Murkowski Speaks on Senate Floor Against Iran Nuclear Deal
“The agreement doesn’t allow a win for anyone - except Iran.”
Today Senator Murkowski voted to move forwards on a resolution to disapprove of the Iran nuclear deal. Under the terms of the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act, Congress has the opportunity to prevent implementation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action with Iran. Today Senate Democrats blocked a vote on the Iran nuclear deal, but the Senate will reconsider the resolution again next week. After the vote, Senator Murkowski took to the Senate floor to explain her opposition to the deal:
“This is not where I had hoped I would be because I do believe that diplomacy is the way to solve disagreements around the world. But this deal is far worse than no deal at all. I reject the statement from the President that we have no choice other than this deal or war. That is a false choice. Certainly, these deliberations were difficult and it is always hard to push for more, but those options exist. Keep sanctions in place, strengthen them and continue diplomatic efforts.
“I have strived to maintain an open mind on this agreement. But quite honestly it is hard to maintain an open heart when it comes to Iran.
“Iran was not a country open to resetting relations with a world that yearns for peace and civil society before it entered into this agreement. And it has shown no evidence of changing its ways because of the agreement. Too many of Iran’s senior leaders were chanting ‘death to America’ before the agreement. To my amazement, and in spite of Secretary Kerry’s diligent efforts, they chant ‘death to America’ today. Just yesterday, the Supreme Leader called for the obliteration of Israel.
(Click image to watch entire speech.)
“As Chairman of the Energy and Natural Resources Committee I am also concerned about the opportunities this agreement afford to Iran’s oil sector. Opportunities that will come at the expense of America’s economy in the near term. Increased output by Iran will lower global oil prices, which would be a good thing for consumers everywhere were it not for the fact that we ban exports of our own oil. In effect, we sanction ourselves. Our diplomacy benefits Iranian producers, while our antiquated domestic policy harms American producers.
“This is just one of the many reasons I conclude that Iran got the most out of this negotiation and gave the least. Iran's strategy of nuclear extortion has not been disabled. To the contrary, it has been rewarded. So what does Iran get? A pathway to nuclear weapons, an ICBM program, conventional weapons, sanctions gone and a stronger economy.
(“I cannot support an agreement that fails to make the world a safer place.” Click image to watch clip.)
“In light of the progress that Iran has made in its quest to develop a nuclear weapon, it was imperative to me that an agreement not simply arrest Iran’s nuclear ambitions but require the abandonment of those ambitions. The agreement before us, viewed in the most favorable light, does not accomplish this goal. At best it puts a pause on Iran’s final preparations toward becoming a full-fledged nuclear state.
“The American people wanted Iran out of the nuclear weapons business. That means dismantlement. And the American people wanted their President to demonstrate backbone in the negotiations – not capitulation. And certainly not appeasement of Iran whose leaders seem to take great pride in a continued pattern of unacceptable behavior.
“In recent weeks I have seen a flurry of comments to the effect that the agreement is flawed; it is not what we wanted. Yet American prestige will suffer if Congress forces the administration to walk away now. This is not about American prestige. This is not about a President’s legacy. This is about our security as a nation. I cannot support an agreement that fails to make the world a safer place.”
After listening to Alaskans’ concerns, reviewing the available documents, and participating in the administration’s briefings, Senator Murkowski announced her opposition to the deal in August. You can read her explanation by clicking here.