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DC NEWS JUNKIE | Connecticut Delegation Cautiously Supports Iran Deal, With Two Holdouts

by | Aug 24, 2015 5:30am () Comments | Commenting has expired | Share
Posted to: US Foreign Policy, Congress, White House

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When President Barack Obama first announced a deal to monitor Iran’s nuclear capabilities, members of Connecticut’s congressional delegation expressed cautious support, pending a thorough review of the agreement. A vote has not yet come to the floor, but that cautious support has turned into explicit approval for all but two of Connecticut’s representatives in Washington.

Only Sen. Richard Blumenthal and Rep. Elizabeth Esty, D-5th District, have not expressed their support for the so-called Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), forcing us all to wait with bated breath for their final word on the matter.

Blumenthal expects to inform the world of his decision “sometime in the next couple weeks,” as was reported by the Associated Press.

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“I’m considering very seriously the very cogent points that he’s made in favor of delaying any congressional action,” Blumenthal told Politico. “I’m talking to colleagues on both sides of the aisle. And I think they are thinking, and rethinking, their positions in light of the points that the president and his team are making to us.”

Esty just returned from a trip to Israel sponsored by American Israel Public Affairs Committee, which has been vocally lobbying against the deal. As of last week, Esty has not made a definitive statement on the agreement, though she did say previously that “diplomacy can best achieve our goal of preventing Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon now or in the future.”

Blumenthal is not alone among Senate Democrats in withholding his support. Notably, Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., has publicly spoken against the agreement.

But Blumenthal is alone among his colleagues in Connecticut. Rep. John Larson, D-1st District, held a pair of public discussions on the topic before offering his support.

“After carefully considering the concerns of my constituents on both sides of this issue — as well as the information I have received through the Congressional Briefing process and the dynamics at play in the Middle East — I have decided to support the agreement,” Larson said in a release. “While imperfect, this deal is our best chance at diplomatically preventing Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon.”

That support did not, however, come before a proposed resolution authorizing the use of force should Iran break the terms of the deal. Proposed by Larson, that resolution had no co-sponsors and was presented shortly before Congress’ August break.

Other Connecticut congresspeople have been more openly supportive.

“The full weight of the international community is behind this deal,” U.S. Rep. Rosa DeLauro said in a statement last week. “To walk away from it would leave the United States with few realistic options for limiting Iran’s development of a nuclear weapon. If we choose to abandon the international community, we risk jeopardizing the legitimacy of any potential military action that we may be forced to take against the Iranian regime in the future.”

DeLauro wrote that the agreement is “not rooted in trust,” a point many of her colleagues seemed to feel important to make.

“To be clear, I am under no illusion that this agreement represents a new era of trust or friendship between the Iranian regime and the rest of the world. It does not,” Rep. Joe Courtney, D-2nd District, wrote, though he did not make clear his intention to vote for the deal.

“I believe that the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action is the best option for our nation and the international community to prevent Iran from gaining a nuclear weapons capability, and I will support the agreement when it comes up for a vote,” he said.

Though he said he has “decided to support” the agreement, Rep. Jim Himes, D-4th District, also called Iran’s trustworthiness into question.

“There are no perfect answers or easy solutions in the Middle East — only choices with varying levels of risk associated with them,” Himes said in a statement. “International agreements with one’s foes are as fraught with potential pitfalls as they are with opportunity. The Iranian regime has shown itself to be untrustworthy and destabilizing.”

Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been outspoken in his opposition to the deal, calling it “a nightmare deal for the world” on NBC’s Meet the Press. Connecticut’s junior senator, Chris Murphy, however, invoked another Israeli prime minister when expressing his support for the agreement.

“Upon recognizing the Palestinian Liberation Organization in 1993, Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin said, ‘you don’t make peace with friends, you make it with very unsavory enemies.’ Diplomacy with adversaries is never easy, and the results are never pretty,” Murphy said in a statement. But hundreds of wars have been avoided by nations supporting imperfect but necessary diplomatic arrangements. And we aren’t making peace with Iran with this agreement, we’re simply ensuring they don’t become a nuclear-armed adversary.”

“This agreement, from the beginning, has been about stopping Iran’s path to a nuclear weapon without having to go to war again,” Murphy said. “Because I believe that Iran is less likely to get a nuclear weapon with this agreement than without it, I will support it.”

Jordan Fenster can be reached by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or @JordanFenster on Twitter.

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(12) Archived Comments

posted by: Politijoe | August 24, 2015  5:56am

Politijoe

I applaud Sen. Blumenthals deliberation but do hope he and Rep. Esty arrive at supporting the deal. This is not about making peace with a friend and although not perfect it remains a step in the right direction. The reality is sanctions have merely slowed the process, Iran has been continuing to move closer for the last twelve years- since that fateful day in 2003 when G.W. heard the voice of Jesus tell him to invade a sovereign nation, depose the dictator we enabled and create a democracy in the Middle-East. In the process upset the balance of power in the region, loose over 100,000 lives and at a costs of over FOUR trillion dollars to US taxpayers….... And then leave the the whole smoldering mess behind him for someone else to clean up. We are here because of the failed policies of the Bush administration and because we are exhausted and broke from needless, unfunded wars this is now the best option we have….Sitting at the table and negotiating with Iran.

posted by: Noteworthy | August 24, 2015  10:02am

They will eventually fold, I predict, like a cheap tent. All the Dems do and it’s sad. They’re heads are in the sand; and they want to be good Demos, so they pretend to be pondering but he fix is already in. This is a damn sorry deal that includes have Iran file their own reports and do their own testing - that was a secret side deal the Kerry/Obama team came up with and that’s just part of the story. This thing should be scrapped, go back to the table and get something done. Iran has never kept its word - not one single time. This will be different? Haha, and then the next president, or two presidents for now, will be dealing with the same mess, but now, even worse. Iran will have the bomb.

posted by: Truth_To_Power | August 24, 2015  10:23am

politjoe: you are correct when you state “....the best option we have…. Sitting at the table and negotiating with Iran.”

Unfortunately, the administration has decided to jump beyond that most crucial step to appease Iran’s leaders. Time will reveal the folly of this decision

posted by: art vandelay | August 24, 2015  11:38am

art vandelay

Politijoe’s comment regarding the Iranian nation as a “FRIEND” is in my opinion way over the top, even for a hard core leftist like himself. 

A nation who’s foreign policy is destroy Israel and the entire civilized world is no “FRIEND”. They cannot be trusted by any nation.

I might suggest to Politijoe that he read the Koran and read it carefully.  It clearly states that the ultimate goal of Islam is to conquer the world under one religion. 

The Islamic religion has proven this correctly throughout the history of European Civilization. The Moors conquered the lands of Northern Africa, the Iberian Peninsula, over the Pyrenees and on into southern Gaul.  It was Poiters who drove the Moors out of Gaul at the Battle of Tours in 732. The battle ended the Islamic conquest of Europe.  On January 2, 1492 Queen Isbella’s army liberated Granada and the Islamists were out of Europe completely.  Thanks to today’s modern invention of the jet airliner and extremely lax immigration policies, the Islamic religion has a strong foothold throughout the world.  As an example the most popular name for newborn males in Great Britain is Mohammad.  Since 1965 when the Immigration Act of 1922 was abolished by Ted Kennedy & LBJ, our nation has witnessed a mass infestation of immigrants from Islamic countries and other 3rd world nations.

I agree w/Politijoe that Bush Never should have invaded Iraq.  Iraq was a nation at war within itself with three nomadic tribes for centuries. Sadam Hussain was at war with Iran & the two other tribes.  They should have fought it out for themselves.  Yes Bush had false information regarding WMD’s which was his reason to intervene. Obama’s mistake was withdrawing thus creating a power vacuum.

Iran should NEVER be allowed to have a nuclear weapon.  This treaty guarantees it.  The treaty Kerry negotiated has far worse implications than the Munich Pact of 1938.  Not only does this treaty put Israel in danger, it also puts our nation and for that matter every civilized nation on this planet at risk.

Our Connecticut Delegation, Obama, & the rest of his crew are NOT students of history.  As the old saying goes, those who do not understand or know history are doomed to repeat it.

posted by: gutbomb86 | August 24, 2015  12:05pm

gutbomb86

Art, you’re a menace. You misread PJ’s comment. He said:

This is not about making peace with a friend and although not perfect it remains a step in the right direction.

Are you just looking for an excuse for a diatribe?

And you’re just trying to paint all Muslims as if they are extremists, which isn’t the case, and I don’t actually have any faith that you have 1) read the Koran, and 2) interpreted it remotely close to its meaning. Regardless of what it says, our culture is mixed up with its own book full of hideous violence as well… it’s called the Bible. Very few of us follow it to the letter, thankfully.

And the rest of your comment… that’s a bunch more Fox News revisionist history you’re posting there. Your grasp of current events and history continues to produce inaccurate representations of reality. You need to remove the anti-Obama lens you’re always looking through:

From the Washington Post, dated 2011:

For months, U.S. and Iraqi officials had been negotiating the terms of an accord that would have kept several thousand U.S. troops in Iraq for special operations and training beyond the year-end deadline set by the George W. Bush administration.

Obama was actually negotiating to KEEP troops in Iraq beyond the deadline Bush set to leave the country.

From the Huffington Post, dated 2015, and this is just the headline:

Top Army General Ray Odierno: Jeb Bush Is Wrong About Iraq War

“I remind everybody that us leaving at the end of 2011 was negotiated in 2008 by the Bush administration.”

By the way, that second story was reported by a Huffington Post intern. Maybe there’s hope for our schools after all… there certainly isn’t much hope for learning anything accurate in these comment threads. I don’t have time to keep coming back here to correct the record every time people post.

posted by: art vandelay | August 24, 2015  12:40pm

art vandelay

@Gutbomb86,
I don’t believe I misread anything.  Politijoe clearly illustrated Iran a “FRIEND”.  I do agree with him that the treaty is not perfect.  I disagree on it being a step in the right direction.  Iran wins on every account, even to the point of retaining 4 American hostages.  This treaty is a loose/loose on every account.  It should be rejected.

posted by: MyOpinion | August 24, 2015  1:47pm

Vote NO!

posted by: SocialButterfly | August 24, 2015  2:59pm

Politijoe defies good judgement as usual when he applauds Richard Blumenthal our daily political posturing Democratic congressional news media leader.

posted by: Ctkeith | August 24, 2015  3:45pm

Wow, this is really a horrible job of reporting! Using a Politico quote Blummy made way back in Jan. 2015 on a completely different subject to explain his position on the Iran deal is inexcusable and something so shoddy I never would have expected it here. I’m embarrassed for what I consider a great news site.

posted by: Biff Winnetka | August 25, 2015  6:10am

Their positions and voting records are public and live forever.  They will be held accountable should this policy lead to any other nations injury.

posted by: Politijoe | August 25, 2015  9:52am

Politijoe

@art: please re-read my post. I clearly intended and stated that Iran is NOT a friend. And here is the problem….. Even when others point out OBVIOUS contradictions and misunderstandings in your opinions as Gutbomb did in this case, you still REFUSE to even acknowledge the reality of the gaffe. This creates impossible barriers to constructive dialog.

@Noteworthy and Truth: the issue is that China and Russia were already beginning to soften their commitment to the sanctions and release
Funds to Iran. Although this isn’t enough to significantly alter the sanctions it does begin to erode the impact. Furthermore the reality is that in spite of the sanctions Iran continues to move closer to a nuclear weapon, therefore the option is to do nothing, a military solution, or an attempt at diplomacy. We don’t make peace treaties with our allies and friends, we make them with treacherous enemies….. That is the nature of diplomacy.

posted by: swhin | August 25, 2015  3:53pm

Esty just supported the deal.

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