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First Gov  

July 31, 1998

H.R. 3743 - Iran Nuclear Proliferation Prevention Act of 1998
(Menendez (D) NJ and 42 cosponsors)

The Administration strongly opposes H.R. 3743, which would require the United States to withhold the portion of the U.S. contribution to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) used to fund IAEA activities in Iran. H.R. 3743 would harm U.S. efforts to halt the Iranian nuclear weapons program and would be counterproductive to Administration efforts to stop nuclear projects that might assist a covert Iranian nuclear weapons program. In addition, H.R. 3743 includes a directed vote provision directing how the U.S. representative to the IAEA should vote on certain matters. This provision raises concerns regarding the President's constitutional authority to conduct foreign affairs.

The IAEA monitors commercial nuclear projects to help ensure that these projects do not assist a covert nuclear weapons program. The IAEA's technical cooperation program is designed to ensure that no assistance is provided to potentially sensitive areas. The program does not provide support for construction of nuclear power plants.

H.R. 3743 will not end the Bushehr nuclear reactor project in Iran, but it could affect adversely an important nonproliferation monitoring mechanism.