New York’s junior U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand today announced she will support the Iran accord that will end economic sanctions against Iran in exchange for restrictions on its nuclear program.
“Beginning in 2010, I helped champion in Congress an aggressive and punitive series of sanctions against Iran because we faced an Iranian nuclear program that was spinning unchecked and out of control. The Iranian regime with a nuclear weapon posed – then and now – an existential threat to the State of Israel, and dangerously threatens our own national security interests,” said Gillibrand in a written statement and posted online.
“Bottom line: Iran possessing a nuclear weapon would be a game-changing event that cannot and will not be allowed. That was true then – and it remains true today.
“The question before us now is whether this deal is the best way to reach our goal, or whether the best way forward is continued Congressional sanctions, even as other nations around the world begin to lift their own. To date, the sanctions the U.S. led the global community to impose worked: they crippled Iran’s economy and compelled its leaders to face us at the negotiating table.
“By including China, Russia, and our European partners, this crushing economic pressure, combined with diplomacy, has produced an unprecedented combination of ways to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon. Just as important, inspectors will have unprecedented access to Iran’s facilities, so that we can better understand Iran’s capabilities, stop a program currently designed to produce a nuclear weapon, and be better prepared to detect any covert activity.”
Gillibrand noted the deal does not take any military options off the table for the next president if Iran fails to live up to its end of the agreement. In fact, we will have better intelligence as a result of this deal should military action become unavoidable, she said.
Gillibrand’s announcement that she will vote for the accord, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPA), is something of a blow to Brooklyn’s large Jewish community, which for the most part sides with the Israeli government, which staunchly opposes the deal.
It also comes as a myriad of Jewish organizations in Brooklyn and including the national Agudath Israel of America and the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) have been fiercely lobbying Brooklyn Congress members Hakeem Jeffries, Yvette Clarke, Jerrold Nadler, and Nydia Velazquez as well as U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer, who also lives in Brooklyn, to vote against the accord.
After intensive lobbying, Jeffries has agreed to hold a Town Hall meeting to address the issue and hear constituent concerns about it.
The meeting is slated for 7:30 p.m., this coming Tuesday, Aug. 11 at the Flatbush Park Jewish Center, 6363 Avenue U.