Robert Hurt: Fighting against the Iran nuclear agreement

Robert_HurtFor many weeks now, the House and the Senate have been carefully reviewing the nuclear agreement the Obama Administration and the nations of China, France, Germany, Russia, and the United Kingdom reached with Iran in July.  On our Main Street Tour, I heard from many Fifth District Virginians who are sincerely concerned about this agreement, and I share these concerns.

Iran has never given the impression that they would act in good faith and follow the terms of any deal that did not essentially give them complete control over their own nuclear program.  Iranian leaders clearly remain focused on expanding their nuclear capabilities and are only willing to do the bare minimum to reduce the stringent international economic sanctions that have crippled their economy. While many of us share the desire to prevent a nuclear Iran, Iran does not have the same interest, and making a deal just for the sake of doing so is not worth putting the safety and security of our allies and our own country at risk.  No deal is better than a dangerous deal.

After closely reviewing the Iran Nuclear Agreement and attending classified briefings with Secretary Kerry and other Administration officials on the subject last month, my concerns about the Iran Nuclear Agreement have only escalated.  I am further concerned by the Administration’s recent admission of these so-called “side deals” involving Iran, of which Congress has no oversight.

Initially, the Obama Administration advocated for “anywhere, anytime” inspections, but it has since abandoned that position and is prepared to permit Iran to conduct its own inspections of many of its facilities.  Reports indicate that international inspectors will take up to 24 days to begin investigating suspicious sites.  Just last week, Secretary of State John Kerry said that he was “satisfied” with the inspection process.  However, members of Congress are not permitted to know the details of the inspection process, as that is left up to the International Atomic Energy Agency.

Given Iran’s nuclear ambitions and history, I certainly do not share the same confidence evident within the Obama Administration – rather, I believe this is a dangerous deal for our nation, our allies, and the world.  This nuclear agreement allows the Iranian regime to maintain much of its current nuclear infrastructure; to continue to advance its nuclear ambitions; and to facilitate its ability to promote terror across the world.  All of this without the adequate oversight we have worked so hard to implement for decades now.

Because of the grave consequences of this nuclear agreement, I have joined as a cosponsor of Congressman Roskam’s Disapproval Resolution.  This week, the House will vote on this critical national security issue, pursuant to the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act. Though reports indicate there may not be support in the Senate to override a veto, we must have a full and open debate, and it is my hope that all members of Congress will keep an open mind as new facts, like the existence of “side deals” emerge.

I remain committed to working with my colleagues to enhance the necessary sanctions against the Iranian regime and to do everything within our power to prevent Iran from building or acquiring a nuclear bomb.

If you need any additional information or if we may be of assistance to you, please visit my website at hurt.house.gov or call my Washington office: (202) 225-4711, Charlottesville office: (434) 973-9631, Danville office: (434) 791-2596, or Farmville office: (434) 395-0120.

Robert Hurt represents the Fifth District of Virginia in Congress.

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