Rep. Capuano Statement on the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action

September 11, 2015

Today, the House completed consideration of H.R. 3461, To Approve the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action signed at Vienna on July 14, 2015 relating to the nuclear program of Iran. This is one of the most significant and serious issues that I have considered as your Representative in Congress. After careful analysis and review, I voted in support of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) between Iran and the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council (China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States) plus Germany. The agreement is intended to prevent Iran from developing nuclear arms.

Iran and its terrorist proxies pose real dangers and could wreak almost unimaginable horrors. I have long hoped for a negotiated resolution to this threat, knowing full well that a perfect agreement, satisfying all sides, is an impossible standard. I have spent weeks reviewing the agreement, conducting numerous meetings and seeking out expert analysis, including from qualified scientists. Congress had no role in the negotiations and does not have the authority to amend the agreement. The sole responsibility of the House and the Senate is simply to accept or reject what is presented for a vote.

I know the agreement is not perfect, lacking some provisions that both the President and the Secretary of State felt should be included. For example, inspections can be delayed for as long as 24 days. In the final analysis, however, those provisions simply were not enough for me to vote against the agreement.

I believe if the United States were to walk away from this agreement, the rest of the world would just resume business as usual with Iran, as both Russia and China have already done and even our friends, Britain and France, appear eager to do. Iran would face no effective restraint to its development of nuclear weapons. Other nations in the region could follow Iranís path, themselves pursuing nuclear weapons. This prospect is chilling, and for me is a compelling argument that a negotiated agreement, however imperfect it may be, offers the strongest possibility of preventing a nuclear arms race and further military conflict in the Middle East. If Iran subsequently violates its commitments, it will not be because the United States and its allies refused to seek peace in good faith.

I want to acknowledge and thank everyone who reached out to me, sharing their thoughts on this agreement. I carefully considered all aspects of it before concluding that a vote in support of the deal represents a better chance for peace.


Contact: Alison Mills (Rep. Capuano) 617-621-6208