Diplomacy

Democratic Congressman Goes on Record Opposing Iran Nuke Deal

Calling the recently announced Joint Comprehensive Plan for Action (JCPOA) between Iran and the P5+1 powers “historic … for all the wrong reasons,” Rep. Juan Vargas (D – Calif.), who until this year served on the House Foreign Affairs Commitee, wrote that he will vote against the nuclear agreement in an op-ed published Saturday in the San Diego Union-Tribune.

Vargas argued that instead of providing limited sanctions relief and cutting Iran’s “path to a nuclear bomb,” the deal gives Tehran a “rapid payday” of up to $150 billion and “[legitimizes] its path to nuclear-threshold status.” The congressman noted that Iran never explained its past nuclear work to international inspectors and continues defying demands to do so.

Vargas further pointed out that the JCPOA threatens to spark a nuclear arms race in the Middle East by allowing Iran to become a nuclear-threshold state. In addition to failing to stem Iran’s nuclear ambitions, Vargas criticized the deal for failing “to halt Iran’s aggressive imperialism in the Middle East.” He also observed that Hassan Nasrallah, the leader of the terrorist group Hezbollah, praised the deal because it “will also reinforce the position of [Iran’s] allies.”

In summarizing his opposition to the deal, Vargas stated:

Rather than demand Iran’s bad behavior be corrected, this agreement rewards it. In Iran, they’re calling the coming payday a “nuclear feast.” And we know what the main course at that feast will be – terrorism. Iran has spent decades directing and funding terrorism against the United States and our allies.

Supporters of this agreement believe that relieving sanctions and legitimizing this regime will moderate them. That didn’t work with North Korea, and it won’t work with Iran. This strategy is doomed to fail, and this deal is destined to be remembered as a mistake.

For months the administration has told us that “a bad deal is worse than no deal.” Now the message seems to be that it is better to support than oppose this bad deal because it is the best we could get. I disagree. If this deal is approved, it will lock us into bad results that far outweigh its benefits.

Declaring that the vote is “not a partisan issue,” but “an issue of national security,” Vargas urged his Congressional colleagues to oppose the deal.

[Photo: Rep. Juan Vargas / YouTube ]