Titus Statement on Iran Vote


Date: Sept. 11, 2015
Issues: Foreign Affairs

Today's vote on the Iran deal is the most difficult I have cast since being in Congress. I struggled between going with my heart and listening to my head. My heart told me this was not a good deal. We gave away too much, too soon, to a country too tied to terrorism. My heart went out to my Jewish friends who feel, and rightly so, that Iran is a sworn enemy of Israel. And my heart aches for our servicemen and women because I fear, despite the rhetoric, that we are more likely to be engaged in conventional warfare with Iran than in a nuclear war.

But my head tells me this deal is done. It was settled months ago when Secretary Kerry pushed back from the negotiating table and has since been reaffirmed by the UN and our P5 partners. Furthermore, the Senate has voted against considering the deal, which unlike a treaty, does not require ratification. Even if that were to change, and they did vote to reject the deal, it would be moot because there are not enough votes in either Chamber to overturn a Presidential veto. The deal cannot be stopped and no better deal can be had, regardless of what some hope and others claim. For that reason we must look ahead and work together in the new reality instead of, as my grandmother used to say, crying over spilt milk.

In order for the U.S. to maintain a credible leadership role in the international community, the President must operate from a position of strength should he need to bring our partners back to the table to reimpose sanctions or, God forbid, lead them into battle if Iran violates the terms of the agreement. That is why I am voting yes.

But I want to send a strong message to this administration and the next that we must hold Iran to the words in the preface and the preamble of the agreement that "under no circumstances will Iran EVER (emphasis added) seek, develop, or acquire any nuclear weapons." We must shore up our allies in the Middle East, especially Israel, who will now have to contend with a more powerful, ever threatening, Iran. We must strengthen our intelligence network to reinforce IAEA's monitoring program to ensure that Iran does not cheat. And we must double down on our efforts to curtail Iran's support of terrorist activities around the world. If we take these actions, we can try to make the best of a less than perfect deal. God help us.