Florida Rep. Alcee Hastings declared Thursday he won't support the Iran nuclear deal —
the 11th House Democrat to publicly nix it —
saying the pact would let Tehran "remain a nuclear threshold state while … reaping the benefits" of sanctions relief.
In a column for The Palm Beach Post,
Hastings of Delray Beach, who represents Florida's 20th district, said he gave the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action to curb Iran's nuclear program a "careful review."
"I have decided that I cannot support this deal," he writes.
"The goal of the recently concluded negotiations was to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon. The negotiators worked diligently, but in the end, the JCPOA allows Iran to remain a nuclear threshold state while simultaneously reaping the benefits of relief from international sanctions."
The Jewish Press reports
Hastings' opposition puts him with 10 other House Democrats who've announced their intention to vote "no" on the pact, listing them as: New York's Grace Meng, Kathleen Rice, Nita Lowey, Steve Israel and Eliot Engel; California's Juan Vargas and Brad Sherman; New Jersey's Albio Sires; Florida's Ted Deutch, and Georgia's David Scott.
"We must maintain a strong sanctions regime — to do otherwise is to give up our leverage," Hastings writes. "Sanctions are what brought Iran to the table, and they depend on large-scale international cooperation and compliance."
Hastings vowed to introduce legislation next month authorizing the president or his successors "to use military force to prevent Iran from becoming a nuclear weapons state."
"Iran’s sincerity in forgoing the procurement of a nuclear weapon makes these steps, in my opinion, an absolute necessity — regardless of how Congress votes," he writes.
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