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First Gov  

July 19, 1999

H.R. 1477 - Iran Nuclear Proliferation Prevention Act of 1999
(Menendez (D) NJ and 44 cosponsors)

The Administration opposes H.R. 1477, which would require the United States to withhold a portion of the U.S. contribution to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) relating to IAEA activities in Iran unless the Secretary of State invokes a waiver authority and certifies that certain conditions are met. The bill will harm U.S. efforts to halt the Iranian nuclear weapons program, will not contribute to ending the Bushehr nuclear reactor project in Iran, and could adversely affect the work of IAEA, an important nonproliferation verification mechanism. In addition, H.R. 1477 includes a provision directing how the U.S. representative to the IAEA should vote on certain matters, which raises concerns regarding the President's constitutional authority to conduct foreign affairs.

The IAEA does not provide support for construction of nuclear power plants in Iran or elsewhere. It does monitor 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.