Congresswoman Hahn Releases Statement on Iran Nuclear Agreement

Sep 9, 2015 Issues: Defense and National Security

Washington, DC – Congresswoman Janice Hahn (CA-44) released the following statement on the Iran nuclear agreement:

Successful diplomatic efforts of the United States, our friends and international partners produced an historic agreement in July that prevents Iran from developing nuclear weapons. Over the past two months, I have thoroughly reviewed and analyzed the Iran nuclear agreement before deciding how I would vote.

I have read the text – including classified portions not available to the public. I attended high-level briefings with people who support and who oppose the deal.  I also spoke directly with President Obama about it. Just as important to me have been numerous conversations with and emails and phone calls from constituents and others reflecting a range of views on this issue.

After careful consideration, I am convinced that this agreement deserves support.

It will prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons, enhancing our national security and also the security and stability of the Middle East.

I know many people of good faith have reservations about this agreement.  They have concerns about dealing with Iran and ask how we can trust its ruling regime.  I don’t trust Iran. Fortunately, as Secretary of State John Kerry has emphasized, there is absolutely nothing in the entire agreement that depends on trusting Iran.  Precisely because we have doubts about Iran’s intentions, this deal includes a robust program for verification, monitoring and inspections as well as the ability to reinstate sanctions. Without this agreement, Iran would be free to pursue a nuclear weapon, and the United States and international community would not be able to inspect what is happening in Iran let alone stop it. 

The result of this agreement is that every pathway for Iran to develop nuclear weapons has been blocked. This agreement does not however resolve all of our serious concerns about Iran, including its human rights abuses and sponsorship of terrorism.  But defeating this agreement would not stop Iran from those actions either. We must use all of our tools and resources to fight against Iran’s reprehensible behavior and to protect those it seeks to harm. 

Having been raised to pursue and promote peace, I also appreciate that this agreement accomplishes our goal diplomatically – peacefully – without giving up any options for dealing with Iran in the future.

America is the greatest military power in the history of the world, and there are times when military force was necessary.  But I believe we should first exhaust all other approaches. This is especially the case after a decade of fighting a deadly, disastrous, costly and unnecessary war in the Middle East.

To all who have expressed your heartfelt views and sincere beliefs about this important matter, I thank you. Although I recognize that not all will agree with my decision, I hope you will appreciate that I have listened to you and heard your concerns, taken seriously your positions, and asked the tough questions you have raised to officials whom I have met with.

Let me further reassure you that I remain committed to a strong relationship between the United States and Israel as my record shows. I have visited the country several times.  When I was there in August of last year, Israeli citizens were being attacked by terrorists firing rockets from Gaza.  I understand the threats Israel faces, and would not support policies that endangered the people of Israel. 

This international agreement makes sure that Iran does not have a nuclear weapon, which Israel has long feared.  Unfortunately, Iran and terrorists it has funded will continue to pose a threat to Israel.  Therefore, the United States and the international community must continue to partner with Israel for its defense.  Providing funding for Iron Dome and other missile defense programs and supplying other state of the art military equipment and technology will help Israel maintain its quantitative military edge. I am confident that there is strong bipartisan support within Congress and the Obama Administration to ensure the safety and security of Israel now and in the future.

After all the debate, the agreement has enough support to go forward.  Now is the time for all of us, those who support the agreement and those who have opposed it, to start to come together to make sure the agreement is implemented successfully and enforced vigorously.