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Two more Brooklyn Democrats sign onto U.S.-Iran deal

September 3, 2015 By Paula Katinas Brooklyn Daily Eagle
U.S. Rep. Nydia Velázquez says Congress should vote in favor of the agreement because “inaction at this stage is simply unacceptable.” Photo courtesy of Congresswoman Velazquez’s Office

As members of Congress prepare to return to work in Washington D.C. next week now that the summer recess has ended, the debate over the Obama administration’s controversial nuclear agreement with Iran is sure to heat up. This week, two more House members from Brooklyn announced their support for the deal.

U.S. Reps. Nydia M. Velázquez and Yvette D. Clarke both issued statements of support for the deal, formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or JCPOA. The U.S. and its allies, the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Russia and China, reached the agreement with the Republic of Iran in July.

Velázquez (D-Brooklyn-Manhattan) even went so far as to say that “inaction at this stage is simply unacceptable.”

Velázquez said that her primary concern while analyzing the agreement was ensuring that the U.S. and its allies stop Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon. “An Iran with a nuclear bomb would present an existential threat to Israel, be a destabilizing game changer for the entire region and directly threaten and undermine U.S. security interests. After careful reflection, I have concluded that the JCPOA is our best option for preventing Iran from acquiring the materials needed to develop a nuclear bomb,” she said in a statement. 

“If Congress were to reject the JCPOA, there is a high probability that our partners in developing this agreement would resume doing business with Iran, freeing up financial resources that Iran was previously denied due to sanctions aimed at thwarting its nuclear program. It is also possible that Iran might simply choose to walk away from the agreement altogether and continue developing weapons-grade plutonium and uranium, thereby prompting American military intervention,” she stated.

Military intervention would be extremely problematic and should be avoided, according to Velázquez. “A U.S. strike on Iran would be costly, causing significant loss of American life, likely lead to attacks and loss of life in Israel, yet would only postpone Iran’s nuclear weapons development by a few years,” she said.

Congresswoman Clarke (D-Central Brooklyn) came out in support of the JCPOA on Monday.

“After several weeks of briefings, analysis, consultation, and conversation, I have come to the conclusion that the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action is the most effective means by which the United States and her allies can achieve the goal of preventing the Iranian regime from obtaining nuclear weaponry. It will set new rules of engagement regarding nuclear capabilities with one of the world’s most hostile and menacing regimes,” Clarke stated.

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Clarke also had a stern warning for opponents of the deal. “Iran is on the verge of creating a nuclear bomb, right now,” she said, adding that the agreement “provides a pathway that holds great potential to forever change this reality.”

As for the possibility of Iran cheating, Clarke said that the agreement leaves in place all options for the U.S. “Finally, with ‘all options remaining on the table,’ I feel confident in our ability to respond to any recalcitrance on the part of the Iranian regime with regard to the JCPOA,” she said.

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