The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) praises Democratic Congresswoman Grace Meng and Democratic Congressman Juan Vargas for standing up for America, Israel and our other allies’ security, with clear-thinking, strong, non-partisan statements publicly opposing the catastrophic Iran deal (formally know as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or JCPOA).
Congresswoman Grace Meng represents New York’s 6th Congressional District, and is a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee and its Subcommittee on the Middle East. Congressman Juan Vargas represents California’s 51st Congressional District. The leaders and members of the ZOA Chapters served by these Congresspersons – the ZOA-Long Island-Queens Chapter and ZOA-California-Western Region – would also like to specially praise Congresspersons Meng and Vargas.
Congresswoman Meng issued the following articulate, persuasive statement on July 29, 2015:
“I strongly believe the world could and should have a better deal than that set forth in the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, which I will therefore oppose.
While I will continue to study the finer points of the deal, they will not be dispositive for me. I believe the inspections procedures set forth are flawed – leading nuclear experts assert that, pursuant to these procedures, inspectors would not necessarily know whether Iran is manufacturing uranium components for a nuclear weapon. This is unacceptable. Furthermore, I am deeply concerned that almost all of Iran’s nuclear infrastructure would remain intact; this leads me to believe Iran would simply resume its pursuit of a nuclear weapon at the conclusion of the deal in a decade’s time. Finally, the immediate sanctions relief provided Iran in the deal would incentivize the funding of terrorism and lessen Iran’s interest in restraining its nuclear ambitions over the long term.
I commend President Obama and Secretary Kerry for their efforts to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon, but the deal before us now is simply too dangerous for the American people. I have every confidence a better deal can be realized.”
Congressman Vargas eloquently and accurately described Iran’s ongoing terrorist activities in a powerful article entitled, Why I Oppose The President’s Nuclear Deal with Iran, published in the San Diego Union Tribune on July 24, 2015. In his article, the Congressman also urged his Congressional colleagues to join him in opposing the Iran deal on a non-partisan basis. Congressman Vargas wrote:
“It’s stunning, really. Just four days after large crowds in Tehran and across Iran chanted “Death to America,” as they burned our flag in government-led demonstrations, President Obama announced an agreement with the Islamic Republic. The president is right; this agreement is historic, but for all the wrong reasons.
Earlier this month, I detailed the criteria necessary for any final agreement to curb Iran’s nuclear ambitions. I strongly believe this deal does not meet that standard. The deal fails to dismantle Iran’s nuclear program. It fails to guarantee intrusive enough inspections to ensure that Iran does not cheat, and it fails to keep Iran from achieving nuclear-threshold status.
This deal is predicated on Iran’s compliance. In exchange for phased and reversible sanctions relief – at approximately $150 billion – the administration promised to cut off Iran’s path to a nuclear bomb. Instead, this agreement gives Iran a rapid payday while legitimizing its path to nuclear-threshold status. Iran has never fully addressed the concerns of international inspectors, and the regime has given us no reason to believe that will change.
By allowing Iran to become a nuclear-threshold state, this deal will spark an arms race in the Middle East, already one of the least stable regions in the world. Saudi Arabia has indicated it may purchase a nuclear weapon from Pakistan. Jordan and Egypt, also historically reliable allies for the United States, have both worked with Russia to build their own nuclear power plants this year. Likewise, this agreement does nothing to halt Iran’s aggressive imperialism in the Middle East. As the deal’s advocates took a victory lap after the announcement, Hezbollah’s leader agreed with them. Hasan Nasrallah said, “Iran will become `richer and wealthier and will also become more influential. This will also reinforce the position of its allies.” Let us not forget that, thanks to Iranian generosity, this terrorist group has 100,000 rockets trained on Israeli cities and towns.
It is a fact that Iran is the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism. It is a fact that Hezbollah, the Iranian terrorist proxy responsible for more American deaths than anyone except al-Qaeda, has more than 100,000 missiles aimed at civilians in Israel. And it is a fact that Iran has financed, trained and equipped Shiite death squads in Iraq and Taliban terrorists in Afghanistan and rewarded them for killing American troops.
In Syria, Iran continues to provide billions of dollars per year in support of Bashar Assad’s murderous regime, even as it uses chemical weapons to slaughter innocent Syrians. In Iraq, Iran supports Shiite militias, which spent most of the past decade fighting American troops and attacking Sunnis throughout the country. And in Yemen, Iranian backed Houthi rebels have taken control of the capital, Sana’a, and overthrown the government, which had been an important ally in our war on terrorism.
Rather than demand Iran’s bad behavior be corrected, this agreement rewards it. In Iran, they’re calling the coming payday a “nuclear feast.” And we know what the main course at that feast will be – terrorism. Iran has spent decades directing and funding terrorism against the United States and our allies.
Supporters of this agreement believe that relieving sanctions and legitimizing this regime will moderate them. That didn’t work with North Korea, and it won’t work with Iran. This strategy is doomed to fail, and this deal is destined to be remembered as a mistake.
For months the administration has told us that “a bad deal is worse than no deal.” Now the message seems to be that it is better to support than oppose this bad deal because it is the best we could get. I disagree. If this deal is approved, it will lock us into bad results that far outweigh its benefits.
Congress is now faced with a decision of monumental importance. Do we accept an agreement that fails to block Iran’s path to nuclear weapons, or do we stand up and say no. I intend to stand up and vote against this deal. This is not a partisan issue. This is an issue of our national security, and the security of our allies and I urge my colleagues to join me in opposing this deal and press for a better deal that will truly end Iran’s nuclear weapons program and make the world safer.”