Representative Blumenauer Highlights Support of Iran Nuclear Deal

Portland, OR–-(ENEWSPF)–August 4, 2015.  Today at the Rotary Club of Portland, Representative Earl Blumenauer (OR-03) highlighted his support of the Iran nuclear deal and released the following statement:

“This fall’s vote on the nuclear agreement with Iran, the United States and our international partners is the most important decision I will make in Congress since voting against the disastrous Iraq War.

“I am under no illusions that the Iranian clerics and military leadership are friends of the United States. To the contrary, they are engaged in activities in opposition of U.S. interests, and those of many of our friends and allies. This agreement does not resolve all of our differences, change Iranian behaviors, or provide greater freedom for its people. It does, however, give the world 15 years of security that Iran will not develop a nuclear weapon.

“It also demonstrates our ability to work with our international partners – France, the United Kingdom, Germany, Russia, and China – to bring Iran to the negotiating table, force it to make important concessions, and retain the ability to re-impose crippling sanctions if it violates the agreement. The agreement has a strong mechanism for surveillance and snapping back sanctions that gives us confidence it is strongly in Iran’s interest to comply. Fifteen years is not forever, but given the current breakout time of less than 15 weeks, having a minimum of a year for nuclear breakout and assurances for 15 years without Iranian nuclear weapons is a remarkable achievement.

“The alternative is not ‘a better deal.’ There is no evidence that there is something beyond this agreement that the Iranians would agree with or, most critically, has the support of the other five countries that made this agreement possible in the first place. The alternative is the United States losing the support of our allies, Iran getting access to the global economy and its markets as the partnership dissolves, and an important moment lost.

“In the final analysis, the United States still retains the ability to walk away from the deal if it is rejected or violated by Iran, putting us in a much stronger position with our allies for the re-imposition of sanctions and more leverage going forward. Ultimately, the United States or Israel can always resort to military force. It is far better, however, to make the agreement work, monitor and enforce, and build on this international partnership.

“Our work will not be done in the Middle East with Iran even if Iran adopts and abides by the agreement. We still must be prepared to confront Iran when it is involved with aggressive action against other countries, especially our allies. We must be prepared to support other countries in the Middle East, like Israel and Saudi Arabia. We must be prepared to make the diplomatic effort and demonstrate commitment and resolve where necessary.

“Those who would resort to force in the first instance will always retain that option. We risk little trying to make diplomacy and rigorous instructions work. This will only strengthen our partnership with the countries that worked with us on this agreement, as part of our ongoing efforts to stabilize the deeply troubled Middle East.

“This agreement doesn’t solve our problems, but it simplifies one of the greatest threats to security in the Middle East, not just with Iran but setting off a nuclear proliferation arms race with potentially catastrophic results.

“Some of the most distinguished leaders of U.S. administrations – Republican and Democratic alike – in our lifetime have agreed, notwithstanding reservations and cautions, that the acceptance of this agreement is the best path for the United States and world peace. I agree with them. I will support this agreement and give diplomacy a chance. ”