While they praised the long-term diplomacy that brought the United States and Iran to a deal on nuclear weapons, members of Connecticut’s Washington delegation said more review is necessary before Congress grants its approval.
“The agreement announced this morning is the result of two years of negotiations over profoundly important issues of national security,” said U.S. Rep. James Himes, D-4th District, in a prepared statement. “Under no circumstances should anyone rush to judgment. Those who do show their lack of bona fides. Over the coming days, I will review the full agreement, solicit input from experts and my constituents, and will support or reject the deal based on the best security interests of the United States, Israel, and our allies.”
Rep. John Larson, D-1st District, is even going so far as to hold a forum on Sunday, July 19, at the West Hartford Town Hall, to discuss the details of the agreement with voters.
“This agreement should not diminish our need for vigilance as we continue to confront Iran on other issues,” Larson said. “Much like an arms control agreement, the announced deal is limited only to ensuring Iran will no longer be capable of acquiring a nuclear weapon. Iran still retains a troubling human rights record and remains a major destabilizing force in the region, and we must continue to press for wider reforms.”
Rep. Elizabeth Esty, D-5th District, said the deal must be reviewed and verified.
“As with any nuclear arms deal, we must evaluate this proposal not based on trust and faith, but on cold, hard analysis of what best advances the national security interests of the United States and what best enhances global stability,” she said.
The White House announced Tuesday that a multilateral agreement had been reached that would prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons in exchange for the United States lifting some sanctions.
“Today, after two years of negotiations the United States together with our international partners has achieved something that decades of animosity has not: A comprehensive, long-term deal with Iran that will prevent it from obtaining a nuclear weapon,” President Barack Obama said. “This deal demonstrates that American diplomacy can bring about real and meaningful change.”
That sentiment was echoed by several members of the Connecticut delegation, among them Sen. Christopher Murphy, who said “the best way to stop Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon is through diplomacy, not war.”
“At a time when the Middle East is awash in crippling violence, we have an opportunity to address one of the most dangerous threats to the United States and the region through a negotiation,” he said, though Murphy noted that more review of the arrangement is necessary. “As a member of the Foreign Relations Committee, I look forward to a congressional review process that is fair and deliberative.”
Sen. Richard Blumenthal “welcomed” the agreement, “after a long and difficult diplomatic road,” but cautioned against “deceit.”
“This agreement must be airtight, comprehensive and enduring — and, perhaps most importantly, strictly verifiable and enforceable,” he said. “While our common hope may be that diplomacy has succeeded in barring an Iranian path to nuclear weapons capability, Congress must apply exacting standards and strict scrutiny, especially given Iran’s history of deceit and international law violations.”
Lawmakers will have 60 days after receiving a copy to analyze and vote on the agreement.
Jordan Fenster can be reached by or @JordanFenster on Twitter.