Congressman Boyle’s Statement on President Trump’s Decision to Withdraw from the Iran Nuclear Deal
In 2015, I was one of 25 House Democrats to vote against the Iran nuclear deal (the JCPOA) because I believe it left too many important matters on the table. I was concerned by the amount of money that would be released to the regime and inevitably used for terrorism, rather than the Iranian people. I believed inspections could have been more stringent. I did not support the deal’s timetable. However, the deal was debated, advanced, and was ultimately signed by the United States, China, Russia, France, Germany, and the United Kingdom upon the agreement to act in unison as allies to hold Iran to the deal or else impose severe consequences.
Today, our alternative is not a “better deal”; it’s no deal. Unilaterally withdrawing now means undermining U.S. credibility on this and other related matters of world order, like denuclearizing North Korea; losing all access to international inspections of Iran’s nuclear activities; and giving the Iranians an excuse to race towards a nuclear bomb, this time with a large cash flow in hand.
After I voted against the deal, it nonetheless went into effect. Rather than sit back and be counterproductive, I pledged to work to hold Iran to every corner of the deal and push to strengthen it at every single opportunity to address matters outside its scope, including: Iran’s support for terrorism, its ballistic missiles program, and its atrocious human rights record. I’ve also pushed for supplemental agreements in the next 10-15 years before the current agreement’s sunsets.
Today, in light of where we stand, this should be our focus.
Instead, the Trump administration is once again playing fast and loose politics with U.S. foreign policy, ceding American leadership, and creating a self-induced crisis. Key limitations in the JCPOA won’t expire for many years, meaning we have time to address the deal’s failings and strengthen it rather than simply rip it up and renege on our commitments.
Rather than negotiate a better deal as he promised, the President has pulled us away from the negotiating table altogether – without a comprehensive policy or plan in place to fall back on. Acting as though Iran will negotiate with the United States all over again or relying upon the Europeans to fix this crisis without a backup plan in place is wrong, misguided, and reckless.