Schiff and Chu Back Obama (Pasadena Weekly)

After deep reflection, US Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Burbank on Friday, Sept. 11, voted to support President Barack Obama’s efforts to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear bomb by better controlling that country’s already operating nuclear power program.

“I voted today to support the Iran deal negotiated by the administration and the representatives of the other P5+1 nations — a deal which will realistically prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon,” said Schiff, the ranking member of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (HPSCI), in a prepared statement. 

“Given the unthinkable consequences of Iran, the world’s foremost sponsor of terrorism, obtaining the bomb, this has been an overriding national security imperative of the US for decades,” Schiff said.

Also voting for the deal was Congresswoman Judy Chu, D-Pasadena. Schiff’s district includes portions of West Pasadena.

The P5+1 nations — the UN Security Council’s five permanent members: China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States; plus Germany — in 2006 joined in diplomatic efforts with Iran with regard to its nuclear program.

The administration’s controversial deal will lift harsh economic sanctions imposed by Obama against Iran in exchange for a curb to that nation’s nuclear development. The deal was opposed by congressional Republicans.

On Thursday, Sept. 10, Senate Democrats blocked a Republican resolution opposing the proposal. And on Friday, House Republicans, joined by 25 Democrats, voted by a margin of 269-162 to reject the deal — short of the two-thirds majority needed to avoid a presidential veto.

An administration official mocked Republicans after the vote, according to The Hill, which covers Washington politics.

“Like many decisions that are made on Tuesday night at Tortilla Coast, they seem like a great idea after a couple of margaritas,” said White House spokesman Josh Earnest, referring to a Capitol Hill restaurant popular with conservatives. “But when faced with the scrutiny of the light of day, they don’t seem quite as realistic.”

Schiff said the vote for him hit close to home.

“As an American and as a Jew who is deeply concerned about the security of Israel, this issue was deeply personal for me. I believe our vital interests will be advanced under the agreement as it would be extremely difficult for Iran to amass enough fissionable material to make a nuclear weapon without giving the United States ample notice and time to stop it. We will still need to guard against any Iranian effort to obtain nuclear material or technology from proliferators abroad — a reality even if Iran had given up all enrichment — but the agreement will likely give the world at least a decade and a half without the prospect of an Iranian nuclear weapon and without going to war to make that so. That is a major achievement.”

By:  Andre Coleman
Source: Pasadena Weekly