Maloney Becomes Latest Democratic Rep to Oppose Iran Deal: ‘It’s a Matter of Conscience’
Carolyn B. Maloney (D-NY) became the latest Democratic representative to oppose President Barack Obama’s nuclear deal with Iran, announcing her opposition on Wednesday.
“I am concerned that, even if Iran complies with the restraints spelled out throughout the life of the agreement, the deal does not block Iran from eventually acquiring nuclear weapons,” wrote Maloney on her official website, after telling the New York Daily News that she was voting against the deal “as a matter of conscience.”
Maloney cited the usual list of concerns among opponents of the deal: that it immediately gives Iran’s leaders access to some $50 billion; that it relaxes weapons sanctions against Iran, including ballistic missiles sanctions in five and then eight years; that in 13-15 years, Iran will be a legitimate nuclear threshold state; and that Iran will have 24 days before it has to allow nuclear inspectors access to undeclared but suspicious nuclear sites.
She also expressed concerns that Iran will be able to boost its support for terrorist proxies, such as Hezbollah and Hamas, the macabre government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and the Iran-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen, who announced this week they had fired Scud missiles into Saudi Arabia.
She said it was “difficult to imagine” that at least some amount of the windfall cash Tehran is expected to receive when sanctions are lifted with the deal’s implementation next year would not fall into the hands of these dangerous Middle East actors.
Maloney’s announcement came after Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) announced his support for the deal, becoming the only Jewish New York lawmaker to do so. Nadler has faced fierce attacks via social media since his announcement, with opponents of the deal taking to his Facebook page with such slurs as “stinking kapo” (referring to Jewish concentration-camp prisoners who oversaw fellow inmates for the Nazis), coward and traitor to the U.S. and Israel. The Anti-Defamation League responded to the intensity of criticism, saying it “crossed the line.”
Maloney was in greater company with New York opponents of the deal, including Senator Chuck Schumer, and Reps. Nita Lowey, Steve Israel and Eliot Engel.
Opponents of the July 14 Vienna pact between six world powers and Iran believe they may have enough votes to pass a resolution rejecting the deal, but concede that it’s a long shot to overturn Obama’s veto power, which the president has promised to use.