Bob Goodlatte: No to a nuclear Iran

goodlattefourinOur Founding Fathers included in the preamble of the United States Constitution the intention of our government to provide for the common defense. Protecting and defending our nation was not an afterthought, it was a first thought. The defense of America and our allies has always been a strategic and moral goal. While the Iran Nuclear Agreement primarily meets Iran’s goals – sanctions are lifted, nuclear research and development continues, and America’s safety is compromised – it does not pass muster for the United States. Under this deal, in a matter of years, Iran will likely have access to nuclear weapons.

I cannot in good conscience support any agreement that does not truly and transparently shut down Iran’s pathway to a bomb. That’s why I cast my vote in the House of Representatives against the Iran deal and a nuclear Iran.

President Obama has said that this agreement is not based on trust, but on verification. I wish that was true because it should not be based on trust. I certainly do not trust a government that has acted as a bank for terrorists. Any agreement should be based on verification – but where is the simple assurance of anytime-anywhere inspections? Amazingly, among the deal’s many flaws is an end to a ban prohibiting Iranians from coming to the U.S. to study nuclear science and nuclear engineering at American universities, knowledge that is instrumental in being able to design and build nuclear bombs.

I am also concerned that we have not seen the text of reported “side deals” between the International Atomic Energy Agency and Iran. The Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act signed into law earlier this year requires the President to submit the text of the Iran deal to Congress, including “side agreements” that were “entered into or made between Iran and any other parties.” Because of this, I also voted in support of a resolution stating that President Obama failed to transmit these side deals to Congress, and therefore, the period for congressional review of the deal has not begun. Additionally, the House passed, with my support, a bill that would suspend President Obama’s authority to lift sanctions on Iran’s nuclear program.

While the Administration may think that this deal is better than no deal, Thomas Jefferson once said, “Delay is preferable to error.” I agree with Jefferson. Had our negotiators remained at the table awhile longer, perhaps we would not be where we are today. Yet, as it stands, this so-called deal, if it goes through, will likely mark the pages of history as a great error.

Bob Goodlatte represents the Sixth District of Virginia in Congress.

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