United States Representative Josh Gottheimer, D-NJ, one of the most outspoken Democrat lawmakers on the nuclear deal with Iran, recruited 50 members of Congress to send a letter to the U.S. president opposing such a deal.
Of the 50 Congress members that urged the Biden administration not to move forward with reviving the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran, 34 were Democrats.
Gottheimer was running for Congress in 2015, when Israel’s then-Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu delivered a speech in Washington, D.C., against the shaping Iran deal – the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action. Netanyahu spoke before a joint session of Congress, in defiance of the Obama administration, seeking to torpedo the nuclear-program negotiations that took place in Vienna.
“I opposed the deal as a [Congressional] candidate in a time where, of course, you’re trying to make sure your party supports you,” Gottheimer told ALL ISRAEL NEWS correspondent Tal Heinrich in a TBN interview. “I stood up to the party and obviously took a different view than the president, which wasn’t so popular to do, but I felt very strongly.”
Gottheimer told Heinrich that the Obama-led deal was “consistently flawed” and that the Biden administration’s negotiators seemed to be heading in a similar direction until recently.
“First of all, the entire approach since the beginning, on JCPOA, to me, has failed, so go back to the original deal. This is just a continuation of failure. It presumes that the Iranian leadership will ever tell the truth,” Gottheimer said, referring to the regime’s previous lies related to the purpose behind Iran’s uranium enrichment and the country’s nuclear breakout time.
“In terms of their terrorist activity, which has not stopped, it’s gotten worse – not just through their proxies of Hezbollah, Hamas, Palestinian Jihad – and attacks on Americans, our allies and our bases – but now, the IRGC [Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps] has directly been attacking as well, so it’s gotten worse,” Gottheimer said. “Even in just the last weeks, you’ve seen the Iranians getting with their new close friends, the Russians and the Chinese, against Ukraine.”
With Iran’s ongoing anti-regime protests and the Iranian government’s military support of Russia in the Ukraine war, it appears that talks to revive the nuclear deal were put on the back burner. Yet, just this past weekend, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said that the Biden administration still believes that “diplomacy is the best way to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon.”
Speaking to liberal Jewish non-profit J Street, Blinken said that “all options are on the table to ensure that Iran does not obtain a nuclear weapon.”
U.S. Ambassador to Israel Tom Nides recently told ALL ISRAEL NEWS Editor-in-Chief and TBN host Joel Rosenberg that a deal with Iran is “not off the table,” even though he is not holding his breath for any negotiations.
Gottheimer believes that Iran’s provision of technology and drones to Russia for the war in Ukraine “should be a deal-killer” in and of itself.
“These are not folks, unfortunately, that you can trust and do business with. To me, the last thing we should do is give billions of dollars to the Iranians to feed more terrorist activity. We’re going to have to figure out other ways to approach them,” he said.
“And if you're going to move forward, before you move forward with any deal, come to the Congress, let us know what you're talking about here. Any side deals that you’re making. Give us a sense of what this is about because we’re very concerned, rightly, about moving forward,” Gottheimer said.
The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.