Congressman Brett Guthrie, on Friday, Sept. 11, issued the following statement after voting on a series of bills relating to President Barack Obama’s deal with Iran:
“The deal reached by this Administration is no deal at all. Instead of demanding strict guidelines to ensure compliance, verification and accountability, the agreement appears to even allow the Iranians to monitor some of their own facilities while blocking access to U.S. and international officials. Sanctions are what brought Iran to the negotiating table in the first place, and I am very concerned that lifting them will only strengthen Iran’s position in the region without adequate security improvements in exchange. Today, I voted to prohibit the president from lifting those sanctions.
“Additionally, this deal has major implications for Israel, our closest friend and ally in the Middle East. The fact is, the people who know Iran the best trust them the least. Their behavior over the last 30 years shows they cannot be trusted, including publicly stoking hatred for Israel and the United States. With a strengthened and emboldened Iran asserting its power in the region, I fear for our global security.
“I spent the last few weeks listening to my fellow Kentuckians, and this deal was one of the most frequently discussed topics. The questions they raised echo my own concerns—What is contained in the secret side deals? How do we ensure security for our friends and allies while preventing an arms race in the Middle East? With the inclusion of secret side deals in the agreement, we cannot know for certain if the deal is verifiable, enforceable and holds Iran accountable. It is because of these questions and the president’s lack of a forthcoming explanation that I also voted in favor of a resolution expressing a sense of Congress that the Administration has not provided Congress with all the documents pertaining to the agreement, as required by law.
“Further, some of our Middle Eastern allies have already indicated the need for increased security support from the U.S. in light of this agreement, which President Obama insists is the best alternative to war. I hope that we do not see an arms race that leads to greater destabilization in the region. Any deal should include three general principles—safety, security and stability. This deal falls far short.
“I consider this to be a very weighty issue and one that warrants serious consideration of all perspectives and arguments. Based on the information I have received, including classified briefings and the concerns I have heard from Kentuckians, I cannot support the president’s deal with Iran.”