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Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton

Representing the District of Columbia

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After Questioning Secretary Clinton at a Meeting this Morning, Norton Confident Nuclear Agreement Blocks Iran’s Path to a Nuclear Weapon

Jul 14, 2015
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) released the following statement on the final nuclear deal reached among Iran, the United States and major world powers, which would phase out economic sanctions in exchange for Iran’s assenting to cut off its pathway to a nuclear bomb.

“At a Democratic Caucus meeting this morning with Secretary Hillary Clinton, we learned about her significant role in the lead up to today’s Iran–P5+1 nuclear agreement.  For example, it was Secretary Clinton who put together the coalition, including China and Russia, which led to the unity that makes this agreement so strong, and in my judgment, difficult to refute or oppose.  During the question period, I asked Secretary Clinton about the anticipated opposition to the nuclear deal and how it should be handled.  I told her I thought the deal would be difficult to attack head-on considering its air-tight qualities, such as continuous international monitoring of Iraq’s nuclear program by the International Atomic Energy Agency, daily access to all facilities, including military facilities, among others.  I added that arguments about Iran cheating appear to be met with mandatory international inspections and monitoring through Iran.  Instead, I said, opponents are likely to switch the basis for their disagreement.  I asked Secretary Clinton whether opponents of the deal would now argue that the gradual elimination of sanctions would provide Iran with more revenue and, therefore, a greater likelihood of expanding their dangerous role in the Middle East, such as their involvement in the civil wars in Yemen and Syria.  I also asked her if the nuclear agreement would likely change Iran’s behavior in any way.  Secretary Clinton, instead of speculating on whether Iran would change its behavior in the Middle East, adopted a hard line, saying the U.S. must assume that this deal will not necessarily influence Iran’s behavior and that we have to be prepared to continue to confront them on the issues not included in the nuclear agreement.  Secretary Clinton said that Iran with a bomb would be a far greater threat than Iran without a bomb.”