By Madina Toure
U.S. Rep. Grace Meng (D-Flushing), a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee and the Subcommittee on the Middle East, has announced her opposition to the U.S. nuclear deal with Iran, the first congressional lawmaker to do so.
The agreement, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, was reached July 14 in Vienna by China, France, Germany, Russia, the United States and Iran.
The deal ensures that Iran’s nuclear program will only be peaceful and result in the complete lifting of all UN Security Council sanctions against the Persian Gulf nation.
Although she praised President Barack Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry for their attempts to keep Iran from developing a nuclear weapon, she said the deal is risky for American citizens.
Her main concern rests on the inspection procedures, which she said would not necessarily lead to inspectors knowing whether Iran is manufacturing uranium components for a nuclear weapon.
“I commend President Obama and Secretary Kerry for their efforts to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon, but the deal before us now is simply too dangerous for the American people,” Meng said. “I have every confidence a better deal can be realized.”
She also expressed concerns that nearly all of Iran’s nuclear infrastructure would remain intact and that the immediate sanctions relief provided to Iran in the deal would encourage the funding of terrorism and lessen Iran’s interest in curbing its nuclear ambitions in the long term.
Reach reporter Madina Toure by e-mail at mtour