New York Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney (D-NY-12) became the 13th Democratic member of the U.S. House of Representatives to announce that she will vote against the Nuclear Iran Deal negotiated by the U.S. and its P5+1 partners.
First elected to Congress in 1993, Maloney represents most of Manhattan’s East Side, as well as Queens and Brooklyn. Her district includes the United Nations and the Empire State Building.
Last night Congresswoman Maloney issued a statement opposing the JCPOA.
Maloney said she gave the agreement, “which is one of the most important issues to come before the U.S. Congress in decades,” thoughtful and detailed study, examining the issues, reviewing classified materials, speaking with administration officials, consulting with experts on both sides and listening to community leaders and constituents on both sides.
After tipping her hat to the President and Secretary of State for their diplomatic efforts, she said she had to oppose the agreement “as a matter of conscience.”
Maloney said, as have virtually everyone of the elected officials who have come out in opposition to the deal, that its fatal flaw is that “the deal does not block Iran from eventually acquiring nuclear weapons.”
She pointed out that even given the restraints imposed by the deal, and as the President himself has acknowledged, the breakout time for Iran to become a nuclear threshold state at the end of the deal will have shrunk down to almost zero.
The absence of so-called ‘anywhere, anytime’ inspections and the lifting of embargoes on conventional weapons and on intercontinental ballistic missiles – for which there is no peaceful use – are all gravely troubling, as is Iran’s continued bankrolling of terrorist regimes throughout the Middle East, which will only be made easier by the infusion of billions of dollars as the result of lifting sanctions.
Maloney ended her statement with a poignant comment:
What we wanted out of this agreement was peace. But before the ink was dry, the Mullahs were declaring, “Death to America.” Some believe that if we can just delay Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon, a more moderate regime in a country with a young population will assume power and abandon Iran’s nuclear ambitions. We can hope for the best, but we need an agreement that assumes the worst.
Maloney had been the object of intense pressure by both sides of the Nuclear Iran Deal. On Wednesday, Aug. 26, a delegation from MoveOn.org gathered in front of her office, calling on her to vote in favor of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action. A grass roots coalition of opponents of the JCPOA also gathered, asking that she oppose the deal. Hours later Maloney issued her statement opposing the deal.
One American who feels strongly about the deal and shared his views with his congregation is Rabbi Haskel Lookstein, of Congregation Kehilath Jeshuran on the Upper East Side of Manhattan.
Rabbi Lookstein told the JewishPress.com that he discussed the Iran deal with his congregation and urged them to call their elected representative – Maloney – and tell her their own views of the deal.
For his part, Lookstein said he feels very strongly that the deal is a bad one. He said “it gives Iran a path to nuclear weapons, it provides a tremendous infusion of money which will be used to foment terror in the Middle East, and it gives Iran an opportunity to continue to build its weapons.”
In addition, the JCPOA “will once again provide them with access to intercontinental ballistic missiles, whose sole purpose is to attack the United States,” according to Lookstein.
He said, the deal “is very bad for the U.S. and a terrible one for Israel. The entire political spectrum in Israel stands united against the deal.”