07.14.15

Intelligence Committee Ranking Member Schiff Statement on Nuclear Agreement with Iran

Washington, DC -- Today, Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), the Ranking Member of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, released the following statement:

"Throughout the long standoff with Iran over its nuclear program, I have expressed my preference for a diplomatic solution that would prevent Tehran from obtaining a nuclear weapon. To accomplish this, I have supported a series of ever tightening American sanctions and efforts to rally the international community to isolate Iran, raising the costs of Iran's enrichment program and helping to dry up a portion of the funding Iran has used to carry out its nefarious conduct in the region and beyond.

"In the coming days I will be examining the terms of the agreement hammered out by Secretary Of State John Kerry and his team, with particular attention to the verification regime that is central to ensuring that Iran cannot cheat. Whether I can support the agreement will hinge on our ability to verify that Iran is complying, and whether we have timely access to any site of Iran's potential nuclear development activities, including venues controlled by the Iranian military. It will also be necessary for the United States and our partners to get an accurate accounting of Tehran's nuclear program from its inception. Additionally, I will be looking at the sequencing of Iranian actions and any loosening of sanctions and the mechanism for re-imposing them -- the so-called 'snap back' provisions -- should Tehran fail to meet its commitments.

"The nuclear program has always been the greatest threat from Iran, but not the only one, and I also remain deeply concerned about Tehran's actions in the region -- from its efforts to dominate Iraq and Lebanon, to prop up the Assad regime in Syria, to back the Houthi rebels in Yemen, to its unrelenting hostility to Israel and its support of terror around the world. I will also be examining any relaxation of UN sanctions on Iran's acquisition of weapons or missile technology.

"Given Iran's long record of duplicity and the consequence of Iran's getting a bomb or having a greater economic power to project its destructive influence, we cannot be too careful, nor can we afford to take Tehran at its word.

"As the terms and consequences of this agreement become clear during the period of Congressional review, I would urge my colleagues to give the measure the serious thought it deserves.  If the agreement is flawed it should be rejected; at the same time, we must not compare the proposal to an ideal, but rather to any credible alternative. Will rejection of the deal lead to additional sanctions and an Iran willing to concede more, or to renewed enrichment and a path to war?  These are the stakes and our decision should be made with sober thought and a minimum of partisan demagoguery."

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