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Eye On Boise

Labrador says after reviewing it, he’ll oppose Iran nuke deal

Idaho 1st District GOP Rep. Raul Labrador announced today that he’ll oppose the nuclear agreement that President Obama negotiated with Iran. In mid-July, when the deal first was announced, Idaho Sen. Jim Risch immediately came out against it, calling it “horribly flawed,” while Labrador, Idaho Sen. Mike Crapo and 2nd District Rep. Mike Simpson expressed deep skepticism, but said they’d scrutinize it. Meanwhile, 75 former members of Congress, including former Idaho Democratic Reps. Larry LaRocco, Walt Minnick and Richard Stallings, along with a handful of Republicans, have signed a letter backing the deal; you can read it here. Here’s Labrador’s full statement:

“I was initially skeptical of the nuclear talks because Iran has long proven unworthy of our trust. But I kept an open mind because diplomacy is an important tool to prevent global conflicts. Having carefully studied President Obama's nuclear agreement with Iran, I will vote against the agreement because it threatens our national security and clears the way for a rogue nation to secretly develop nuclear weapons. It would free about $120 billion in frozen assets that the Obama Administration admits could be used by the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism to finance more attacks on innocents.

 “The Administration’s interest in a foreign policy legacy has produced a misbegotten deal that escalates risk. The one-sided document is riddled with loopholes, including a 24-day delay before inspectors may access undeclared nuclear sites. The recent revelation of a secret side deal allowing Iran to conduct its own inspections of the military site at Parchin is proof that the U.S. is placing far too much trust in one of history’s most dubious and dangerous regimes.

 “The agreement fails to make the world safer. Instead, it gives Iran access to sophisticated nuclear technology that could allow advancement of a weapons program, lifts bans on Iran’s import and export of conventional weapons and development of ballistic missiles, and risks stimulating a Middle East arms race. It also lifts sanctions on Iranians responsible for killing Americans.

 “We must not invest our confidence in a country that continues to wrongfully imprison Americans, including Boise Pastor Saeed Abedini. Congress should reject this risky deal, continue sanctions, keep all our options on the table and encourage the President to resume negotiations on a stronger agreement.”

Betsy Z. Russell
Betsy Z. Russell joined The Spokesman-Review in 1991. She currently is a reporter in the Boise Bureau covering Idaho state government and politics, and other news from Idaho's state capital.

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