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Alex Mooney: Agreement with Iran a ‘Bad Deal’

Alex Mooney: Agreement with Iran a ‘Bad Deal’

Iran’s drive for a nuclear weapon is a grave threat to the stability and security of the United States. As the son of an immigrant from Communist Cuba, I know how important it is to stand firm against despots around the world.

When I travel around my district and meet with constituents, I often hear concerns about Iran. My constituents are upset that the Obama Administration is appeasing a country that has a track record of sponsoring terrorist activity around the world and is responsible for the deaths of American troops.

A deal between the United States, our allies and Iran was announced on July 14 and passed by the United Nations Security Council on July 20. The Administration agrees that a nuclear-armed Iran would cast a dark cloud of uncertainty over the security of our country and threaten global stability, and yet the deal that they reached enables Iran to develop a nuclear weapon.

Although Obama repeatedly stated that “No deal is better than a bad deal,” the deal that China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom, the United States and Germany signed with Iran constitutes a very Bad Deal.

Iran has a long history of cheating on inspections. Congress was told repeatedly that a final deal would include “anytime, anywhere” inspections, which is absolutely critical for ensuring the integrity of any deal and verifying that Iran is not cheating. With this deal inspectors do not have immediate access to suspicious sites and must provide 24 days of advance notice before they inspect, giving the Iranians ample time to conceal their cheating.

A good deal would not have lifted any of the current sanctions on Iran until the international community could verify that Iran is holding up its end of the agreement. Congressional sanctions were a key factor in bringing Iran to the negotiating table in the first place.

Under the current Bad Deal, Iran will receive almost total sanction relief within six months of this deal going into effect. The United States will lose its most important point of leverage and will provide Iran with billions of dollars that it will use to sponsor terrorism around the world.

Iran must come clean on all of its past efforts to build a nuclear weapon. Any sound foreign policy strategy with Iran must be informed by a proper understanding of Iran’s past nuclear activities. Under this deal, the Iranians are supposed to reveal the history of their nuclear program. Because there is no explicit penalty if the Iranians decide not to, it is foolhardy to believe that they will.

Iran must dismantle its nuclear infrastructure so that it has neither a uranium nor a plutonium pathway to nuclear weapons. This includes the willing forfeiture of current stockpiles and equipment. Iran may claim that they are willing to end their nuclear program, but allowing them to keep a portion of their installed centrifuges and store the rest, as this deal does, leaves room for Iran to cheat on this deal and continue their quest for a nuclear weapon.

The deal also lifts a 2010 United Nations Security Council resolution that currently imposes an arms embargo on Iran covering items such as artillery, tanks and ballistic missiles. These are weapons that could harm not only those in the region, but could have devastating effects across the world.

Finally, a good agreement must prevent Iran from ever becoming a nuclear weapons state, not just for the next 10 to 15 years.

The United States sits today on the precipice of history. A nuclear-armed Iran represents an existential threat to the wellbeing of our country and our allies around the world.

Israel and Arab governments like Saudi Arabia are resolute in their opposition to this deal. I will vote to reject this deal and encourage all my Congressional colleagues to join me in doing so.

This Bad Deal will give Iran billions of dollars to promote terrorism around the world and only motivate Iran to pursue a nuclear weapon in the future. It is incumbent on America to lead on this issue and not depend on actions by the United Nations or other international bodies.

The long term security of the United States requires this courage. The immediate stability of the Middle East demands it.

Rep. Alex Mooney is a Republican representing the state’s second congressional district.