Two brave Democrats publicly oppose the Iran nuclear deal

As the frightening details of the Iran deal leak out, Secretary of State John Kerry grudgingly admits that the secret side deals with Iran must remain secret.

"I'd like to stick with you, Secretary Kerry," Cotton said. "Why can't we confirm or deny the content of these agreements in public? Why is this classified? It's not a sensitive U.S. government document."

"Because we respect the process of the IAEA and we don't have their authorization to reveal what is a confidential agreement between them and another country," said Kerry.

Cotton said, "So the ayatollahs will know what they agreed to but not the American people?"

The public details reveal the many American concessions and Iranian gains, as Iranians gleefully chant "Death to America!  Death to Israel!" while burning those countries' flags.  Even some Democrats are beginning to express their doubts of the whole thing.  

Representative Grace Meng (D-NY) who represents the neighborhood of Forest Hills in Queens, New York (part of greater New York City), issued a press release thanking Kerry for his efforts but ultimately opposing the deal.

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.

Meanwhile, on the west coast, Representative Juan Vargas (D-CA), whose district encompasses all of Imperial County and parts of southern San Diego, expressed similar grave doubts, especially for the security of America, in an op-ed in the San Diego Union Tribune.

The president is right; this agreement is historic, but for all the wrong reasons.

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. (snip)

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. (snip)

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.

Interestingly, these two Democratic outspoken opponents are considered minorities – Meng is an Asian-American woman, Vargas a Mexican-American male – groups that normally would be most loyal to a Democratic president.  Commendably, their concern for the welfare of their constituents and the good of our country outweighs blind loyalty.  Hopefully more Democrats – minorities, majorities, males, females – will do the same.  

Hat tip: Cheryl Jacobs Lewin