Let me be clear, I will never support any deal that leads to the likelihood of nuclear weapons for Iran – ever.
For more than 30 years, the United States of America has recognized Iran as an active state sponsor of terrorism.
I vividly remember watching news reports of Iranians storming the American Embassy and taking Americans hostage. For 444 days, our American men and women were held captive.
As the leading state sponsor of terrorism, Iran has for decades helped train and finance several terrorist groups in the Middle East for decades, such as Hamas and Lebanese Hizballah, to carry out attacks against Americans and our allies.
More recently, U.S. officials uncovered a plot to kill Americans in Azerbaijan. Officials discovered that the plot was to kill U.S. Embassy officials or members of their families by sniper rifles equipped with silencers and a car bomb. According to the Washington Post, “Both strands could be traced back to the same place, the officials were told: Azerbaijan’s southern neighbor, Iran.”
The Iranian government, simply, cannot be trusted.
Additionally, I find it deeply concerning that President Obama’s Administration caved on many of their original goals by accepting this Iran deal.
Instead of “anytime, anywhere” inspections, the Iranians can delay an inspection of an undeclared, but suspected site, from anywhere between 24 days to 3 months – which is insane – allowing enough time for Iran to remove any and all undeclared activities.
Second, it does not dismantle Iran’s nuclear arms program as repeatedly promised by the Administration. Rather, the deal freezes some work and allows other research to continue. It recklessly kicks the nuclear can down the street. In ten short years, anything goes.
Third, instead of keeping the sanctions on Iran, which have proven successful, until they wind down their enrichment program, Iran will almost immediately receive $100 billion in assets. Also, in 5 short years, Iran will be allowed to buy and sell weapons and in 8 years Iran’s ballistic missile sanction will be lifted. The only reason you need a ballistic missile capability is to attack long range targets.
After lifting these sanctions, Iran will be welcomed back into the world economy and allowed to sell its oil, trade with other countries, and use the global banking network to transact business. This, along with the $100 billion infusion, will revive its crumbling economy and generate the tax revenues needed to build nuclear arms.
Furthermore, as I have been meeting and speaking with Mainers throughout our Great State, they expressed the strong desire to see any and all side deals that coincide with this proposed Iran Nuclear Agreement. Recently, the Associated Press released a transcript of an agreement between Iran and the International Atomic Energy Agency detailing that Iran will be allowed to police their own nuclear sites.
Iran has proven they cannot be trusted and under no circumstances should they be allowed to police their own nuclear sites. Also, I find it completely unacceptable that Members of Congress are learning these key side agreement details through the press instead of from President Obama’s Administration.
For these reasons, and many more, I proudly voted against this dangerously shortsighted Iran Nuclear Agreement.
The President claims that our only choice is to approve this bad deal or go to war. This is simply not true.
The best way to protect our homeland and our citizens is to continue the tough economic sanctions and weapons embargo on Iran. For those countries wanting to normalize relations with this dark regime, force them to choose between doing business with the United States or with Iran. That reality check will hold together plenty of economic and diplomatic leverage until we negotiate a better deal that works for all peace-loving nations, not just an aggressive Iran.
As Maine’s 2nd District Representative, I will continue to represent the values of my district by opposing a nuclear Iran standing strong with Israel, one of our most trusted allies. Moreover, I will encourage my House and Senate colleagues to vote against this dangerous Iran Deal.