Lofgren Announces Support for Iran Nuclear Agreement

August 21, 2015
Press Release

SAN JOSE, CA - U.S. Representative Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.) issued the following statement today in support of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) reached between the P5+1 nations and Iran:

"Since its release in mid-July, I have approached the question of whether to implement the Iran nuclear agreement with the seriousness it merits. I have read the agreement and its annexes and visited the basement of the Capitol to read the related classified materials. I have participated in numerous classified briefings and listened to scholars analyze from various points of view the potential impact of the agreement. I have reviewed the analysis of experts who both favor and oppose the agreement. I have spoken with President Obama at length as well as with Secretary of Energy Ernie Moniz, an expert on nuclear matters. I have met with other members of the negotiating team. Finally, and importantly, I've met with and listened to my constituents - some in favor, some opposed and some undecided.

"I have concluded that this agreement is in the best interests of the United States and the world.

"This agreement walks Iran back from its current status as a threshold nuclear power. It requires the removal of the nuclear material required for a bomb, and prohibits anything but peaceful nuclear power in the future.

"The agreement reflects the mistrust Iran has earned. We will know through monitoring and inspections if Iran is adhering to its commitments to never obtain the bomb.

"If Iran tries to cheat, the world will find out quickly. We would then have the same tools available to deal with Iran that we have today - imposition of international sanctions, or the use of military force. Additionally, the agreement crafts the re-imposition of sanctions in such a manner that China and Russia cannot block them.  Through an unprecedented regime of international inspections we would  also have much more information on which to base these actions than we do today. I expect a future President and Congress will act with unity if faced with such a scenario.

"Iran has been a hostile, negative and disruptive force. It has supported terrorists that threaten our allies and fomented war and violence. The agreement is not based on the hope or expectation that Iran will become peaceful and friendly, although all would welcome that development should it occur. It is important to remember that this agreement will not relieve, nor preclude, the United States or our allies from our obligation to counter future Iranian aggression or terrorism with appropriate economic or military responses.

"Some question whether it is right to negotiate with an enemy country. But arms control agreements are always negotiated with enemies, not with friends. When nuclear arms control agreements were forged with the Soviet Union, they were our enemy and posed a grave threat to the world. It was still better to limit the proliferation of nuclear weapons by negotiated agreement.

"Some also suggest a better agreement could have been reached. We cannot know whether a better agreement was possible, but after two years of lengthy and difficult negotiations, this agreement was reached by all the involved nations. The question before the Congress is whether to implement the agreement or not. There is no evidence that rejection by Congress would lead to a new round of negotiations or better terms.

"In my view, this agreement is the best option we have to prevent Iran from securing a nuclear weapon. Accordingly, I intend to vote ‘yes' when it comes to the House floor."