Lowey Opposes P5+1 Iran Agreement

August 4, 2015
Press Release

Congresswoman Nita M. Lowey today announced her opposition to the P5+1 agreement with Iran in the following statement:

“Preventing Iran from developing a nuclear weapon is an essential national security imperative. Since the nuclear agreement was reached between Iran and the P5+1 countries, I have reviewed its details and consulted with officials in the Obama Administration, regional experts, foreign leaders, Congressional colleagues, and my constituents.  

“In my judgment, sufficient safeguards are not in place to address the risks associated with the agreement.  Relieving UN sanctions on conventional arms and ballistic missiles and releasing billions of dollars to the Iranian regime could lead to a dangerous regional weapons race and enable Iran to bolster its funding of terrorists.   The deal does not explicitly require Iran to fully disclose its previous military work to the IAEA’s satisfaction before sanctions relief is provided, and inspectors will not have immediate access to the most suspicious facilities. There are no clear accountability measures regarding punishment for minor violations, which could encourage Iran to cheat. 

“This agreement will leave the international community with limited options in 15 years to prevent nuclear breakout in Iran, which will be an internationally-recognized nuclear threshold state, capable of producing highly enriched uranium.  I am greatly concerned that the agreement lacks a crystal clear statement that the international community reserves the right to take all military, economic, and diplomatic measures necessary during the course of the deal and beyond to deter Iran from ever developing a nuclear weapon.  

“Since the U.S. and Iran severed relations in 1980, the Iranian regime has become increasingly aggressive, openly anti-America and anti-Israel, extremely anti-Semitic, and the largest sponsor of terrorism in the world. Even today, the regime has made no good-faith demonstration toward bringing home four Americans who are held prisoner or missing in Iran. Given these realities, the negotiating process alone was a diplomatic feat of tremendous proportion. I commend President Obama, Secretary Kerry, Wendy Sherman, and our entire team. They have worked tirelessly to bring about this agreement, and I continue to have confidence in their service to our country. 

“Congress’s role has been invaluable, in partnership with the Administration, in implementing the crippling sanctions that brought Iran to the table.  I remain hopeful that the Administration and Congress, in concert with our P5+1 and regional allies, can prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon. However, I cannot support this agreement before Congress.”