Not since 1200 years before the birth of Christ when King Priam of Troy accepted the gift of a large wooden horse has a leader made as tragic a mistake as President Barack Obama’s deal with Iran. The American people are right to be skeptical of this agreement, and now is the time for us all to make our voices heard loud and clear by the political class in Washington. We’re talking about a deal with a country that today is destabilizing the Middle East as it seeks to gain power, gives money and weapons to terrorists, and threatens Israel with annihilation. We’re talking about a regime that commits countless, ruthless human rights violations against its own people. If this isn’t enough evidence that we can’t trust Iran, then take into consideration that just days before this agreement was reached, Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei led a parade of Iranians chanting “death to Israel” and “death to America.”
Clearly, Iran is dangerous and untrustworthy, and allowing this regime to build nuclear weapons would threaten the security of the United States and our allies. Any deal should be filtered through this lens. Unfortunately, the deal presented to us last Tuesday all but formally blesses Tehran’s illegal nuclear weapons program. It’s outrageous that we are now suddenly supposed to trust that the number one state sponsor of terrorism, a country with more oil reserves than it could consume domestically, is only interested in pursuing nuclear technologies for energy production.
By moving from a policy of preventing Iran from building a nuclear weapon to a policy of simply delaying it while funneling billions of dollars in sanctions relief into Iran’s pocket, this deal further empowers one of the most brutal regimes in history.
But as the old saying goes, “The devil’s in the details.” According to the 159-page agreement, Tehran is required to do very little to curb its nuclear infrastructure. One of the most alarming red flags is Iran would be allowed to keep its underground nuclear facilities and continue operating thousands of centrifuges used to enrich uranium, the chemical needed to build a bomb. And while there are processes for international inspections, there are strict parameters that give Iran time to hide what it doesn’t want to be seen. Iran has a track record of cheating, refusing to allow inspectors full access to its facilities, continuing nuclear enrichment at plants it vowed to suspend and trying to buy components for its reactor at Arak. Given they broke international law to get their nuclear program to the point it is today, it’s beyond naive to think they will stop cheating now. I stand firm in my belief that any deal that allows Iran to keep its nuclear infrastructure and doesn’t require anywhere, anytime inspections is not a victory — it’s surrender.
Yet another dangerous concession is the fact this deal terminates a critical arms embargo in just five short years, and a restriction on Iranian ballistic missiles will be taken off the table in eight. This is despite the warnings from U.S. Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Martin Dempsey, who said just two weeks ago, “Under no circumstances should we relieve pressure on Iran relative to ballistic missiles capabilities and arms trafficking.” To say this deal misses the mark is an understatement.
The crux of the matter is that even if Iran follows the deal, it will reap the rewards of lifted sanctions, and then 10 to 20 years in the future have hundreds of billions of dollars and a nuclear arsenal. President Obama has offered these concessions without demanding Iran cease promoting war throughout the Middle East and terror worldwide or freeing Americans being held in Iranian prison.
Unfortunately, the administration is gambling the security of the entire world on this deal and I fear Congress is almost powerless to stop it. That’s why I voted against the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act which was signed into law in May — it did nothing but abdicate the Senate’s constitutional right to review treaties by requiring the Senate to get two-thirds to disapprove instead of the constitutional two-thirds to approve. Because of this law, Congress now has 60 days to review and talk about the deal. We can pass legislation, but the president has promised to veto any legislation Congress passes that blocks the deal. It’s now up to the American people to demand the House and Senate put politics aside and reject this deal.
Just as the king didn’t realize the danger of bringing the Trojan Horse inside the city walls, I’m afraid our president is making an equally grave mistake arming, enriching and trusting Iran. As your Representative, I will continue to be a loud and clear voice for our national security interests and in opposition of this very dangerous deal.
Richard Hudson represents the eighth congressional district, which includes Scotland County.