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Florida Democrat to Vote Against Iran Deal

The Hon. Alcee L Hastings. a Democratic Congressman from Florida, has publicly announced in the Palm Beach Post his intention not vote for the present Iran Deal.

After careful review, I have decided that I cannot support this deal.

“The goal of the recently concluded negotiations was to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon. The negotiators worked diligently, but in the end, the JCPOA allows Iran to remain a nuclear threshold state while simultaneously reaping the benefits of relief from international sanctions.

“Under the JCPOA, Iran is limited to approximately 6,100 first-generation IR-1 centrifuges for a period of 10-15 years. However, after this time passes, Iran will again have the ability to pursue its nuclear program with more advanced centrifuges. Iran simply needs to be patient and it will once again have the ability to enrich uranium.

“Just last month, the U.N. Security Council agreed to Resolution 2231, endorsing the JCPOA. Among other things, the resolution lifts the ban on conventional arms sales to Iran after five years, and gives Iran the authority to restart its nuclear-capable ballistic missile development program within eight years. This poses a threat to the U.S. and to our allies.

“These provisions, coupled with a mere delay of Iran’s nuclear program, will give other regional powers a clear window of opportunity to strengthen or create their own weapons programs. As conventional weapons shipments to Iran resume, its neighbors will feel obligated to bolster their own security.

“All the while, billions of dollars will be injected into the Iranian economy as sanctions are lifted. Some portion of this money is likely to be directed toward state-sponsored terrorist groups, such as the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, Hezbollah, Houthi and Hamas.

“We must maintain a strong sanctions regime — to do otherwise is to give up our leverage. Sanctions are what brought Iran to the table, and they depend on large-scale international cooperation and compliance.

“Companies from around the world have started lining up to invest in Iran. Should sanctions need to be re-imposed, it is not clear whether investment contracts implemented in the meantime would be voided. Indeed, many nations may no longer feel bound to U.S. sanctions once U.N. and EU-based sanctions are eased.

“The provisions of the agreement that allow sanctions to “snap back” are of particular concern. This process could take well over two months and is limited to “significant” violations of the deal (the JCPOA fails to define what qualifies as significant). Iran could undermine the agreement in ways that would be nearly impossible to stop.

“What’s more troubling, the agreement imposes a process that can take up to 24 days before inspectors gain access to any undeclared nuclear sites discovered in the future. This delay could provide Iran with substantial opportunity to hide any missile or nuclear activity…”

Democratic congressman
Hon Alcee Hastings at Beit Hanasi

On May 5, 2015, Congressman Hastings led an US delegation to meet President Reuven Rivlin at the Israeli President’s Residence.

Others in his group were on their first trip to Israel and were delayed at Yad Vashem. Congressman Hastings, having been to Israel and Yad Vashem multiple times, opted not to go again and had to wait. I had an opportunity to talk with him. Not only was Rep. Hastings a pleasure to speak with, he was willing to pose for my photos.

Growing up with a name like Alcee, helped him develop a great sense of humor. Could it also have made him strong enough to think for himself and not meekly follow the party line?

About the author

Picture of Real Jstreets

Real Jstreets

I lived in the United States, Canada and Australia before moving to Israel in the midst of the Second Lebanon War. For the last ten years, walking the streets of Jerusalem, the scenes I saw every day did not resemble the ones familiar in the Western media. Now I try to share those positive images with the world, what is really happening in Jerusalem, Israel, The Real Jerusalem Streets
Picture of Real Jstreets

Real Jstreets

I lived in the United States, Canada and Australia before moving to Israel in the midst of the Second Lebanon War. For the last ten years, walking the streets of Jerusalem, the scenes I saw every day did not resemble the ones familiar in the Western media. Now I try to share those positive images with the world, what is really happening in Jerusalem, Israel, The Real Jerusalem Streets
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