Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt., Ranking Member, State Department And Foreign Operations Subcommittee) On The Announcement Of An Agreement On Iran’s Nuclear Program

“After many years of painstaking negotiations, I am very encouraged by President Obama’s announcement this morning.  Diplomacy is far preferable to war, and if this agreement can achieve its goal and in so doing prevent the United States from being drawn into another open-ended and potentially catastrophic war in the Middle East, that will be a monumental achievement.

“It is unfortunate that some in Congress and elsewhere sought to derail this difficult and extraordinary diplomatic effort from the start, ignoring the fact that Iran’s nuclear program surged ahead despite U.S. sanctions, until these negotiations froze it in place.  The President has been unwavering in his insistence that the goal of this agreement is to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon, and I applaud him for his vision and his resolve.  It is now up to Members of Congress to carry out their oversight responsibility with hearings and a full debate, before reaching our own conclusions.  We should keep our focus on the national security interests at stake for our country, and for our allies.  To truly serve our national interests and the people we represent, congressional leaders should want to do everything possible to make it work, not to do everything possible to undermine it, even before they have a chance to read it.”

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