Freeholders urge Booker to reject Iran nuclear deal
Ocean County Freeholders Gerry Little and Joe Vicari wade into international diplomacy, urging U.S. Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) to reject the multi-nation agreement that would curb Iran's nuclear ambitions while easing its economic sanctions.
His colleague, Robert Menendez, is already a vocal opponent of the deal for which President Obama continues to campaign strenuously. Menendez has also parted ways with the President on normalization of relations with Cuba. Booker's relations with the White House, by all overt indications, seem nowhere near as strained as the senior Senator's.
It's also drawn scorn from shore Congressman Tom MacArthur (R-3) and high ranking Senate Democrats including Chuck Schumer (D-NY).
Pro-Israel groups, among many others, view the agreement as a threat to their homeland. And, as noted in a commentary published by nj.com, pro-Israel groups constituted some of Booker's strongest financial supporters during his 2014 election. The Senator reportedly has met with advocates on both sides of the issue.
Each house would be required to achieve 'nay' votes by two-thirds of its members to reject it outright. In addition to Congress, the terms need approval in all participating countries, including Iran, where divisions about it are said to be as pronounced as they are in the US.
Spurred by what Little said were concerns brought to him by "many county residents," he and Vicari characterized the pact as a "hollow document" in a message to Booker.
"The proposed treaty not only includes weak safeguards regarding Iran's agreement not to develop nuclear weapons, but actually rewards its leaders with a $150 billion payoff for simply signing the accord," the Freeholders said. This colossal amount of money will no doubt be used to fuel Iran's continued aggression towards the United States and its allies in the Middle East."
They suggest that the hundreds of billions that would reach Iran through relaxation of longstanding economic sanctions would be better spent in the United States.
Vicari criticized the idea that the agreement presents any hope for peaceful coexistence. "The safeguards are not strong enough and the 150 billion dollar reward to a nation that sponsors terrorism around the globe is nothing short of absurd."