Local Republican members of Congress are united in supporting President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Iran nuclear agreement. Rep. John Katko, Rep. Elise Stefanik and Rep. Claudia Tenney said the deal was flawed and gave too many concessions to Iran.
Katko called the deal dangerous and said it handed out billions of dollars in sanctions relief to Iran while the country continued its path towards a nuclear weapon. He said the U.S. must work with its allies to put economic pressure on Iran and re-imposing sanctions is an enormous step forward to prioritizing national security.
Read Katko's statement below.
“The dangerous nuclear deal put in place with Iran by the last Administration handed out billions in sanction relief while allowing Iran, the largest state sponsor of terrorism in the world, to continue its path towards a nuclear weapon. This agreement, which faced widespread scrutiny and opposition from both sides of the aisle, gave far too many concessions to Iran without providing safeguards for our country and our allies in the region. The President’s decision today to withdraw from this flawed deal and re-impose lifted sanctions is an enormous step forward in prioritizing our national security. We must now work with our allies to put economic pressure on Iran and ensure the regime renounces its nuclear arms ambitions.”
Stefanik said the deal also failed to address Iran's ballistic missile program.
Read Stefanik's statement below.
“The Iranian nuclear deal was a deeply flawed agreement that provided the world’s largest state sponsor of terror with billions of dollars while failing to stop their path to nuclear weapons capability, and failing to address Iran’s ballistic missile program. I support President Trump’s decision to withdraw and believe we must impose sanctions on the Iranian regime immediately. We must also work with our allies in the region to ensure Iran does not become a nuclear power. I will continue working with my colleagues on the House Armed Services Committee to ensure our military has the capabilities they need to address any threats posed by this rogue regime, and to ensure that the Administration is pursuing a strategy to keep Iran from developing nuclear weapons.”
The Republican members of Congress from central and northern New York all said they do not want Iran to develop nuclear weapons.
But Democratic New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand said Trump’s decision was short sighted and opens the door to Iran going back to developing a nuclear weapons program.
Read Gillibrand's statement below.
“I strongly oppose President Trump’s shortsighted and dangerous decision to leave the JCPOA. The agreement gave us the critical ability to aggressively monitor and verify Iran's behavior. By walking away from the agreement, the President has opened the door to Iran going back to developing a nuclear weapons program. This unilateral decision will cost us the ability to maintain a strong coalition holding Iran accountable and the ability to increase leverage and oversight with our European allies. It also severely undermines our country’s credibility as a partner that can be trusted; this is especially troubling as the Trump Administration prepares to negotiate with North Korea. It took years of coordinated international sanctions coupled with diplomacy to reach this accord and it is a mistake to think we can simply restart this process with a clean slate. I hope that the other parties to the agreement continue to abide by the agreement, and I urge President Trump to reconsider this mistake. Rather than unraveling nuclear oversight, we should be focusing on adding additional levers to address Iran’s dangerous behavior in the region.”
Democratic Sen. Charles Schumer, who was against the nuclear deal in 2015, said it should have continued as it is, because Iran has not violated it. He said he is more worried about Iran’s actions in Syria and arming Hezbolla and exiting the deal will make it harder to address those issues and negotiate a nuclear weapons agreement with North Korea.
Read Rep. Claudia Tenney's statement on the deal below.
“The flawed deal with Iran has done nothing but enrich the Iranian regime and enable its aggressive behavior domestically, in the Middle East, and throughout the globe. The Iran Deal gave the Iranian regime too much in exchange for too little,” said Rep. Tenney. “Iran has shown no signs that it is interested in pursuing peace or even curbing its malevolent behaviors. I thank President Trump for his decision to prioritize the safety and security of our citizens and the American homeland on this important national security issue.”
Read Rep. Tom Reed's statement below.
“My number one concern is ensuring the safety of Americans and our allies. If Iran acquires a nuclear weapon, the safety of Americans and our allies is at the highest level of risk. This is why I support the President’s decision to withdraw from the Iran Nuclear Deal. I am encouraged by the President’s commitment to continue negotiations with Iran to develop a deal that will ensure Iran never obtains a nuclear weapon.”