Congresswoman Kristi Noem’s Weekly Column: A Disturbing Deal

noem press headerkristi noem headshot May 21 2014A Disturbing Deal
By Rep. Kristi Noem
July 24, 2015

Days after the Obama administration announced it had reached a nuclear deal with Iran, Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei told supporters that “even after this deal, our policy toward the arrogant U.S. will not change.”  His uncompromising and menacing remarks were accented by chants of “Death to America” and “Death to Israel” in the background.  Even Secretary of State John Kerry – one of America’s staunchest supporters of the deal – called the scene “very disturbing.”  The Secretary’s words are the same words I’d use to describe the deal the Obama administration has proposed with Iran – very disturbing.

First and foremost, the administration’s proposed agreement with Iran fundamentally fails to eliminate Iran’s pathway to a nuclear weapon. In fact, Iran will be allowed to keep its centrifuges and many of its nuclear production facilities intact.

What’s more, access to inspect the facilities will be limited.  It was President Reagan who advised us to “trust, but verify.”  We cannot trust Iran and under the President’s proposal we still can’t fully verify their nuclear activities either. Rather than anywhere-anytime access, Iran will get as much as 24 days notice before inspectors will be allowed in.  A lot can be concealed in 24 days.

While America’s primary objective was not reached, Iran’s was.  In addition to maintaining their nuclear infrastructure, the economic sanctions on Iran will begin to be lifted by the end of 2015.  That could produce a windfall of up to $150 billion almost immediately.  The administration argues the sanctions could “snap back” if Iran violates the agreement, but it will take time for those sanctions to be reinstated.  By the time they are, Iran will be infused with cash, meaning we will have lost our diplomatic leverage.

Moreover, there are no restrictions on how Iran – the world’s largest state sponsor of terrorism – can spend this influx of cash, an idea that is extremely concerning to our ally Israel and others in the region.  With the arms embargo eventually lifting as a result of this deal too, there is little doubt that Iran will be directing some of that cash toward a stronger, better equipped military.  In fact, Iran is already in negotiations with Russia for the purchase of military aircraft.

We need to walk away from this agreement.  While it’s a good deal for Iran, it’s a bad deal for America, Israel, and our allies.

Congress now has 60 days to review the agreement.  After that, we can vote on whether it moves forward or not.  While the President has already promised to veto congressional action against the agreement, we do have options to override him with enough congressional support.

A bad deal with Iran will jeopardize the security of America, the safety of our ally Israel, and peace around the world.  I’m gravely concerned the President’s proposal puts us in this jeopardizing position.