Barletta to Vote “No” on Iran Nuclear Deal
WASHINGTON – Congressman Lou Barletta, PA-11, today announced that he cannot support the Obama Administration’s agreement with Iran and other foreign nations regarding Iran’s nuclear programs. Before coming to his conclusion, Barletta examined the agreement and was briefed directly by Secretary of State John Kerry and Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz. Barletta has serious concerns about American access to nuclear facilities in Iran, the timeliness of the inspections, and the lifting of economic sanctions.
Barletta’s statement is as follows:
“I am gravely concerned about this deal and am extremely skeptical about the wisdom of it. During the negotiations, we heard from the State Department that the United States was seeking ‘24/7 access’ to Iran’s nuclear facilities, ‘anywhere, anytime’ – that’s what we were told. Now, after the agreement, the administration disingenuously claims it never wanted that, and never even talked about it. This is untrue.
“Under the plan, Iran itself will ‘manage’ the inspections and control the locations and times of the visits. It could be as long as 24 days before an inspection can take place at any facility – maybe even longer if Iran objects. This is the very definition of a fox guarding the henhouse, and it is easy to imagine what the Iranians will be able to hide, given more than three weeks advance notice of any inspections. Worse, it now appears that there likely won’t be any Americans on the teams going in to look at the nuclear facilities in question.
“To add insult to injury, the Obama Administration submitted the Iranian deal to the United Nations Security Council for a vote prior to the agreement being presented to the American people’s representatives in the U.S. Congress. And now we are hearing of amorphous ‘side deals,’ the details of which are unknown. I find the whole process outrageous and extremely troubling.
“I have examined the entire issue, and with the benefit of a briefing from Secretary Kerry and Secretary Moniz, from where I sit it looks like a very bad, very poorly negotiated, and weakly drafted agreement.
“This would lift sanctions for a period of ten to fifteen years, and then the nuclear restrictions would be lifted – in a mere blink of an eye in terms of world geopolitical history. That means that for at least ten years, the Iranians can rebuild their economy and continue to fund terrorist groups like Hamas, and be in an even better position when the nuclear restrictions go away.
“Let us not forget that Iran is a country that has sworn to wipe Israel off the map – our strongest ally in the region. Let us also not forget that Iran’s leader took to social media following the agreement vowing to emerge victorious in any conflict, and included a graphic with President Obama holding a gun to his own head. Let us finally not forget that Iran is a nation which currently holds at least three Americans hostage as political prisoners.
“Israel is rightly opposed to the pact, since they are directly in the path of the danger. But it is important to note that nothing in the agreement stops Iran’s pursuit of improved Intercontinental Ballistic Missile – or ICBM – technology. That fact should give every American pause. The ‘I’ in ICBM means ‘intercontinental,’ meaning the ability to reach North America.
“It seems incredible what we’re being asked to do. We’re supposed to believe Iran when they say they will obey the rules, but not to take them at face value when they threaten to destroy Israel or when they shout ‘Death to America’ on the streets of their capital city. Simply put, I don’t trust Iran, and I don’t like this deal.
“I remember being a school kid back in the days of the Cold War when the teachers taught us to hide under our desks in case of a nuclear attack from the Soviet Union. I’m afraid we might soon be teaching our own children and grandchildren to do the same thing again, once Iran has the bomb.
“There are those who say that we must either go along with this agreement because the only other alternative is outright war with Iran. This is a false choice and a weak strawman argument. The economic sanctions that have been in place were clearly working, otherwise Iran would never have come to the negotiating table in the first place. We should leave the sanctions in place, and encourage our world allies to stand with us.
“I cannot support the nuclear agreement with Iran, which I fear was rushed into existence with visions of Nobel Peace Prizes dancing in the heads of our negotiators. I plan to vote against it on the floor of the House.”