WASHINGTON—Today, Representative Eliot L. Engel, Ranking Member of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, made the following statement at a press conference on the Trump Administration’s withdrawal from the Iran deal:
“Thank you very much. We need to be clear. Iran is a serious threat. Last night’s strikes on Israel risk calculating and risk making this into a full-fledged war. Iran supports terrorism. Iran has ballistic missiles. Iran tramples on human rights. As the leader said, no one doubts that Iran is a bad player.
“The question is, how do you answer it? Yes, there are some parts of the JCPOA that are problematic. But how do you fix them? Do you fix them by staying in the deal, or do you fix them by walking away from the deal? I think it’s clear that if you want to fix them, you stay in the deal and try to get others who are in the deal to work with us.
“We needed to work with our partners to extend the life of the deal because the sunset provisions were problematic. We need to work with our partners to dial up pressure on Iran. We walk away now, we have no pressure.
“Instead of Iran being isolated, the United States is isolated. We’ve lost our leverage. We’ve lost the goodwill of our partners. It seems to me that at this particular time, walking away from this deal is the worst thing we could do.
“We’ve also lost credibility on the world stage, at a time when we’re going into serious negotiations with North Korea. Who would want to negotiate with us, if the next time a President of another party came in, all he would do is just get rid of the deal. So, I think when you look at things, personal peak isn’t important, or even the deal isn’t important.
“What’s important is how does this strengthen or weaken America’s position in the world. And it’s clear to me that this weakens America’s position in the world, again.
“I think the Iranians must be laughing all the way because we’re stumbling and bumbling once again. So, I think this was the worst thing to do. The worst thing to do for peace in the world, the worst thing to do for the United States’ credibility, and the worst thing to do when we move forward.
“The President made a bad mistake, and I hope it gets corrected.”
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