President Obama's latest diplomatic effort to stop Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon raises the danger of such a bomb being detonated by terrorists in the United States, according to a member of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.
In the short term, "we've got young men and women all across the Middle East who will come back with their legs blown off by [improvised explosive devices] that were built and manufactured in Iran with the very same money that we're going to release to the Iranian regime," Rep. Mike Pompeo, R-Kan., told the Washington Examiner during an interview Sunday afternoon.
An Israeli official warned that the agreement could result in a nuclear attack on the United States. “If a nuclear suitcase blows up in New York or Madrid five years from now, it will be because of the deal that was signed this morning,” Naftali Bennett, the nation's minister of trade, industry, and labor said of the agreement.
Pompeo agreed with that assessment. "I believe that is an accurate statement," he said. "I mean, look — at the end of six months, Iran will be closer to having a nuclear weapon than they are today."
President Obama hailed the deal as a historic development. "For the first time in nearly a decade, we have halted the progress of the Iranian nuclear program, and key parts of the program will be rolled back," Obama said.
"On our side, the United States and our friends and allies have agreed to provide Iran with modest relief, while continuing to apply our toughest sanctions," the president continued. "We will refrain from imposing new sanctions, and we will allow the Iranian government access to a portion of the revenue that they have been denied through sanctions. But the broader architecture of sanctions will remain in place and we will continue to enforce them vigorously. And if Iran does not fully meet its commitments during this six-month phase, we will turn off the relief and ratchet up the pressure."
Pompeo explained that the Iranians only agreed to allow international inspectors to continue "inspections of the sites we already have access to." He wants Congress to interdict the deal.
"As the Senate begins to take up sanctions, I think you're sending a very clear message to this administration," Pompeo said, before suggesting that Congress cut funding for presidential priorities — perhaps even the United Nations.
"If the most important thing that the U.N. does is sanctions and we're going to walk away from them," he said, "if the president thinks they're irrelevant, perhaps we should consider our funding to the United Nations."
"Those are the kinds of things that Congress can do to let the administration know that this isn't Republicans attacking the president," Pompeo continued. "These are serious leaders who care about making sure that that [nuclear] suitcase doesn't end up in New York or in Omaha or in Portland."