Rep. Schiff Statement on Speech by Prime Minister Netanyahu to Congress

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

“This morning, Prime Minister Netanyahu laid out the concerns held by many Israelis about a possible agreement with Iran over its nuclear program. Given the behavior of the Iranian regime and its threats to wipe Israel off the map, these concerns deserve our serious consideration. We must approach negotiations with Iran with our eyes wide open, aware that this regime has a long history of deceit and cynicism in its dealings with the international community. 

"At the same time, we must consider the consequences of a failure to reach an agreement and whether there is a plausible alternative to military action. This was a subject on which I would have liked to have heard much more from the Prime Minister. 

"My own belief is that in the absence of an agreement, Iran will again begin to enrich to 20% and beyond, bringing on a new line of faster and more efficient centrifuges. Congress will pass – with my support – a new set of even more stringent sanctions and we will work to keep the international community behind them. From here, it may be a race for time between increased pressure on Iran and the possibility it brings that country back to the negotiating table, and crossing a red line that brings Israel, the United States or both, to war. 

“I am still deeply skeptical that an agreement will be reached, and that the Iranian clerics are prepared to make the concessions necessary to end their nuclear aspirations. But we will know soon enough, and I would encourage my colleagues to reserve judgment until we see whether in fact we have a good deal, a bad deal or no deal at all."