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September 10, 2015
Press Release

“Mr. Speaker, I rise today in strong support of the historic nuclear agreement reached by the United States and our negotiating partners with Iran.

“For the sake of our national security and that of our allies, we must seize this opportunity. This agreement goes far beyond any negotiated nuclear deal in history. It will reduce Iran’s stockpiled uranium by more than ninety-eight percent; it will permanently prevent the plutonium pathway to a nuclear weapon at Arak; it will disable and mothball two-thirds of Iran’s enrichment centrifuges, including more advanced models; it will terminate all enrichment at Fordow; and it will provide for intrusive inspections of nuclear sites in perpetuity. This is an unprecedented degrading—not just a freezing, but a substantial degrading—of Iran’s nuclear program. No military strike or strikes could achieve as much.

“I challenge any of the agreement’s detractors to present a viable alternative that achieves this same result and will verifiably prevent a nuclear-armed Iran for the foreseeable future. They won’t -- and they haven’t -- because they can’t. There simply isn’t a viable diplomatic or military alternative for preventing an Iranian nuclear weapon.

“The notion that we could somehow unilaterally reject the agreement and still compel the P5+1 to resume negotiations is pure fantasy. Our international partners have made clear that reinstating the effective sanctions regime that brought Iran to the negotiating table would be impossible. For Congress to scuttle the deal would also destroy our credibility as a negotiating party and likely set Iran back on the path to developing a weapon.

“The stakes couldn’t be higher. The nuclear issue should transcend political opportunism and partisan rancor. We should be working together across party lines to ensure the swift and effective implementation of the JCPOA. We should be exploring ways that we can enhance cooperative efforts with Israel and the international community to address Iran’s support for Hezbollah and its gross abuse of human rights, as well as other critical challenges in the region. 

“Today we can start down that path by supporting the agreement, and I urge my colleagues to vote YES on the resolution of approval.”