Dr. Boozman's Check-up

Over the weekend, the Obama Administration and five other countries struck what is being hailed as a historic nuclear agreement with Iran.

While the President praised the agreement as an “first step,” Iran’s neighbors and important allies of the U.S. had an entirely different take as Israel and the Gulf states, including Saudi Arabia, voiced their discontent with the deal. 

After a careful review of the agreement, I find the deal hard to support.

Iran gets a promise of no new sanctions, and a reprieve from current sanctions, providing access to an estimated $7 billion in sanctions relief.

It was hard enough to get the international community to commit to sanctions in the first place. With a reprieve of this nature, we will never be able to reestablish them should Iran not live up to their end of this agreement.

The agreement does not require dismantling of current centrifuges, and allows those in place and running to continue to operate.  Furthermore, not requiring an explicit statement that Iran does not have a "right" to enrich uranium implicitly accepts that right and puts the U.S. on record as saying that Iran’s nuclear ambitions are peaceful, which, given the country’s rhetoric and behavior, is far from the truth.  

Unfortunately, the implementation of this interim agreement has already begun.  Therefore, we should immediately move forward with bipartisan legislation that reinstates current sanctions and imposes new ones should the Iranian regime fail to comply with the promises to roll back its nuclear program and significantly dismantle its nuclear infrastructure during the next six months.  We must also ensure that this deal does not become permanent.

For that reason, I am supportive of legislation introduced by Senator Bob Corker, ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, called the Iran Nuclear Compliance Act of 2013.  This legislation ensures that Iran is in full compliance with the interim agreement and sets further specific requirements that must be met by the regime before any final agreement is reached and additional sanctions waived.  It also reinstates all current sanctions if the interim agreement is violated. 

We are all hopeful for a diplomatic solution, and I look forward to continuing to work with my colleagues in the House and the Senate, as well as the administration, in order to reach a final agreement that ensures Iran never obtains the capability to develop a nuclear weapon.