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Senator Charles Schumer at the 93rd Annual Dinner

Senator Charles Schumer at the 93rd Annual Dinner

Agudath Israel of America welcomes with great appreciation the announcement by Senator Charles Schumer that he opposes the proposed Iranian nuclear deal embodied in the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, and intends to vote to disapprove the deal.

Senator Schumer has spoken out consistently and forcefully over the past several years about the grave threat a nuclear empowered Iran would pose to America and its allies, especially Israel. Indeed, in a major address to the participants in Agudath Israel’s 93rd Anniversary Dinner earlier this year, Senator Schumer pointed out that “a nuclear Iran [would be] unlike any other threat that Israel has faced.”

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In that address, Senator Schumer also identified, in clear detail, a number of conditions that must be met in order to make any nuclear deal with the Iranians acceptable – some of which are plainly missing or inadequately addressed in the JCPOA. So it comes as no surprise that he has found the JCPOA lacking. (Remarks on Iranian Nuclear Deal begin at 8:45)

Yet while Senator Schumer’s position is not surprising, it is courageous. He is the first and thus far the only Senator of his political party to publicly announce that he will be voting against the position of the Administration. His high rank among his Democratic Senate colleagues surely created an incentive for him not to buck the leadership of his party. Fortunately, however, as he said in the statement he issued in announcing his intention to vote to disapprove the JCPOA, Senator Schumer made his decision “solely based on the merits … without regard to pressure, politics or party.” For this he deserves our sincere admiration and deep appreciation.

We respectfully call upon other members of Congress, regardless of political affiliation, to recognize the serious shortcomings of the JCPOA, and to disapprove this deal.