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Making a Bad Deal a Better Deal

October 23, 2017
Weekly Columns
For decades, the United States has had a contentious and adversarial relationship with the dangerous, theocratic regime of Iran. It has been a nation well known for funding, training and harboring terrorists. Often times, the United States has been the target of such activity. Since 1984, Iran has been a designated state sponsor of terror and remains so. With clear evidence that Iran’s nuclear ambitions are disingenuous and threatening, it is imperative that the U.S. keeps the country accountable and devoid of dangerous nuclear weapon.
 
When President Obama negotiated and implemented the terribly flawed Iran Nuclear Deal back in 2015, it put the United States and our allies in an untenable situation that allowed Iran to get out from under international sanctions and resume their nuclear pursuits. I and many of my colleagues on both sides of the aisle strongly opposed and voted against the deal when it came to Congress for review. As many predicted a few years ago, the deal would eventually allow Iran to become nuclear capable. Moreover, as time passed, it was evident that Iran has sought to develop not only nuclear weapons, but also the delivery mechanisms to use those weapons against the United States and our allies.
 
As the President and many congressional leaders have pointed out, President Obama negotiated a bad deal. To make matters even worse, there is ample evidence that Iran is not in compliance with the current deal, and is not abiding by the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). It has attempted to undermine the provisions of the JCOPOA and sought to find loopholes to advance its nuclear ballistic missiles program, as well as blocking any attempt by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to inspect its military sites. I support the Trump Administration’s decision to revisit our nation’s strategy addressing the JCPOA, and will work with the President to develop a new one that will ultimately keep Iran from obtaining any nuclear weapons in the near future.
 
Additionally, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps has posed a serious threat to international order and peace. It has contributed to the consolidation of power by the radical clerics who run Iran and pursued aggressive action against Iran’s neighbors and our allies. Because of its efforts to promote the “Islamic Revolution,” it is now classified by the Treasury Department as a supporter of terrorism, and will be subject to terrorism sanctions. It is a key part of the revised strategy to eradicate terrorism in the region.
 
Over the past few weeks, I’ve had the opportunity to meet with Administration officials to discuss the need for a new strategy for Iran. It is clear that President Trump is trying to make a bad deal a better deal. Along with stronger sanctions, the new strategy and agreement - which Congress will have a role in crafting - will hold Iran accountable. A good, effective agreement with Iran will be one that is comprehensive in nature, keeps Iran transparent and will be completely enforceable. That is President Trump's goal. It is a goal that all Americans should support.