Maloney becomes sixth NY Dem to oppose Iran deal

Maloney becomes sixth NY Dem to oppose Iran deal

Rep. Carolyn Maloney announced Thursday she will oppose the Iran nuclear agreement.

She is the sixth New York House Democrat to publicly oppose the deal.

"There are strong arguments for and against the agreement but, as a matter of conscience, I have decided to oppose it," Maloney said in a lengthy statement.

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Maloney cited concerns that even if Iran abides by the agreement, it would not stop Tehran from acquiring nuclear weapons after the agreement ends. 

She said the deal could also make the Middle East even more dangerous by giving Iran access to financial resources, weapons and power. 

The deal would unfreeze more than $100 billion in Iranian assets.

"It will also gain access to billions more dollars as oil revenues increase," Maloney said of Tehran. "It is difficult to imagine that at least a portion of that massive windfall would not find its way into the hands of terrorists.

"Iran will continue bankrolling terrorist militias throughout the Middle East — Hezbollah in Lebanon, [President Bashar] Assad in Syria, Hamas in the Gaza Strip, and the Houthis in Yemen. And Iran continues to hold four American prisoners," she added.

Maloney is the 14th House Democrat to publicly oppose the agreement. Much of the opposition has come from New York, particularly from Jewish Democrats such as Maloney. Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) is one of two Senate Democrats to oppose the deal.

A measure disapproving the deal is expected to pass in the House, though it is not clear whether it will have the 60 votes necessary to break a filibuster in the Senate. 

President Obama is expected to veto a disapproval measure if Congress approves it. Two-thirds majorities in both chambers would be required to override the veto, a very high hurdle for opponents of the deal.

Maloney also cited concerns that the agreement would allow 24 days before international nuclear inspectors could access suspected Iranian nuclear sites.  

"If Iran were genuinely committed to nuclear non-proliferation, it wouldn’t need even 24 hours," she said. 

She also cited provisions that would lift arms embargoes on Iran. 

"In year five, Iran can once again begin importing conventional weapons, and after year eight it will be allowed to acquire intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs)," she said. "There is no peaceful use for ICBMs."

"This is an agreement with a nation that has not honored its non-proliferation commitments in the past," she said.