U.S. Fourth District Congresswoman Vicki Hartzler spoke to an audience of concerned constituents Wednesday evening regarding her views on the recent proposed nuclear accord with Iran, which would limit significantly Iran’s nuclear ability.
The measure, which was approved by the Obama administration in mid-July, would also lift decades-long imposed financial sanctions against the Iranian government.
“If this agreement with Iran is allowed to pass, it would have a serious impact not only on the citizens of Missouri but the nation and world,” Hartzler said. “We need to stop this for the safety of all.”
Hartzler, who serves on the Armed Services Committee, said when Congress returns to session in September she will vote to block the agreement and outlined her reasons for her opposition to it.
“I’ve been in multiple hearings and classified briefings on this. I’ve heard both sides talking to me, but one of the first things I wanted to do was read the document,” Hartzler said as she held the multi-page agreement for the audience to see.
She listed her primary reasons for opposition to the agreement.
“First, the deal doesn’t stop Iran’s nuclear capability,” Hartzler said. “It allows for the arms embargo to be lifted after five years and the Iranians will be allowed to purchase ballistic missiles after eight years.”
The second reason Hartzler gave is her concern over the lifting of economic sanctions against Iran.
“If this deal is permitted to go through, between $50 billion to $150 billion will opened up immediately for other countries all over the world to trade with Iran,” Hartzler said.
“You would hope that they would spend that money on their citizens,” she added. “Instead, what will most likely happen is they will use the money to prop up their proxies and other terrorist groups throughout the region.”
Hartzler also expressed her concerns with the inspection process as outlined in the accord.
“While there are plans for ‘anytime, anywhere’ inspections and continuous monitoring for the declared Iranian nuclear sites, for their undeclared sites there is a 24 day notification period,” she said.
During that period, the Iranians must be informed of the proposed inspections and then they must grant permission for those inspections to proceed.
“I think this is a breach of intelligence,” Hartzler added.
Hartzler also has concerns about what this agreement will do to America’s ally in the region: Israel.
“I think we need to consider their position in the region,” Hartzler commented. “Israeli Prime Minister Netaniyahu has called this ‘a historic mistake for the world,’ and I agree with him completely.”
Hartzler also feels the Obama administration was in error for accepting the agreement while there are still four known U.S. hostages held by the Iranian government.
“The first condition of any agreement should have been the release of all American hostages,” Hartzler said.
While the United Nations, the European Union and several other nations have voted to approve the accord, Hartzler is hoping the members of Congress will vote against the measure in September.
“Sometimes it is good to be the only one standing up for what is right in the world,” Hartzler commented. “We have to hold firm and say that we are not dealing with Iran.”
Hartzler outlined the process for Congress to override a presidential veto of the measure, which President Barack Obama has said he will sign if Congress votes to block the accord.
“If we (Congress) override his veto, we are all aware that the president can issue an executive order to keep the deal in place,” Hartzler said. “Perhaps the next president could undo that action.
“Elections have consequences,” Hartzler added.
After her prepared remarks, Hartzler told the Democrat she had not chosen a candidate to endorse in the 2016 presidential election.
“I’m still learning the platforms of each of the candidates,” she said. “I’m excited about the number of qualified Republicans candidates in the field.
“I am confident that as a party, we will choose a candidate who will be able to win the election and take the country in the right direction.”
Hope Lecchi can be reached at 660-826-1000 ext. 1484