Weekly Columns

Roe: We Must Hold Iran Accountable

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Washington, October 18, 2017 | Lani Short (202-225-6356) | comments

Last week, President Trump announced his decision, after months of careful review and consideration, to re-evaluate the Obama administration’s Iran nuclear deal, called the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, and set our country on a course to correct the flaws of the previous administration’s policy.

I’ve opposed the Iran nuclear agreement since day one because this agreement is bad for national security and greatly threatens the future of the United States and our regional allies, particularly Israel. As one of the Obama administration’s chief salespeople for the deal, former Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes, has even admitted, the deal was sold under false pretenses by creating an “echo chamber” designed to minimize criticism of the deal. In an interview discussing how they did this after the deal was passed, Rhodes stated, “They [the seemingly independent experts] were saying things that validated what we had given them to say.”

Under President Obama’s deal, I have no doubt Iranians will continue to march toward a nuclear bomb. By only allowing inspectors “managed access” to possible nuclear sites, we’re essentially giving Iran the greenlight to cheat the inspection system. Perhaps worst of all, almost every sanction on Iran was on track to be lifted under this agreement. These sanctions are estimated to have cost Iran nearly $160 billion in oil revenues since 2012, which has denied the Iranian regime precious resources necessary to finance terrorist activities in which they have actively engaged throughout the region.

President Trump’s new strategy focuses on neutralizing the Iranian government by keeping its influence and control constrained; fortifying our alliances with our allies to establish power in the Middle East; working to deny the Iranian regime by opposing the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) activities; countering threats made to the United States and our allies with force; and rallying the international community to counter violations of human rights and unjust detention of Americans or other foreign citizens. By enforcing sanctions on the IRGC’s officials and agents, we can help deplete Iran of the resources they need to finance terrorism activities. I am confident we will be able to counter Iranian aggression with this new strategy.

Iran has long been a destabilizing force in the region – seen most recently with the emergence of ISIS in the vacuum created by the previous administration’s withdrawal from the region. Beyond a nuclear threat, the Iranian regime continues to materially and financially support terrorism, repeatedly shows hostility toward Israel and commits heinous human rights violations, including the arbitrary detention of United States citizens.

I am thankful President Trump and his national security team are developing a new strategy to protect American interests and safety in this region. I look forward to working with my colleagues in the House to pass legislation that will hold Iran accountable for their actions.

As always, feel free to contact my office if I can be of assistance to you or your family.
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Tags: Defense