Congresswoman Suzan DelBene (WA-01) today released the following statement on the international agreement reached by the P5+1 nations to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons:
"I believe the United States should utilize peaceful solutions and focus on diplomatic efforts whenever possible to resolve international conflicts. With every negotiation, there is give and take, and likewise, this deal isn't perfect. However, without this agreement in place, the United States will be stepping away from an international coalition committed to preventing Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon. Without this deal, this broad international coalition would likely fall apart, while still granting Iran increased financial flexibility from relaxed sanctions. I do not believe U.S. sanctions alone -- without the support of our allies -- are a strong enough deterrent. Iran is a bad actor, which is why this deal is not merely based on trust, but on unprecedented access, inspections and strong mechanisms in place to punish Iran if it defies the deal. If Iran failed to fulfill its obligations, we would have support from the international community to snap sanctions back in place and take further action if needed -- but only if Congress approves the agreement.
"Everyone's shared goal is to prevent a nuclear-armed Iran, and without this agreement, Iran could have nuclear capabilities in a matter of months. I've read the agreement, attended classified briefings with the Administration, and met with military leaders, nuclear experts, international officials and constituents, who both support and oppose this deal. After considering all of the opinions and information, one thing I'm certain of is that no one can speak with absolute clarity and predict what will happen 15 years from now in the Middle East. However, this deal is our best opportunity to prevent Iran from developing a nuclear weapon today. It will not solve every problem the international community has with Iran, nor was it intended to. That is why it is crucial that sanctions against state sponsored terrorism and human rights abuses, amongst other areas, remain in place.
"The United States and Israel have always had a unique and strong bond that can never be broken. It's not only in Israel's interest but in America's as well to stand with one of its closest and important allies. Ultimately, this is about preventing a nuclear-armed Iran through a realistic, achievable and beneficial agreement so that both countries and the broader international community are protected. This will require vigilance and we will keep all options on the table if Iran violates the terms of this agreement."