On Friday, Sept. 11 , Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), the Ranking Member of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (HPSCI) released the following statement after voting for the resolution of approval:
“I voted today to support the Iran deal negotiated by the Administration and the representatives of the other P5+1 nations – a deal which will realistically prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon. Given the unthinkable consequences of Iran, the world’s foremost sponsor of terrorism, obtaining the bomb, this has been an overriding national security imperative of the U.S. for decades. The actions in the House and Senate this week have made clear that the deal will go forward and be implemented. I believe this is the right outcome, but our work is far from over and I hope that attention will now turn from this often divisive debate and towards collaboration on the many ways Congress and the Administration can work to strengthen the deal and mitigate its risks.
“As an American and as a Jew who is deeply concerned about the security of Israel, this issue was deeply personal for me. I believe our vital interests will be advanced under the agreement as it would be extremely difficult for Iran to amass enough fissionable material to make a nuclear weapon without giving the United States ample notice and time to stop it. We will still need to guard against any Iranian effort to obtain nuclear material or technology from proliferators abroad — a reality even if Iran had given up all enrichment — but the agreement will likely give the world at least a decade and a half without the prospect of an Iranian nuclear weapon and without going to war to make that so. That is a major achievement.
“With the deal now effectively passed, the Administration will begin to implement it. In Congress, we should focus on making it stronger.
“First, we should make it clear that if Iran cheats, the repercussions will be severe. Second, we should continue to strengthen our intelligence capabilities to detect any form of Iranian noncompliance. Third, we should establish the expectation that while Iran will be permitted to have an enrichment capability for civilian use, it will never be permitted to produce highly enriched uranium, and if it attempts to do so, it will be stopped with force. Fourth, we must share with Israel all the technologies necessary to maintain its regional military superiority, and if necessary, to destroy Iran’s nuclear facilities no matter how deep the bunker. Finally, we must be prepared to work with Israel and our Gulf allies to make sure that every action Iran takes to use its newfound wealth for destructive activities in the region will prompt an equal and opposite reaction, and we will combat Iran’s malignant influence.
“The Iranian people will one day throw off the shackles of their repressive regime, and I hope that this deal will empower those who wish to reform Iranian governance and behavior. The 15 years or more this agreement provides will give us the time to test that proposition. Then, as now, if Iran is determined to go nuclear, there is only one way to stop it, and that is by the use of force. But the American people and others around the world will recognize that we did everything possible to avoid war.
“The Iran issue is a pivotal one, and it has understandably stirred great passions. But now, with the deal set to go into effect, let us focus on ways we can work together to strengthen the constraints on Iran and address the continuing challenges to the United States, Israel and our other allies.”