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Congressman Chris Collins

Representing the 27th District of New York

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Iran deal reduces leverage, leaves America worse off

Aug 6, 2015
In The News

In what has become the new normal, President Obama has once again moved the goalposts during his foreign policy negotiations. By doing so, the administration has put America and its allies at risk, while empowering one of our fiercest enemies.

President Obama promised that America would stand firm in demanding Iran stop its nuclear program. When discussing the Iranian nuclear negotiations in 2012, he said, “The deal we’ll accept is they end their nuclear program. It’s very straightforward.” As we now know, the final result of the Iran deal is far from the president’s 2012 promises.

The deal fails to eliminate the possibility of Iranian nuclear enrichment. It lifts key nuclear restrictions after eight years and grants Iran instant breakout time after 15 years. In exchange for this delay, the U.S. is removing the economic sanctions it had imposed on the country.The administration is touting the agreement as a historic deal that will prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon. Unfortunately, even if Iran adheres to this deal, it will still be able to build a nuclear weapon.

Removing the sanctions, which were crippling Iran’s economy and causing intense internal pressure on Iran’s leadership, eliminates our bargaining leverage. Additionally, the estimated $150 billion in economic relief will undoubtedly be used to finance Tehran’s state-sponsored terrorist enterprises.

The president likes to present the deal as a choice between his agreement or war, but that is simply not the case. Congress offered a better strategy. I supported a bill to further strengthen the sanctions against Tehran and force the ayatollah to either watch his economy fail or cease his efforts to obtain a nuclear weapon. That legislation passed the House 400-20 but was blocked in the Senate last year by then-Majority Leader Harry Reid.

Proponents of the Iran deal argue that these economic sanctions can be reintroduced if Iran does not abide by the agreement, but this argument disregards one of the agreement’s biggest flaws: We may not know if Iran breaks its commitments until it is too late.

Instead of securing anytime, anywhere inspections of Iranian nuclear sites, the president settled for inspectors having to notify Iran at least 24 days in advance of an inspection. When dealing with a country as untrustworthy as Iran, this is completely unacceptable.


Iran is not a friend, and its leader, who has publicly declared “Death to America,” makes no effort to hide his disdain for the United States. The administration needs to treat the Iranian regime as a rogue nation, rather than an equal. With this agreement, the Obama administration put its delusional hopes for Iranian friendship ahead of American security interests.

I am not opposed to diplomacy, but I am against bad diplomacy. This is a bad deal for the security of our nation and the protection of American interests. In the coming weeks, Congress will be debating this agreement.

I will not support a deal that threatens America’s security and will fight any agreement that fails to protect this country.