REP. MURPHY STATEMENT ON THE P5+1 NUCLEAR AGREEMENT WITH IRAN
"I have listened to the strong cases made by advocates on both sides of this debate, which at times has become unfortunately rancorous. I have carefully studied the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, its appendices, and the classified reports from the negotiations, and have sought answers from both supporters and opponents.
"Armed with nuclear weapons, Iran would pose an unacceptable threat to America and Israel. The United States must always retain the option to take military action to protect our freedom and our allies, and the time may come when we are obligated to stop Iran from developing nuclear weapons by force. Before placing our country's brave men and women in uniform in harm's way, I owe all Floridians — and especially our servicemembers — to have tried every available option. The deal on my desk is flawed, but after searching my own soul and conscience, I have decided I will support this agreement as the best available option to stop Iran from developing a nuclear weapon.
"With the proposed nuclear deal with Iran on my desk, I have been thinking of the decision to go to war in Iraq. Over a decade ago, Congress faced a vote whether to commit America's armed forces into a conflict in the Middle East. I was twenty years old when we went to war in Iraq, and as the casualties mounted in that unnecessary and costly war — eventually to over 4,000 brave American soldiers — I woke up to the horrible reality of war and the consequences of the decisions Congress makes. The tragedy of the war in Iraq set me on the path to run for Congress to do my part to ensure such an avoidable war never happened again.
"Despite this deal, Iran will remain an implacable foe of America and Israel. Continuing the historic diplomatic effort with our coalition partners is crucial as we maintain pressure on Iran's nefarious activities, including arms deals, violations of human rights, and their sponsorship of terrorism. We must step up targeted sanctions of Iranian leaders and militias that seek to do harm to Israel and our allies. However, an Iran armed with nuclear weapons is a game-changing force that would threaten America, pose an existential threat to Israel, and destabilize the Middle East. Stopping Iran's nuclear program must be our first priority.
"As Senator Bill Nelson, who supports the deal, has said recently, there is 'no other available alternative.' On balance, I cannot let possibilities a decade or more in the future, however troubling, outweigh the immediate benefits of this agreement. Under the current sanctions Iran's breakout time to obtaining a nuclear weapon is just three months; this agreement expands that to a full year and reduces Iran's stockpiles of low-enriched uranium by 98%.