Cotton Column: Iran Nuclear Deal
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Last year, the Obama administration reached a deal with Iran over their nuclear program. Only it wasn’t a deal at all—it was a series of concessions made by the United States to Iran that only paved the way for Iran to obtain a nuclear weapon. Unsurprisingly, over the last year we’ve seen that this deal only emboldened the ayatollahs in Iran and encouraged hostility against the United States. Regrettably, President Obama seems more concerned with preserving this deal than standing up to the ayatollahs.
After all, it recently came to light that the State Department edited video footage of a 2013 press conference where a reporter asked about negotiations with Iran. The State Department initially claimed the missing portion of the video was due to a “glitch”, but this week admitted it was an intentional manipulation. The fact of the matter is the Obama administration has been evasive about Iran from the beginning and we shouldn’t expect their behavior to change any time soon.
That’s why I want to take moment to explain how I’ve been conducting oversight of President Obama’s implementation of his flawed nuclear deal with Iran. Under the deal, Iran must rid themselves of Heavy Water, a non-hazardous material that’s used in the production of nuclear weapons. In order to help Iran comply with the deal, the Obama administration announced they would purchase much of Iran’s current Heavy Water supply.
Given the Obama administration’s track record when it comes to Iran I wanted to hold them to their promise that this purchase would be a one-time occurrence and proposed an amendment to the Energy and Water spending bill that would block any future heavy water purchases. What was the Obama administration’s response? They threatened to veto the bill.
Senate Democrats followed suit and initially refused to even allow my amendment to come up for discussion, let alone a vote. Finally, we were able find a way to hold a vote on this important amendment, but Senate Democrats once again put political gamesmanship over the safety and security of the American people and it didn’t pass.
I was disappointed my amendment didn’t pass, but I am pleased the Senate had a recorded vote on this important matter. Leaving the door open to continued heavy water purchases by the United States only incentivizes Iran to produce more heavy water and legitimizes its activity for years to come. And it removes any confidence in the Obama administration’s promise that this purchase would be a one-time occurrence. I am committed to ensuring President Obama does not needlessly go beyond the terms of the nuclear deal in order to preserve his legacy.