Congresswoman Kyrsten Sinema released the following statement on the Iran nuclear agreement:
"Over the last two months, I engaged in a deliberative and thorough process before forming my position on the Comprehensive Joint Plan of Action (JCPOA). I carefully listened to Administration officials, outside nuclear and Middle East experts, passionate advocates on both sides of this question, and constituents of Arizona's Ninth District. I spent hours studying and discussing the complexities of the proposed agreement and its impact on our nation and the world.
"This issue deserves our thoughtful discussion, deliberation, and debate. Americans can disagree on the merits of this plan of action, but we share the same goal of increasing our security by ending the threat of a nuclear Iran. That is why I am disappointed that an issue so important to the safety and security of American families was overshadowed by partisanship.
"The President brought the world together to recognize the serious threat posed by Iran and developed a plan of action in response. In particular, the work of Energy Secretary Moniz may give greater insight into Iran's nuclear program than we've ever had, and the monitoring regime created by the JCPOA may contain Iran's nuclear ambitions for a time.
"This work is commendable, but ultimately the risks inherent in this deal outweigh the rewards. I cannot in good conscience vote for the agreement.
"I was a principled opponent of the Iraq War and spoke out early against the U.S. invasion. The Iraq War was a war of choice, not of necessity. We still feel the impact of that decision, and we have American servicemembers left with deep wounds from this war. The region is more fractured and volatile, and there is no clear strategy to increase stability and security.
"I am concerned that this agreement will escalate a conventional arms race in the Middle East and further destabilize the region. The agreement allows financial resources to flow to an Iranian regime, which siphons resources away from its citizens to fund terrorism and foment war. It allows Iran to strengthen its military capabilities, including conventional weapons and ballistic missiles. The Iranian regime and its proxies have made no secrets about how they will use these new resources and weapons in the region.
"While the Iranian regime gets stronger, the JCPOA could limit our ability to use energy and banking sector sanctions to counter Iran's aggression. Instead, our government has pledged to provide additional weapons to our allies in the region, escalating an arms race and increasing the likelihood of an expanded conflict.
"The agreement may push back the time it will take Iran to obtain a nuclear weapon but does not eliminate the threat. At the end of the deal, Iran will have the tools, knowledge, and money to be an internationally recognized, empowered and legitimized threshold nuclear state. This newly created power and legitimacy will make deterring the regime's aggression more difficult.
"The deal will go forward. We must now enforce vigilantly the provisions of the agreement and execute a comprehensive strategy that strengthens our security and supports our allies in the region.
"That means no sanctions relief until Iran verifiably meets its obligations, clear and painful consequences for any Iranian violation of the deal, and robust and sustained support for the monitoring regime during the life of the agreement and after.
"I will continue to work with my colleagues, with the Administration, and with our allies to achieve these goals and to strengthen our country's safety and security.
"Our shared commitment to counter Iranian aggression and to prevent a nuclear-armed Iran must not waiver."