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Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton

Representing the District of Columbia

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Norton Spells Out Why She Supports Final Iran Nuclear Deal

Sep 2, 2015
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C.—The office of Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) today released the Congresswoman’s statement supporting the final nuclear deal reached among Iran, the United States and the five major nuclear world powers.

“In April, when the Framework for the agreement between Iran and the international community was released, I was not alone in expressing my relief, even surprise, at the strong deal the Framework seemed to forecast, and I said so in a statement issued on April 2 [4/2].  In July, when former Secretary Hillary Clinton visited Congress, I took the opportunity during a public meeting to ask her some tough questions about the deal [7/14].  After studying the details of the agreement, I can and do support its terms.

“The skepticism that any deal with Iran deserves is best met by analyzing the deal against the major objections of its critics.  The disabling of Iran’s nuclear program by this deal has driven critics to two empty responses.  They either change the subject to argue about Iran’s conduct in the Middle East, although that issue was not on the table to be negotiated, or they simply call for ‘a better deal.’ 

“First, this agreement cannot and was never meant to solve all our problems with Iran.  This deal, however, removes Iran’s ability to become an unmonitored nuclear power within 90 days, the most dangerous threat from Iran faced by the U.S., Israel, and the international community.

“Second, the ‘better deal’ notion is the best indication that critics are unable to fairly criticize the deal itself.  For example, this deal, by 98%, reduces Iran’s stockpile of uranium that could be processed into bomb-grade fuel, and by two thirds, reduces its centrifuges that could be used to enrich such fuel.  The agreement sets back Iran’s nuclear program 25 years.  Most important, Iran has agreed to indefinite monitoring by the International Atomic Energy Agency, and has agreed to sign the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty to never produce a nuclear weapon.  The unusually invasive monitoring and indefinite sanctions are what give credibility to the provisions of the deal.

“This deal has been signed by the most important nations in the world today, including China and Russia.  It was unlikely to get and keep China and Russia with France, Great Britain, and Germany negotiating together for a deal with Iran.  To walk away now from this deal is to walk alone.  That would be worth it if Iran had not surrendered its ability to walk toward a nuclear weapon.  If, despite the transparency to which Iran has submitted, it reverts to cheating, as it has done before, all of the options we now possess remain.  It is Iran that has much to lose by trying to subvert the deal.  We will only lose if we insist on an impossible deal that isolates the U.S. from allies and opponents alike and leaves the U.S. alone to take the blame for Iran’s continuing path to nuclear weapons.  This is an asymmetrical deal.  Unlike Iran, the deal leaves the P5+1 in no worse position than we are in today.  Therefore, I believe that history will vindicate the Iran nuclear agreement, and I strongly support it.”

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