Originally Published: September 15, 2015 6:01 a.m.
Twice over the past month, a very small group of pacifists have called on my office in Prescott to decry war with Iran. The goal of these activists is for me and other members of Congress to support the deal President Obama has reached with the rogue Iranian regime. Both times the Courier has featured their message. Let me reply.
I will not support that agreement, and I will continue to seek ways to kill this misbegotten plan. The pacifists contend that this deal will prevent war with Iran. They are mistaken. Iran has made it very clear: it wants war with Israel and the United States. Don't take my word; read what their leaders have said. Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei's representative Mojtaba Zolnour stated that the "government of the Islamic Republic of Iran has divine permission to destroy Israel." General Mohammad Reza Naqdi, the commander of Iran's Basij militia - a paramilitary organization under the command of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards - has said that, "wiping Israel off the map is not up for negotiation."
The ridiculous straw man argument made by the Obama Administration - that any deal, no matter how bad, is good because no deal means war - doesn't pass any test of credibility. Rejecting this deal does not mean "war." But agreeing to the proposed deal guarantees Iran will continue to build its nuclear program and provides immediate access to approximately $100 billion to the world's largest state sponsor of terrorism. In a laughable coda, the deal allows Iran to - wait for it - inspect itself and supposedly disprove prior weapons work. On top of that, there are "side agreements" which members of Congress have not seen. I know the pacifist activists (or any American elected leader for that matter) have not seen these agreements either. Before taking to the streets, it would behoove them to get all the facts.
Iran's history suggests repeated lies and distortions about its activities. This deal encourages that to continue. This rogue nation is the single largest state sponsor of global terrorism. The Iranian regime has targeted Americans since its Islamic Revolution in 1979 when they kidnapped and held 52 Americans. They funded terrorists in Iraq to target our soldiers. Proponents of this deal fail to realize that Iran's leaders are NOT rational actors and will NOT behave like other reasonable nations.
Allowing this regime the ability to continue to make nuclear weapons is a sure recipe for war. Israel cannot stand by idly as this state, which has sworn to destroy Israel, obtains weapons of mass destruction. Nothing will ensure the certainty of war more than this president's naive agreement. The Iranians have given us no reason to trust them. Instead, they have given us over 30 years of reasons to distrust them.
If the goal is to avoid a war, it would be wise to reject this fundamentally flawed agreement that all but guarantees a nuclear Iran. I will continue to seek peace through strength and do everything in my power - everything that the Constitution allows - to prevent this bad deal.
Just last week, a group of conservatives and I changed the course of this debate. We rejected the perceived inevitability of this deal and insisted that the House pass legislation to hold the president accountable for violating the law when his administration transmitted the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action to Congress and failed to include all information on these "side agreements." The House also passed legislation to prevent the president from lifting any sanctions related to Iran's nuclear program without consent of Congress until 2017.
Tensions abroad are escalating, and we are on the brink of another tipping point. It is in the best interest of our children and the security of this nation that we prevent terrorists from having access to billions of dollars and the capabilities to build a nuclear weapon. Unfortunately, the pacifists that have been standing outside of my office have forgotten this simple fact.
Republican Rep. Paul Gosar represents District 4, of which Prescott is a part, in Congress.