U.S. Rep. Albio Sires (D-8) says he is not convinced that the proposed $150 billion agreement between Iran and the United States, aimed to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon, is “in the best interest of our national security.”
By John Heinis/Hudson County View
“I am opposed to the current proposed nuclear agreement with Iran, I do not feel the agreement will prevent them from acquiring a nuclear weapon,” Sires said in a statement on Friday.
“Iran has spent decades evading international sanctions, promoting terror in the region, and violently oppressing its own people. I am concerned that if the proposed agreement is made official, hardliners within the Iranian regime may hinder its implementation.”
“Most importantly, the time frame of the deal is too short and it is unclear what will happen to Iran’s nuclear program after the initial pressure to comply dissipates and Iran is allowed to enhance its nuclear and weapons capabilities.
Sires added that he plans on meeting with “constituents, experts and our allies in the region” on the issue, but for the time being, exclaimed: “I am not convinced that this is in the best interest of our national security.”
The potential $150 billion deal 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.
At a meeting of the House of Foreign Affairs Committee on Wednesday, Sires questioned U.S. Secretary of the Treasury Jack Lew about the terroristic implications of the deal.
“Secretary, you said there’s only $56 billion for them to really … accessible … but really, they do not need a lot of money for some of these [terrorist] groups – to start them up again,” Sires said.
“They don’t need billions, they can’t absorb billions, some of these groups. So there’s enough money there to start a lot of problems.
Lew argued that it isn’t that simple:
“And the problem is, even with all the sanctions in place, they’re finding the relatively small sums of money that it takes to do terrible acts of regional destabilization in support of terrorism. So, they’re doing that now with the sanctions in place.”
Pivotal Congressional votes on the Iran deal are expected to take place no later than September 17.
Additionally, U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ) has been vocal about the deal, stating that he has no plans on relenting:
“I’m focused on stopping Iran from [developing] a nuclear weapon,” he told Politico last month.