Florida Democratic Congressman Alcee Hastings to Vote Against Iran Deal
Congressman Alcee L. Hastings (D-FL) announced that he would oppose the Iran deal when it comes before the House of Representatives for a vote, his office announced on Thursday.
Hastings initially outlined his opposition to the Iran nuclear deal in an op-ed published in the Palm Beach Post, in which he said, “When the House of Representatives reconvenes [after summer recess] in September, one of our first priorities will be to address the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) to curb Iran’s nuclear program.”
“After careful review, I have decided that I cannot support this deal,” wrote Hastings.
Hastings said he opposed the deal because despite its intentions of preventing Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon, the agreement “allows Iran to remain a nuclear threshold state while simultaneously reaping the benefits of relief from international sanctions.”
He also took issue with the deal’s “sunset clause,” which, after 10-15 years, would allow Iran to continue enriching uranium with even more advanced centrifuges.
“Iran simply needs to be patient and it will once again have the ability to enrich uranium,” Hastings wrote.
He added that the lifting of the conventional arms embargo after five years, and the lifting of the ban on ballistic missiles testing after eight, “poses a threat to the U.S. and to our allies.”
Hastings also expressed fear that since the deal would not curb Iran’s pursuit of a nuclear weapon, it would spark a nuclear arms race in the region, with countries fearful of Iran with an atomic bomb obtaining their own nuclear weapons.
Additionally, Hastings warned that the funds Iran would obtain as a result of the lifting of sanctions would be funneled into Iran’s Revolutionary Guards — the armed corps tasked with preserving and, often, spreading the country’s Islamic revolution — and Tehran’s terrorist proxies in countries such as Lebanon, Syria and Yemen. He called for sanctions to remain in place as leverage against Tehran.