Rep. Blumenauer: Iran Nuclear Agreement is Opportunity to Enforce a Non-Nuclear Weapon Future for Iran

September 11, 2015
Press Release

Remarks as Prepared for Delivery

Washington, DC– Ahead of today’s votes on the Iran nuclear agreement, Congressman Earl Blumenauer (OR-03) urged his colleagues to support diplomacy and vote in favor of the resolution to approve the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.

To follow are Congressman Blumenauer’s remarks as prepared for delivery. Click here to watch his speech.

“It’s sad that it’s come to this – a parody of what could have been a weeklong, thoughtful, thorough debate about our relationship with Iran, which Republicans instead have turned into an incoherent, partisan shouting match. It ignores the realities, the complexity, and the opportunity.

“There’s been no discussion, for example, about how America has seriously mismanaged our relationship with Iran since we helped the British overthrow their popularly elected government in 1953 and installed the Shah as dictator. We backed the murderous Saddam Hussein’s war against Iran that cost up to a million lives and looked the other way when he used poison gas, a real weapon of mass destruction. We labeled them the axis of evil when they were working with us in a post-Taliban Afghanistan. It’s amazing that the majority of Iranian people still like us.

“Now, I strongly oppose the current Iranian leadership. But for years, I’ve been working for diplomatic solutions with other countries because sanctions only work when other countries join us. Well, they did, and we have an opportunity today to enforce a non-nuclear weapon future for Iran.

“The Republican talking point is that Iran is going to get $150 billion from this deal. That talking point, however, ignores the reality. Those five powerful countries that joined with us, that helped get the agreement, they’re going to walk away from the sanctions they’ve imposed on Iran if America walks away from this deal. As multilateral sanctions dissolve, Iran will get its money anyway and nuclear weapons, if it wants, in a year or two. It will be the United States and Israel that will be isolated, and the world will be less safe.

“These are some of the reasons that the major independent experts have said the Iran nuclear agreement is the best alternative for the United States. Not a perfect agreement, but the best agreement.

“Let’s use all of our time and energy to make this agreement work and strengthen relationships in the Middle East to avoid more mistakes currently championed by the same people who gave us the disastrous Iraq War.”