Valatie, NY – Congressman John Faso reiterated his support for the Administration’s renewal of sanctions on the Iranian regime and questioned Antonio Delgado’s silence on the issue.
“Yesterday I called on my opponent Antonio Delgado to inform the voters of the 19th District exactly where he stands on the new sanctions imposed on Iran, one of the most dangerous state sponsors of terrorism in the world. Mr. Delgado’s continued silence on this issue is disturbing.
“I support ending the Iran deal and protecting our national interests and security, and those of our ally Israel. Iran has amplified its malign activities in Syria and is using forward bases to threaten Israel. It continues to funnel arms and money to Hezbollah, a known terrorist actor in the region. At the same time, the Iranian regime ignores popular discontent amid its crumbling economy.” Faso said.
“My opponent Antonio Delgado said during the Democratic primary that the Iran deal was one of the ‘most important diplomatic achievements.’ Such an assertion displays a remarkable naivete about the nature of the Iranian regime and ignores the threat that Iran continues to pose to peace in that region and its hostile actions against Israel. Delgado must let voters know if he supports re-implementing the sanctions on Iran, or does he believe it was wrong for the Administration to punish Iran for continuing to support international terrorism, develop intercontinental ballistic missiles, and threaten our ally Israel.”
Delgado called the Iran nuclear deal “one of the more important diplomatic achievements that we’ve seen in some time,” despite that is allowed Iran to continue uranium enrichment, enabled economic sanctions to be lifted, and provided Iran access to more than $100 billion in previously frozen assets, some of which could be directed toward terrorist groups:
DELGADO: “Yes a very appropriate question given the latest IR group breakfast decision by Trump to unilaterally pull out of the Iran agreement. I would argue one of the more important diplomatic achievements that we’ve seen in some time and undermines our credibility. You know we’re at our best as a country when we project our values that’s more rather best not to be projected our might and our power. The reason why I think for so long we would have the leadership role morally speaking is because we’ve been on the front lines when it comes to advocating for democracy. There’s no doubt about it right now we are going in the wrong direction. Whether it’s the Iran agreement, whether it’s the Paris agreement, we are continuing to isolate ourselves and alienate ourselves from the community at large and it’s a detriment to who we are and it’s not reflective of our values, and it needs to be changed quickly.” (Andy Bobrow YouTube Channel, “NY 19 Candidate Forum 5-12-18,” Clip begins 44:13, Uploaded 5/14/18).
The Iran deal allows Iran to continue uranium enrichment. “Iran, the United States and five other world powers have reached a landmark agreement about the future of Iran’s nuclear programs…It still allows Iran to continue enrichment: This part of the deal could be seen as a big win for Iran. The country has always maintained that its nuclear program is being used for peaceful purposes and it has always wanted the international community to acknowledge its right to enrich uranium and use it for those purposes. The deal allows Iran to continue doing just that at its Natanz facility, but the country would only be allowed to enrich uranium to no more than 3.67 percent, which is enough for civilian purposes such as power plants but is much lower than what’s needed for a weapon.” (Eyder Peralta, “6 Things You Should Know About The Iran Nuclear Deal,” NPR, 7/14/15).
In January 2016, Secretary of State John Kerry acknowledged some sanctions relief would go to Iran’s revolutionary guard corps and other groups “labeled terrorists.” “Secretary of State John Kerry acknowledged to CNBC Thursday that some of the money Iran received in sanctions relief would go to groups considered terrorists. When asked about whether some the $150 billion in sanctions relief to Iran would go to terrorist groups, Kerry reiterated that, after settling debts, Iran would receive closer to $55 billion. He conceded some of that could go to groups considered terrorists, saying there was nothing the U.S. could do to prevent that. ‘I think that some of it will end up in the hands of the IRGC or other entities, some of which are labeled terrorists,’ he said in the interview in Davos, referring to Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps. ‘You know, to some degree, I’m not going to sit here and tell you that every component of that can be prevented.’” (Elise Labott, “John Kerry: Some sanctions relief money for Iran will go to terrorism,” CNN, 1/21/16)
In February 2016, the Washington Post reported that the Iran nuclear deal provided Iran access to more than $100 billion in previously frozen assets. “Iran announced Monday two financial milestones as the country emerges from under sanctions, saying it has access to more than $100 billion in previously frozen assets and has rejoined an important international banking network. The statements follow more than $30 billion in potential business deals unveiled with France and Italy last week during a trip by Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, whose government has strongly courted foreign investors after sanctions were lifted last month as part of an accord with world powers to rein in Tehran’s nuclear program.” (Brian Murphy, “Iran claims $100 billion now freed in major step as sanctions roll back,” Washington Post, 2/1/16)