Jeffries Undecided On Iran Deal Following Passionate Meeting


Central Brooklyn Congressman Hakeem Jeffries appeared to lean against the nuclear accord with Iran, but remained undecided following a passionate standing-room only town hall meeting on the issue last night.

“The most significant question that I’m grappling with is have we gotten the best possible agreement under the circumstances,” Jeffries said, adding the proposed deal is flawed. “We have to evaluate if a flawed deal is the best deal we could get.”

Jeffries brought with him to the meeting, Dr. Jim Walsh, an expert in international security and a professor at MIT, and Omri Ceren from The Israel Project – two expert representatives from both sides of the debate.

An overflow crowd Came to the Town Hall meeting on the Iran accord.
An overflow crowd Came to the Town Hall meeting on the Iran accord.

A vast majority of the crowd of over 500 people were Jewish and strongly in line with Israel’s opposition to the accord, and let their concerns heard through polite and orderly questions, and some shouting throughout the evening.

Among these questions of concern had to do with the ability of the United States to verify Iran was not building nuclear weapons, dealing with Iran’s extremist world views including its deep disdain of both the United States and Israel, and its ability to further fund and destabilize the Middle East once international sanctions end.

Several elected officials were also in attendance including Flatbush Congresswoman Yvette Clarke who furiously took notes as she remains undecided on how she will vote.

Other lawmakers in attendance included Assembly Members Roxanne Persaud and Rodneyse Bichotte, and City Councilman Alan Maisel.

Four people disrupted the meeting with placards showing they support the accord.

However, the attendees weren’t exclusively Jewish or elected officials, and included a number of non-Jewish people of color. Among these was Canarsie resident Roger Worme from the international organization Global Zero,  which advocates a world without nuclear weapons, and who was in favor of the accord.

Additionally, there were several Jews attendees that were in favor of the accord – most notable four protesters who held up placards expressing their favoring the plan before being unceremoniously shown the exit door – not so much for their views, but for their excessive disruption of the meeting.

For the most part, though, the meeting was orderly, informative and many gave Jeffries props for his leadership in addressing the issue with an open and educated discourse.

“I’ve got to give Jeffries a lot of credit for putting the effort into it and having two different opinions of people. It added value to the presentation,” said Gil Cygler, a widely respected member of Brooklyn’s Orthodox Jewish and business community.

“Even if he did it for only political purposes, it showed his respect of the community that he came out and had a credible basis for doing this,” he added.