Congressman Payne: $150B agreement ‘prevents a nuclear-armed Iran’

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U.S. Rep. Donald Payne, Jr. (D-10) has voiced his support for a proposed $150 billion agreement between Iran and the United States, stating that it “prevents a nuclear-armed Iran.”

Donald Payne, Jr.

By John Heinis/Hudson County View

“We all agree that Iran poses a serious threat not just to the United States and its allies, but to the entire world,” Payne said yesterday in a statement.

“This threat would be exponentially greater were Iran to obtain a nuclear weapon. We must never allow that to happen. After careful review and consideration, I will support the nuclear agreement because it prevents a nuclear-armed Iran.”

Payne’s position on the controversial agreement, which seeks to scale back Iran’s nuclear program by implementing inspections and monitoring to their facilities in exchange for lifting legislative sanctions against the country, comes days after his colleague U.S. Rep. Albio Sires (D-8) said he isn’t sold on the deal yet.

While Payne acknowledged that “the deal isn’t perfect,” he feels that “there is no viable alternative.”

“I did not make this decision lightly, nor did I make it based on trusting Iran. It is precisely because we cannot trust Iran that this agreement, based on verification, is necessary,” he added.

“Under the deal, inspectors will have continuous access to Iran’s nuclear facilities and supply chain, ensuring compliance with every component of the agreement. If Iran does try to violate the deal, we will know, and we will be able to quickly reapply sanctions.”

“And, critically important, we keep all options to prevent Iran from getting a nuclear weapon on the table.”

President Barack Obama (D) announced the proposed the international compromise last month (h/t Washington Post), and at the moment, it appears the legislation will be approved by Congress.

However, federal leaders such as U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ) (via Politico) and U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) have both voiced opposition for the Obama administration initiative.

Payne’s full statement on the proposed $150 billion agreement with Iran reads as follows:

“We all agree that Iran poses a serious threat not just to the United States and its allies, but to the entire world. This threat would be exponentially greater were Iran to obtain a nuclear weapon. We must never allow that to happen. After careful review and consideration, I will support the nuclear agreement because it prevents a nuclear-armed Iran.

 

“I did not make this decision lightly, nor did I make it based on trusting Iran. It is precisely because we cannot trust Iran that this agreement, based on verification, is necessary. Under the deal, inspectors will have continuous access to Iran’s nuclear facilities and supply chain, ensuring compliance with every component of the agreement. If Iran does try to violate the deal, we will know, and we will be able to quickly reapply sanctions. And, critically important, we keep all options to prevent Iran from getting a nuclear weapon on the table.

 

“While the deal isn’t perfect, there is no viable alternative. If the deal collapses, Iran would have no limitations on its nuclear ambitions and international sanctions would fall apart. In other words, no deal means Iran remains just months away from being able to produce enough material for a nuclear weapon. No deal enables Iran to pursue a nuclear weapon, the very thing we most want to avoid.

 

“I have consistently supported diplomacy over military action to prevent a nuclear-armed Iran, knowing that without diplomacy, we greatly increase the odds of conflict. This diplomatic agreement, supported by our international partners, achieves our primary objective of keeping a nuclear bomb out of the hands of the Iranians.

 

“This nuclear agreement is a historic opportunity to permanently block a nuclear-armed Iran and bolster our national and global security. I urge my colleagues to join me in supporting this deal.”