Bensonhurst

Nadler endorses Iran nuclear deal after Obama letter

August 24, 2015 By Paula Katinas Brooklyn Daily Eagle
U.S. Rep. Jerrold Nadler announced his support for the Obama Administration’s nuclear deal with Iran two days after receiving a letter from the President in which he vowed to remain a steadfast supporter of Israel. Photo courtesy of Nadler’s office

A personal letter from President Barack Obama to U.S. Rep. Jerrold Nadler outlining the reasons for the Administration’s nuclear deal with Iran might have been the final piece of the puzzle that helped persuade the influential House member to sign onto the controversial agreement.

Nadler (D-Upper West Side-Bensonhurst-Bay Ridge) announced his support for the Iran deal on Aug. 21, just two days after receiving a four-page letter from the President in which Obama sought to allay the congressman’s deep concerns over the agreement.

Nadler, who has served in congress since 1992, is considered a strong supporter of Israel. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is already on record as being vehemently opposed to the deal.

The agreement that Secretary of State John Kerry reached with Iranian leaders is formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

In his statement announcing his support, Nadler did not mention Obama’s Aug. 19 letter.

But in another statement issued on Aug. 21 just prior to his announcement, Nadler he was gratified that the president had reached out to him.

“Most troubling to me were questions about our ability to permanently stop Iran from developing a nuclear bomb, and our commitment to strengthening the U.S. strategic relationship with Israel, as well as Iran’s continued destabilizing influence through support of terrorism and other actions that threaten Israel’s security and the security of our other Middle East allies. A number of us raised these concerns with the Administration, and directly with the President, in the hope that certain assurances could be made, and I am gratified that the President’s response satisfies a number of these concerns,” Nadler said.

Both the House and the Senate are poised to vote on whether to endorse or reject the Iran deal when lawmakers go back into session after the August recess.

“I believe that the JCPOA, which cuts off every pathway Iran could have to a nuclear weapon and creates the most robust verification regime ever negotiated to monitor a nuclear program, is a very good deal for the United States, for the State of Israel, and for the region as a whole,” Obama wrote in his letter to Nadler. “The JCPOA, moreover, does not remove any of our options when it comes to preventing Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon. As I have repeatedly stated, my Administration will take whatever means are necessary to achieve that goal, including military means.”

The President also assured Nadler about his support for Israel.

“Throughout my time in office, I have consistently viewed Israel’s security as sacrosanct,” he wrote.

Nadler said that he reached his decision after carefully studying the agreement and the arguments and analyses from all sides and concluded that, “of all the alternatives, approval of the JCPOA, for all its flaws, gives us the best chance of stopping Iran from developing a nuclear weapon.”

Nadler’s stand puts him at odds with U.S. Senator Charles Schumer (D-New York), who announced on Aug. 6 that he would vote against the Iran deal.

In a statement on his senate website, Schumer said that many aspects of the agreement troubled him, including the fact that the U.S. will not be able to demand inspection unilaterally. Instead, inspections would have to be agreed upon by all of the countries signing onto the deal.

“It is reasonable to fear that, once the Europeans become entangled in lucrative economic relations with Iran, they may well be inclined not to rock the boat by voting to allow inspections,” Schumer said.

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