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Rep. Gallego’s Statement in Support of Iran Nuclear Agreement

September 9, 2015
Press Release

Washington, DC – Today, Congressman Ruben Gallego released the following statement in support of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action:

“An Iranian nuclear weapon would pose an unacceptable threat to the United States and our allies in the region, including Israel.  Despite its flaws, I have concluded that the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) represents the best—and only—credible means of halting Iran’s nuclear program and preventing the Iranian regime from obtaining a nuclear bomb.  For this reason, and after considerable research and reflection, I will vote in support of the JCPOA later this week. 

“The most important question in evaluating the Iranian nuclear agreement is not whether a better deal could have been negotiated but what will happen if we in Congress choose to reject the deal before us.  Based on my consultations with experts and diplomats from our key European allies, it is clear to me that if this agreement is blocked by Congress, the result will unquestionably be the collapse of the sanctions regime painstakingly assembled by the Obama administration.  Foreign investment will pour into Iran and the Iranian leadership will gain both the benefits of sanctions relief and the freedom to resume its headlong pursuit of a nuclear weapon. In short, if Congress acts to reject this deal, I fear that the United States will lose all leverage short of military action to effectively deter Iran’s nuclear ambitions.

“Instead of confronting Iran alone—isolated from the rest of the international community—the JCPOA will enable the United States to hold the Iranian regime accountable for any violation of the nuclear agreement with the support of a broad, committed international coalition.  As a combat veteran of the Iraq War, I strongly believe we must not repeat the mistakes of the past by forsaking the hard work of coalition-building in favor of unilateral action.  We cannot abandon the concrete gains that sanctions have achieved in favor of an uncertain course that risks another costly American military entanglement in this volatile region. 

“Crucially, I believe my vote for the JCOA is consistent with my record of staunch and unequivocal support for the Israeli people.  An Iranian nuclear weapon would pose an existential threat to the State of Israel, and the deal before Congress constitutes the most viable means of preventing this dire scenario from coming to pass. The agreement will offer Israel over a decade of relief from the possibility of a nuclear Iran, allowing our ally to focus its resources on more immediate security threats, including ISIL and Hezbollah.  By reining in an otherwise unmonitored and unrestrained Iranian nuclear program, we will be helping to ensure a safer and more secure future for both the American and Israeli peoples.

“I want Arizonans to know that I did not come to this decision lightly.  I carefully read the agreement, consulted with experts on both sides of this contentious debate and reviewed the classified assessments of our intelligence agencies.  I also visited Israel and met with high-level officials in the Israeli government, including Prime Minister Netanyahu.  Finally, I listened carefully to the views and concerns of my constituents. 

“After casting my vote in support of the Iranian nuclear deal, my sincere hope is that Congress will come together on a bipartisan basis to ensure that this landmark agreement is fully enforced and that Israel and our allies in the Gulf are equipped to confront the serious threats they continue to face in this dangerous region.”