January 13, 2016

House Vote to Kill Iran Deal Puts Politics Above National Interests


Contact: Jamal Abdi
Phone: 202-386-6408
NIAC Action Executive Director Jamal Abdi issued the following statement after the House of Representatives voted to pass H.R. 3662, which would kill the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), the multilateral nuclear accord with Iran. The vote was vacated when over 100 Representatives missed the cutoff. The House is likely to re-vote once it returns from recess on January 26:
“This vote is a political charade intended to distract from the fact that the Iran nuclear deal is actually working. Iran has removed thousands of nuclear centrifuges, it has sent out its enriched uranium stockpile, and it has dismantled the Arak reactor core. Because of that diplomatic achievement, Iran will not get a nuclear weapon and we will not get stuck in a disastrous war.
“The successful implementation of the Iran nuclear agreement should be cause for celebration among Members of Congress who actually prioritized the prevention of an Iranian nuclear weapon as a major national security imperative. Yet now that the nuclear threat has been removed, some lawmakers are acting like it was sanctions relief that was the real threat.
“These sanctions are ones that primarily punished the Iranian people, not its government. Lifting them should be considered a victory for anyone who has claimed to stand with the Iranian people. Hopefully hardliners in both the U.S. and Iran will not succeed in stamping out this moment of promise for the people of both countries.
“Unfortunately, it appears that House Republican leaders are intent on repeating their playbook on Obama Care with the Iran deal, holding countless votes to repeal and undermine it. Lawmakers evaluated the deal when it was completed in September and the supporters of the deal prevailed in the votes that were held then. This re-litigation of that debate is at best a waste of time and at worst damages U.S. interests.

“The fact that the vote was vacated because more than 100 Representatives could not even make it in time underscores the futility of this whole endeavor.

“The recent deconfliction of the naval dispute in the Persian Gulf highlights the promise of direct, high-level diplomatic ties. If some lawmakers had their way, we would return to a collision course with Iran where disputes of this nature were unresolvable and could easily spiral out of control and end in war. The U.S. continues to have many serious issues with Iran, and there is much work to do, but there is now a diplomatic pathway to actually resolve these challenges.” 



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