Yesterday’s count had four Congressional Democrats coming out against the Iran Nuclear Deal.
But since yesterday, that number has nearly doubled. And, amazingly, the latest three are all Jewish members of Congress. That’s a surprise because in their effort to appear impartial, many Jews in public office bend over backwards to avoid the appearance that they are voting a particular way because they are Jewish, regardless of their actual assessment of the matter. Few if any other minority group members act this way.
So who are these Congress members?
Both Nita Lowey (D-NY-17) and Steve Israel (D-NY-03) represent New York congressional districts. Lowey’s district is just north of New York City, including parts of the Hudson Valley, and Westchester and Rockland counties. Cong. Israel represents northeastern Queens into the beginning of Long Island.
Ted Deutch (D-FL-21) represents a southern east coast section of Florida that includes parts of Broward and Palm Beach counties. Deutch is a senior member of the all-important House Foreign Affairs Committee, which deals with economic sanctions and diplomacy. He is also the Ranking Democrat on that Committee’s Middle East and North Africa’s subcommittee.
In announcing that he opposes the Iran deal, Deutch ticked off the list of reasons for his decisions. They included Iran’s role as the central supporter of terrorist groups and the nearly universal agreement that Iran will seek to cheat on the deal “in any way it can.”
The Florida three-term congressman is appalled that the deal “makes it nearly impossible to reinstate sanctions” commensurate with those currently in place.
While Deutch says the deal may temporarily slow down Iran’s march towards nuclear weapons capability, the giveaways included in the deal “speeds up the enrichment of the Revolutionary Guard and the Iranian terror proxies that endanger security and stability in the Middle East.”
Lowey, who has been representing New Yorkers in Congress since 1989, serves on the State and Foreign Operations Appropriations Subcommittee of the House Appropriations Committee.
As with all the other members of Congress who have thus far publicly stated their opposition to the JCPOA, Lowey believes there are not sufficient safeguards to counter the grave risks it embraces.
In her statement of opposition to the deal, Lowey mentions the sanctions relief as well as relaxing of bans on conventional arms and ballistic missiles, and the release of billions of dollars to a terrorist and terrorism-supporting regime. Like her colleagues, Lowey is also wary of the lack of full disclosure of previous military work which may have included nuclear activity, and a less than robust inspections regimen.
The”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,” Lowey wrote.
“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.”
Rep. Israel disclosed to Newsday that he would not support the deal. Calling the Iran deal “one of the most important foreign policy and national security issues” the Congress is going to vote on, Israel said he was not satisfied with the safeguards in the deal.
The New York Congressman’s concerns were primarily the likelihood that Iran will cheat – he called that a high likelihood that Iran would “exploit ambiguities in the deal”; the lifting of the arms embargo; and the ability of Iran to so quickly attain nuclear capabilities at the termination of the deal.