WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina), Bob Menendez (D-New Jersey) and Richard Blumenthal (D-Connecticut) today introduced the Iranian Enrichment Monitoring Act of 2023.
The bill would require the Director of National Intelligence (DNI) to notify Congress within 48 hours if Iran has produced or possesses any amount of highly enriched uranium greater than 60 percent purity. This new 48-hour notification requirement would greatly decrease the amount of time Iran would have to enrich uranium for a nuclear weapon without Congressional awareness.
“In most cases, knowledge is power. This bipartisan legislation requires Congress be notified within 48 hours if Iran produces or possesses highly enriched uranium, above 60 percent purity,” said Senator Graham. “There is no legitimate civilian purpose for Iran to have uranium enriched to this level – the only reason is for military purposes. This legislation will ensure that Congress is informed in a timely manner of advancements by Iran regarding their desire to build a nuclear weapon. I believe there is tremendous bipartisan support for this idea, and hope it becomes law as soon as possible.”
“Every minute counts when it comes to monitoring the dangerous advancements in Iran’s nuclear program,” said Senator Menendez, Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. “The Iranian regime continues to push the limits with its enrichment, and we must be vigilant to ensure it never gets a nuclear weapon. This act will help ensure Congress is fully equipped with information about the developments of Iran’s nuclear program, and ensure the United States is able to respond to Iran’s provocations.”
“Preventing a nuclear-armed Iran is critical to protecting our national security and the safety of our allies in the region and around the world. Monitoring Iran’s nuclear program and requiring Congress to be notified of significant enrichment activity will ensure our nation is fully aware of their capabilities. With proper safeguards and intelligence, we can be prepared to address the risks and dangers that may arise from Iran’s potential development of a nuclear weapon,” said Senator Blumenthal.
The Iranian Enrichment Monitoring Act of 2023 would:
- Require the DNI to notify Congress no later than 48 hours after determining that Iran has produced or possesses any amount of uranium-235 enriched to greater than 60 percent purity.
- Require subsequent congressional notification if any enrichment of any amount of uranium–235 to a purity percentage that is five percent higher than the purity percentage indicated in the prior notification to Congress occurs or if any enrichment of uranium–235 in a quantity exceeding 10 kilograms occurs.