[Op Ed] President Obama’s Iran Deal Ensures American Security and Prevents War

The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action is a sound agreement

Congresswoman Barbara Lee

In July, President Obama announced one of the most important foreign policy victories of his presidency. After years of tireless work and tough diplomacy, he and his team secured the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), which will prevent Iran from developing a nuclear weapon.

[Related: President Obama Seals Iran Deal with Maryland Senator’s Vote]

According to a recent poll by the Cato Institute and YouGov, nearly 60% of Americans and more than 70% of African Americans support the President’s deal. While the Iran deal is a huge victory for the President, it is a bigger win for America’s national security, our foreign policy interests, and global peace.

The JCPOA is not build on trust – it’s build on verification. Under the agreement, Iran’s nuclear facilities will be subjected to the world’s most restrictive and intrusive monitoring program and protocols. All of Iran’s nuclear facilities will be subjected to continuous inspection and monitoring and any location can be inspected should concerns over its nature arise. Additionally, it ensures that Iran’s ability to develop a nuclear weapon is completely and totally cut off; a major victory for our global nuclear non-proliferation goals.

The JCPOA dismantles much of Iran’s nuclear infrastructure and prevents it from enriching uranium beyond 3.67% for 15 years; the level used in power plants. This level is far below the 90% enrichment needed to weaponize uranium. Should Iran fail to live up to the terms of the agreement, we will know and U.S. and global sanctions that have crippled Iran’s economy can very quickly be snapped back into place. When one looks at the facts, it is clear that President Obama negotiated a deal that’s a victory for global peace and security. Addressing and dismantling Iran’s nuclear program will bring greater stability to the Middle East and open the door to greater regional cooperation to address vital security concerns like ISIL.

I have long called for such high-level diplomatic engagement to address Iran’s nuclear program. That’s why in 2012, I introduced the Prevent Iran from Acquiring Nuclear Weapons and Stop War through Diplomacy Act, which would have ended the counterproductive no-contact policy for our diplomats and ensured the appointment of a high-level envoy to address global concerns over their nuclear program. In many ways, the JCPOA process followed the framework laid out in my legislation. Yet, despite its merits, some are trying to subvert President Obama and his critical efforts to prevent Iran from developing a nuclear weapon. Their misguided attacks toward the President and the JCPOA seek to undermine our national security and stability in the Middle East.

We cannot let these attacks succeed. We must hold the line and support our President, our national security, and global peace. Republicans in Congress have already started the procedures to kill the deal. We cannot allow them to succeed. The Cato Institute/YouGov poll also shows that the majority of Americans, and super majority of African Americans, want Congress to allow the deal to move forward. We must make sure that members of Congress hear our voices.

Will you join me in supporting President Obama and his plan, which prevents Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon? Call your member of Congress at 202.224.3121 and tell them to support the Iran deal that President Obama worked so hard to craft.

–written by Congresswoman Barbara Lee

Congresswoman Barbara Lee represents the California’s East Bay in Congress. From 2013-2014, she served as a Representative from the U.S. Congress to the United Nations.