Today, Rep. Lois Capps (CA-24) released the following statement in support of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action regarding Iran’s nuclear program:
“Like my vote against the Iraq War, consideration of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) is one of the most consequential foreign policy votes I will take during my time in Congress.
“After careful consideration I have decided to support the JCPOA because it is the best way forward to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon and advance the national security interests of the United States and our allies.
“The intent of sanctions and these negotiations has always been to diplomatically cut off Iran’s pathways to a nuclear weapon and to verifiably increase transparency of their nuclear activities.
“After reviewing the agreement and its classified documents, participating in classified briefings with Secretaries Kerry, Moniz, and Lew, and listening to the insights of experts on all sides, it is clear that this deal achieves these goals.
“The JCPOA will ensure that Iran will not have the materials or capability to build a nuclear weapon and extend the breakout time for building a nuclear bomb from two or three months as it currently stands to at least a year.
“And if Iran violates the agreement, unprecedented international inspections will ensure we know about it and can automatically reinstate international sanctions.
“In contrast, blocking this deal would allow Iran to resume its nuclear program with no restrictions or oversight, increasing the likelihood of military conflict and a regional nuclear weapons race – precisely the scenario sanctions were designed to prevent.
“Another costly war in the Middle East would put American lives at risk and undermine the security of our nation and our allies, including Israel.
“There are no decisions I take more seriously than those that involve potentially sending Americans into harm’s way. This is undeniably one of those decisions.
“Under the JCPOA, every option is – and will remain – on the table, including military force. But as a Member of Congress I have a solemn obligation to ensure every diplomatic avenue is exhausted before military action is taken. That is why I opposed authorizing the Iraq War and why I support the JCPOA.
“This is a pivotal moment. We must certainly remain vigilant in the years and decades to come to ensure the deal is strictly enforced and that Iran upholds its end of the bargain, but the terms of this agreement are strong, verifiable, and long-lasting.
“The JCPOA is certainly not perfect, but perfect is not an option. While the risks of a nuclear armed Iran are unquestionably dire, there is simply no scenario in which these risks are reduced by rejecting this deal. This agreement is the best option available and it has my full support.”