And now there are three.
So far, three Congressional Democrats have publicly announced they will vote against the Iran deal. Not one of them is Jewish.
The third House member to announce he will cast a “no” vote on the Iran deal is Albio Sires, who represents New Jersey’s eighth district. Cities in the eighth district include Bayonne, parts of Newark, West New York, Hoboken and Jersey City. Sires has served in the House of Representatives since 2006.
The Congressman was born in Cuba which he and his family fled in 1962, arriving in the United States. He attended college on a full basketball scholarship and received a Masters degree from Middlebury College.
Sires sits on the important House Foreign Affairs Committee, and is a member of the Subcommittee on Europe, Eurasia, and Emerging Threats.
As with the other Democrats who have already announced they oppose the Iran deal, Rep. Grace Meng of New York and Rep. Juan Vargas of California, Rep. Sires does not believe the deal negotiated and agreed to by the United States and its partners in the P5+1 with Iran will prevent the Islamic State of Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon.
Sires remained unconvinced despite the full court press to convince Congress to support the deal by Secretary of State Kerry, Secretary of the Treasury Lew and Secretary of Energy Moniz in Congressional hearings last week.
On Friday, Sires issued a statement, explaining his opposition to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (the Iran deal):
Iran has spent decades evading international sanctions, promoting terror in the region, and violently oppressing its own people. I am concerned that if the proposed agreement is made official, hardliners within the Iranian regime may hinder its implementation. Most importantly, the time frame of the deal is too short and it is unclear what will happen to Iran’s nuclear program after the initial pressure to comply dissipates and Iran is allowed to enhance its nuclear and weapons capabilities.
On July 14, Cong. Sires issued a preliminary assessment of the JCPOA, in which he expressed skepticism that the deal was strong enough to curb Iran’s nuclear ambitions. He was particularly concerned about the agreed-upon inspections program and the enforcement measures.
“Iran has spent decades evading international sanctions, promoting terror in the region, and violently oppressing its own people,” Sires wrote. He also wrote that he would continue reviewing the document to ensure that it actually would – as its proponents insisted – cut off Iran’s pathways to nuclear weapons.
The administration failed to convince Cong. Sires that the deal will accomplish what they claim it does, and what it needs to do.Lori Lowenthal Marcus