Congressman Phil Roe – The Iran Deal Turns One: Why It’s Still a Bad Idea & What I’m Doing to Stop It


Congressman Phil Roe, M.D. - Representing the 1st District of Tennessee

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Congressman Phil RoeThe Iran Deal Turns One: Why It’s Still a Bad Idea & What I’m Doing to Stop It

When traveling throughout my district, I often discuss the many votes I’ve taken in Congress. Some votes are easy and noncontroversial. But others – like the vote on President Obama’s Iran deal – keep me up at night because of what the outcome means for our country and the world. Today, just one year after the Iran deal was announced, I find myself more concerned than ever about the safety and security of the United States.

I was troubled from the beginning of the negotiating process when the administration announced the framework of the agreement they were pursuing to keep Iran from acquiring or producing nuclear weapons. Unfortunately, my concerns were not alleviated by the final product, and I was sorely disappointed when the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action – President Obama’s negotiated deal between Iran, the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Russia, China, and Germany – was announced last year. When the House and Senate had the opportunity to review the agreement before it was final, I was proud to vote against approving the deal. In fact, bipartisan majorities in both the House and Senate were opposed to approving the deal, but unfortunately, despite many concerns in Congress, the administration pressed on.

Since the agreement was finalized last July, we’ve seen high-ranking advisers within the administration admit they deliberately misled the public throughout the process. We also discovered there were several “side deals” not included in the agreement presented to Congress. Further, the president assured Congress and the American people that Iran would never have access to the dollar or the U.S. financial system, but the Department of Energy just confirmed the Obama administration’s recent purchase of 32 tons of heavy water from Iran for $8.6 million. We should be punishing Iran with more sanctions, not lifting sanctions and further rewarding their reckless behavior with American taxpayer dollars. Speaker Ryan is right: everything we were promised about the Iran deal is starting to unravel.

That’s why, this week, the House took additional action against the Iran deal by voting on a bill to ban the United States from purchasing heavy water from Iran. H.R. 5119, the No 2H20 from Iran Act was introduced by Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-KS) in April, and I’m glad leaders are brought this important bill to the floor for a vote. This bill would block the Obama administration’s recent heavy water purchase and prevent any future purchases. We have already seen Iran break the terms of the agreement, and we certainly shouldn’t be sending millions of taxpayer dollars to an aggressive country like Iran that has no real interest in long-term peace.

We also took action to expand sanctions on Iran by considering H.R. 5631, the Iran Accountability Act. This important legislation will expand and strengthen existing sanctions for Iran’s ballistic missile program, human rights abuses against its own citizens and state sponsoring of terrorism. Despite the administration’s willingness to overlook serious concerns with Iran’s regime, Congress is ready and willing to bring accountability to Iranian leaders.

While I agree that diplomacy can work, it’s only an effective tactic if you have a strong Commander-in-Chief, and only then if you have a willing partner who also strives for peace. Iran has proven time and time again they are not trustworthy, and they have repeatedly violated the terms of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action. I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again: what part of the ‘Death to America’ chants does the president not understand? It’s obvious the leaders of Iran hate the United States and would like nothing more than to become a nuclear superpower. For the life of me, I’ll never understand why President Obama and his allies thought the Iran deal would protect American interests, but you can rest assured I will continue to oppose this misguided agreement and do everything in my power to stop it.

Feel free to contact my office if I can be of assistance to you or your family. My contact information can be found on my website,

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