Paul Ryan: The Iran Deal ‘is bad for the security of the United States and our allies.’
WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Wisconsin’s First District Congressman Paul Ryan published an op-ed in the Racine Journal Times, which can be read here or below. Congressman Ryan also delivered remarks on the House floor outlining his opposition to the Iran deal, which can be read here and viewed here.
A Terrible Deal
As our world grows more dangerous and unstable each month, trusting a violent Iranian regime that has been nothing but hostile to America is an error we cannot afford to make.
Nevertheless, throughout August, the President moved from defending a terrible deal with Iran to launching bombastic attacks at those who oppose it. When the President introduces such vitriol into a debate about national security, it is neither surprising nor conducive to finding the pathway forward.
Today, the House of Representatives will vote on a series of bills on the Iran Deal. I will be voting against the deal; it is bad for the security of the United States and our allies.
Notable Democrats have come out in opposition to the deal – Representative Eliot Engel, Ranking Member on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, and Senator Chuck Schumer, the heir apparent to Senator Reid as the top ranking Democrat in the Senate, among others. However, the President has secured the assurances of enough Senators – all Democrats – to withstand a veto override, in the event the bills pass both the House and the Senate. Despite that, moving forward with votes on the Iran deal is important, so voters know where their representatives in Congress stand. The security of our nation is not a partisan issue; it is an American one. The deal with Iran should be judged on its merits.
The inspections and enforcement mechanisms included in the deal are far less than adequate. In April, Energy Secretary Moniz, a key player for the Administration in these negotiations, said:
"We expect to have anywhere, anytime access in the sense of a well-defined process with a well-defined end time for access to places that are suspected of out-of-bounds activities."
The importance of anytime, anywhere inspections as a safeguard against a regime that has done nothing to deserve our trust was considered a crux of the deal, up until the actual text of the deal was revealed. What did we get instead? 24 days; the Iranian regime has up to 24 days before any inspector can examine a site for wrongdoing or violations of the deal. Experts have said that this is more than enough time to hide or destroy evidence.
Assuming 24 days is not too long to identify significant wrong doing, what enforcement measures are in place? Supporters of the deal laud the ‘snapback sanctions’ – if Iran cheats, the sanctions that will be lifted (providing the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism with an additional tens of billions of dollars because of sanction relief) will “snap” back into place.
Snapback sanctions are a misnomer at best. First, I do not believe sanctions should be immediately repealed as a condition of the deal. However, the Obama Administration began these negotiations from a position of weakness, and the Iranian regime knew it. They knew their demands would be met, and they asked for immediate sanctions relief. The President, eager for a foreign policy legacy item in lieu of a foreign policy marred by failure, was eager to comply.
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif rightly said that sanctions will not snap back for ‘minor’ violations, only major violations. If Iran only cheats in minor, incremental ways, the sanctions would never snap back. The deal also allows any businesses who sign contracts with Iran to continue to do business with them even in the highly unlikely scenario sanctions are reapplied, mitigating the effectiveness of the sanctions themselves.
Combine these shortfalls with the American hostages still in Iran, the ability for the Iranian regime to acquire advanced technologies to allow their ballistic missiles to potentially carry a nuclear warhead within a decade, billions more dollars to sponsor terrorism that targets America and her allies across the globe, and the fact this deal will not stop Iran from getting a nuclear weapon, and you have what critics have said all along: a terrible deal.