Just two days after President Barack Obama announced support for a nuclear deal with Iran, U.S. Rep. Gus Bilirakis from North Pinellas County is voicing his concerns against it.
“After reading the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, the agreement is not in the best interest of our country and is a gross reversal of a quarter century of nonproliferation policy regarding Iran,” Bilirakis wrote in a statement. “I will vote against the agreement, and I encourage my colleagues to do the same.”
The deal requires Iran to grossly reduce the number of its centrifuges creating enriched uranium and reduce the amount of uranium stored in the country.
The deal reached on Tuesday between six countries, including the U.S. and Iran, has been heralded by the Obama administration as a political triumph years in the making.
However, many conservatives in Congress aren’t happy with the deal.
“I remain skeptical and concerned about the inspections and verifications mechanism, sanctions relief timetable and requirements, and the lifting of the arms embargo – all of which threaten our national security interests at home and abroad,” Bilirakis said. “This agreement assumes trust in a regime that has continually hid parts of its nuclear program, is the largest economic state sponsor of terrorism, commits numerous human rights violations against their own citizens, and continues to detain four American citizens.”
In addition to provisions set to ensure Iran does not have access to nuclear weapons, the country also stands to gain a lot. That includes lifting many of the U.S., EU and UN sanctions currently imposed on Iran and as much as $150 billion in assets unfrozen for the country.
“This is a bad deal, and when the stakes are this high, I do not believe we can settle for a bad deal. That is why today I cosponsored a resolution expressing my strong disapproval of the Iran deal.”
Congress is now set to debate the deal, but Obama has promised to veto any attempt to undermine the deal.