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We Must Keep Nuclear Weapons Out of Iran

President Obama repeatedly told the American people that no deal with Iran is better than a bad deal. Despite that promise, this week the House will be voting on the president’s deal that will give Iran sanctions relief while jeopardizing the security of the United States and its allies. I will be voting “no.”

This deal will not make the world a safer place; it will start a countdown until Iran has nuclear weapons.

To be clear, Iran is one of only three countries in the world that is considered a sponsor of terrorism by the U.S. Department of State. Their repeated call for the destruction of the United States, Israel, and our way of life has been consistent for decades. Iran cannot be allowed to continue any nuclear proliferation despite their claims it is only for peaceful purposes. In no way does this totalitarian regime deserve our trust or the financial windfall they are about to receive if this deal is implemented. The primary goal of negotiating a deal with Iran should have been ending their nuclear program once and for all.

As a member of the special committee that implemented sanctions on Iran, I understand the severity of this situation. The sanctions that are being lifted with this deal were designed to be a non-violent tool to curb Iran’s nuclear ambitions and force a peaceful resolution.

In short, the sanctions were working. They crippled Iran’s economy and forced them to come to the negotiating table. President Obama had the necessary leverage to achieve his stated goal, and he should have sought a peaceful nonproliferation treaty. Instead of using the tools at his disposal, the president has come to Congress and the American people with a flawed and dangerous deal.

When critics decry the deal, President Obama argues that this is the only alternative to war. This simply is not true. If the United States walked away from negotiations—as the president promised he would be willing to do—the sanctions would stay firmly in place, leaving Iran more desperate than ever to compromise. Instead, desperate to come to a deal, the administration agreed to terms that gave Iran everything they wanted and more.

In addition to hundreds of billions of dollars in sanctions relief, Iran will be able to generate weapons-grade nuclear materials in 15 years and obtain intercontinental ballistic missiles in just eight years. They will be able to do this essentially uninterrupted because Iran can object to inspections by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and dispute the inspections in front of a resolution panel—a process that can take up to 24 days.

Additionally, the existence of side deals confirmed by the administration in late July between the IAEA and Iran is extremely concerning. These side deals have not been submitted to Congress and therefore have not been properly vetted and reviewed. Congress must have full access to all these documents as they may include vital components to the overall deal. And finally, Iran is not required to fully dismantle existing bomb-making technology. Rather, they are allowed to continue their enrichment capabilities.

This deal also requests that the United States and the other negotiating nations help develop, modernize and protect Iran’s nuclear program. This is unacceptable. These measures include cooperating with Iran to modernize reactors, acquire fuel, exchange technology, and assist with additional research. I recently introduced a bill that would ensure that no U.S. resources—including military assistance—will be used to help Iran’s nuclear program.

Supporting this deal would mean putting trust in an Iranian regime that has repeatedly called for the destruction of the United States and its allies. It would mean further destabilizing an increasingly volatile Middle East region. And it would mean—on the anniversary of the most horrific terrorist attack in our country’s history—empowering the largest state sponsor of terrorism.

This deal fails the American people, it fails our allies around the world, and it fails future generations that will live in a more dangerous world because of a nuclear-armed Iran. This fight isn’t over. I will continue to do everything in my power to keep nuclear weapons out of the hands of this tyrannical regime.

Rep. Scott Garrett (R-NJ) represents New Jersey’s 5th congressional district in the United States House of Representatives, encompassing portions of northern and western New Jersey, including Bergen County.

By Congressman Scott Garrett

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