Saturday, August 29, 2015

Blocking a Bad Iran Deal

During the month of August, I have traveled around the Third District and talked with Nebraskans at mobile offices and community meetings. In addition to frustration over the growth of government, the most common concerns have involved the Obama administration's deal with Iran – and for good reason. The ramifications of this deal will impact not only our country's future but also the stability of our world.

Since the Obama administration announced its Iran deal in July, I have spent significant time studying it and discussing it with national security experts. Many of them share my deep concerns about how much the United States is conceding to Iran and how few accountability measures are included in the agreement. I am opposed to this deal and believe Congress must reject it and allow U.S. negotiators to go back to the table.

Lifting economic sanctions on Iran would allow global financial resources to flow into a country still included on our list of state sponsors of terrorism. Iran already funnels significant resources to terrorist groups such as Hezbollah and Hamas. The billions of dollars in sanctions relief for Iran in this deal would likely come back to the U.S. and our allies not in the form of commerce but with the threat of weapons, which this influx of investment will empower Iran to procure.

Not only does this deal lift the long-held sanctions which have limited Iran's economic growth, but it also lifts arms embargos. The conventional weapons embargo ends in five years under this agreement, and the ballistic missile ban is lifted in eight years. We should be mindful of our closest ally in the region, Israel, whose leaders continue to gravely warn us of the dangers of trusting the Iranian regime and providing easier access to weaponry in the next decade.

Ambassador Susan Rice and Secretary John Kerry have now acknowledged side deals between Iran and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), but the full details are unknown. Recently, the Associated Press reported one of the side deals will allow Iran to use its own inspectors to investigate its Parchin nuclear site. The main agreement already gives Iran the ability to hold off IAEA inspectors for three weeks after an inspection request has been made, but trusting Iran to inspect its own nuclear sites is a new level of recklessness.

President Obama has stated our options are either accepting this deal or going to war, but this rhetoric is irresponsible. Economic sanctions have served as one of the most effective, peaceful methods of suppressing the Iranian regime, but this deal ends those sanctions permanently. When our national security is on the line, reaching no deal is better than advancing a bad deal.

Stopping the Iran deal by voting on the congressional resolution of disapproval, of which I am a cosponsor, will be a top priority on our legislative agenda in September. We must block this bad deal and pursue a stronger agreement which enforces greater accountability measures on Iran and prioritizes the safety of our country and our allies.

About the Author:

Congressman Adrian Smith from Nebraska serves on the Committee on Ways and Means. Congressional Rural Caucus (Chair), Congressional Rural Veterans Caucus (Chair), Modern Agriculture Caucus (Chair), Congressional Pro-Life Caucus, Congressional Sportsmen's Caucus, Congressional Western Caucus and Congressional General Aviation Caucus. Smith has been noted for his consistent voting against tax increases, massive government bailouts, and in his opposition of the affordable healthcare act (aka ObamaCare) which is creating massive uncertainty for our nation's job creators.

Smith, a co-sponsor of the Balanced Budget Amendment and a supporter of a Congressional earmark moratorium, has earned a reputation as a solid conservative through his votes to protect the rights of gun owners, efforts to limit the scope of government, and his strong pro-life voting record.

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