Diplomacy

Sixth Democrat on House Foreign Affairs Committee Announces Opposition to Iran Nuclear Deal

A sixth Democrat on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Rep. Brendan Boyle (D – Pa.) from the Philadelphia area, announced his opposition to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) in an op-ed published Sunday in the Philadelphia Inquirer.

Citing his experience as a member of the committee and its Middle East subcommittee, Boyle expressed three main concerns that led him to oppose the nuclear agreement with Iran.

First, this agreement will inject at least $56 billion into the Iranian regime. This is a massive sum for a country with a gross domestic product of $400 billion. …

Second, the agreement fails to include “anytime, anyplace” inspections. In fact, it gives Iran up to 24 days’ notice before inspections. The administration is correct when it points out that 24 days is not enough time for Iran to cover up a full-blown nuclear program. However, as a former top official at the International Atomic Energy Agency recently confirmed, 24 days is enough time for Iran to hide most weaponization activity. During a congressional hearing, I asked Secretary of State John Kerry and Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz to dispute this fact. They did not.

Third, the agreement fails to prevent Iran from becoming a nuclear power. It merely delays it. After 15 years, Iran will officially be free to develop not just one bomb, but an entire nuclear arsenal. The whole point of these protracted negotiations was to compel Iran to agree to give up its pursuit of a nuclear bomb. Our side settled for a temporary freeze.

The weaknesses of the deal’s inspections regime and the temporary nature of its restrictions on Iran’s nuclear program were similarly emphasized in an analysis published in The New York Times over the weekend.

Boyle also pushed back against two assertions made by proponents of the deal, arguing that the “imperfect status quo” was preferable to allowing Hamas and Hezbollah get their hands on billions of unfrozen Iranian assets and permitting Iran to become a full-fledged nuclear state in fifteen years. He further noted that the billions Iran will receive in sanctions relief will likely translate into more arms transfers to Tehran’s terrorist proxies, increasing the likelihood and severity of a future war.

Boyle joins Ranking Member Rep. Eliot Engel (D – N.Y.), Rep. Brad Sherman (D – Calif.), Rep. Ted Deutch (D – Fla.), Rep. Albio Sires (D – N.J.) and Rep. Grace Meng (D – N.Y.) as the sixth Democrat on the House Foreign Affairs Committee to oppose the JCPOA.

Like Rep. Donald Norcross (D – N.J.), a Democratic member of the House Armed Services Committee who declared his intention to vote against the JCPOA last week, Boyle visited Israel before making his announcement.

In a March op-ed co-authored with Rep. Ryan Costello (R – Pa.), Boyle asserted, “Should Iran’s intent of a nuclear weapon come to fruition, this will not only further destabilize the Middle East, but it will also pose an immediate threat to the very existence of our staunch and constant ally in the region, Israel.”

[Photo: Brendan Boyle / YouTube ]