U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer, tonight, announced that he will vote against the proposed accord that will end economic sanctions against Iran in exchange for restrictions on its nuclear program including verifiably not building a nuclear weapon for 10 years.
“I have spent the last three weeks doing just that: carefully studying the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, reading and re-reading the agreement and its annexes, questioning dozens of proponents and opponents, and seeking answers to questions that go beyond the text of the agreement but will have real consequences that must be considered,” wrote Schumer in a post explaining his no vote.
“Advocates on both sides have strong cases for their point of view that cannot simply be dismissed. This has made evaluating the agreement a difficult and deliberate endeavor, and after deep study, careful thought and considerable soul-searching, I have decided I must oppose the agreement and will vote yes on a motion of disapproval.”
Schumer said in making his decision he examined the deal in three parts: nuclear restrictions on Iran in the first ten years, nuclear restrictions on Iran after ten years, and non-nuclear components and consequences of a deal. In each case he found that the United States is better off without signing the accord.
While Schumer said while he doesn’t agree with President Obama on the accord, he gives him a tremendous amount of credit to try to reach one.
“The President, Secretary Kerry and their team have spent painstaking months and years pushing Iran to come to an agreement. Iran would not have come to the table without the President’s persistent efforts to convince the Europeans, the Russians, and the Chinese to join in the sanctions. In addition, it was the President’s far-sighted focus that led our nation to accelerate development of the Massive Ordinance Penetrator (MOP), the best military deterrent and antidote to a nuclear Iran. So whichever side one comes down on in this agreement, all fair-minded Americans should acknowledge the President’s strong achievements in combating and containing Iran,” wrote Schumer on the post.
Schumer announcement that he will vote against the accord came just hours after his New York Collegue U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand announced she will vote for it.
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) had been fiercely lobbying Schumer, who also lives in Brooklyn, as well as Brooklyn Congress members Hakeem Jeffries, Yvette Clarke, Jerrold Nadler, and Nydia Velazquez to vote against the accord.
Schumer insisted his decision was based on studying the issue carefully, hearing the full, unfiltered explanation of those for and against it, and then, without regard to pressure, politics or party, make a decision solely based on the merits.
The other aforementioned lawmakers have not made up their minds yet. They have until early next month to do so.