alternatives are quite terrible. Our preference is to achieve this goal by diplomatic means. But make no mistake: Our bottom line is unambiguous, crystal-clear and written in stone: Iran shall not obtain a nuclear weapon.” – October 23, 2014





My Approved Portraits

Senator Tammy Baldwin

“It is in America’s national security interest to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons capabilities.  I continue to believe the diplomatic path—backed by tough international sanctions and a robust compliance regime—is the best option available to achieve that outcome.  The negotiations, which now have been extended, will continue to be governed by an agreement that secures from Iran concessions that amount to the first meaningful limits on its nuclear program in nearly a decade.  Progress was made during this negotiating period, so I believe it’s better for our national security to continue working for an agreement and keeping the pressure on Iran, than to walk away. While I recognize there are complex challenges to reach a long-term solution, I remain hopeful that an agreement can be reached that verifiably prevents Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons capabilities.” -November 24, 2014

Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz

Wasserman Schultz“I commend President Obama, Secretary Kerry, Under Secretary Sherman and their team for the tremendous amount of work they put into these negotiations. This agreement provides a framework to stop the development of a nuclear weapon in Iran while we work to negotiate a broad, comprehensive deal to permanently dismantle their nuclear weapons capability. The transparency requirements in this deal are critical and will allow the P5+1 to closely monitor on a daily basis whether Iran is complying with this agreement, enabling sanctions to be reimposed and additional sanctions quickly levied if they are found in violation. This deal represents successful diplomacy, but Iran must understand, as the President has said, that all options remain on the table to ensure its nuclear program poses no threat to the United States and to our allies." – November 25, 2013


House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi

“This announcement marks a necessary bridge to further negotiations on a lasting, long-term, and comprehensive agreement. Through diplomacy, engagement, and unity among our allies, we must continue acting to end Iran’s nuclear weapons program once and for all.” -November 24, 2013




 National Security Council Spokeswoman Bernadette Meehan

B Meehan“If certain members of Congress want the United States to take military action, they should be up front with the American public and say so. Otherwise, it’s not clear why any member of Congress would support a bill that possibly closes the door on diplomacy and makes it more likely that the United States will have to choose between military options or allowing Iran’s nuclear program to proceed." – January 9, 2014

Senator Amy Klobuchar

A Klobuchar“I believe this agreement is a positive step forward, and I strongly support diplomatic efforts to achieve a comprehensive agreement that addresses all outstanding issues surrounding Iran’s nuclear program. Iran must show that it can live up to its international obligations and abide by the deal it made with the United States and our partners.” – July 20, 2014





Barbara LeeCongresswoman Barbara Lee

“The current framework agreement with Iran is actively reducing Iran’s nuclear program, delaying ‘break out’ capacity, and providing inspections and verification to prevent the advancement of their nuclear program.

This extension continues important restrictions and safeguards on Iran’s nuclear program while moving us toward a long-term deal that will support our national security and global peace. This extension creates the diplomatic space for that deal to be achieved.

As we work towards a final deal to prevent Iran from developing a nuclear weapon, we cannot allow critics in Congress to undermine diplomatic negotiations with new sanctions that would violate the first-step framework agreement that is currently restricting Iran’s nuclear program.” -November 24, 2014

 Senator Patty Murray

P Murray“Please know that I share your concerns about the Iranian government’s nuclear program. Like you, I am troubled by Iran’s nuclear enrichment program and their desire to enrich nuclear materials above levels required for energy production. That is why I was pleased to see Iran take measurable steps toward addressing the international community’s concerns by signing the Joint Plan of Action last fall…While I still remain concerned about Iran’s nuclear program, I believe this agreement could be an important step in our efforts to reach a diplomatic solution to this complicated issue…I believe the Administration should be given time to negotiate a strong verifiable comprehensive agreement.” – January 22, 2014



Senator Barbara Boxer

“I support this extension because it maintains a strong sanctions regime, keeps Iran’s program frozen in place and subject to rigorous inspections, and continues talks toward a peaceful end to Iran’s pursuit of nuclear weapons, which is in the best interests of America and the world.”  -November 24, 2014



E WarrenSenator Elizabeth Warren

“This dual track policy that we are on now, imposing tough sanctions on Iran while engaging them diplomatically -- I think reflects this commitment, and that approach has clearly brought Iran to the negotiating table, produced an interim deal. That is a promising first step to achieving our goals in the region.” – December 12, 2013




Congresswoman Betty McCollum

“With on-going sanctions in place, improved verification, and real accountability demanded from the Iran regime, this initial deal is a triumph for engagement and tough diplomacy.” – November 25, 2013



Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky

“We have seen meaningful progress since the Joint Plan of Action was agreed to in November 2013. Under this plan, Iran has down blended and stopped production of 20% enriched uranium, halted work on its Arak hard water facility, and allowed daily inspections of its enrichment facilities. None of these achievements would be in place without the Joint Plan of Action, and we shouldn’t abandon this progress today.” -November 24, 2014


K BassCongresswoman Karen Bass

“…we were told about the agreement, and I think it's an important step forward... This is the first step toward a broader comprehensive deal that is going to be negotiated over the next 6 months. So, I think, I am in favor of peace, I want them to not have the nuclear capacity, and I think this is an important step forward.” – November 25, 2013




S Bonamici Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici

“I absolutely support the president's diplomatic approach including targeted sanctions rather than military action.” – June 3, 2014






C AshtonEU High Representative Catherine Ashton

"Of course we consistently say it is important that we refrain from actions that could delay the process. And as you already know, the E3 +3 have made a commitment to refrain from additional sanctions for the implementation period. It is a very sensitive diplomatic process. I will personally remain very committed on a daily basis, as it is the path to a peaceful and swift resolution of the concerns of the international community on the Iranian nuclear programme.” – December 16, 2013




National Security Advisor Susan Rice

“[If there are additional sanctions on Iran] the P5+1 would fracture, the international community would blame the United States rather than Iran for the collapse of the negotiations, and the Iranians would conclude that there’s little point in pursuing this process at the negotiating table.” -December 2, 2014

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