U.S. Senator Joe Manchin III has announced he will vote against the proposed nuclear deal with Iran.
In a conference call held Sept. 8, Manchin explained he believes the proposed executive agreement between Iran and the U.S. would not change Iran’s behavior. “When this process began, I was supportive of diplomatic efforts led by Secretary Kerry… I have always believed that to truly be a superpower you must engage in super-diplomacy. Whenever I am able, I will choose diplomacy over war because the stakes are so high for West Virginia and our country. As I struggled with this decision, I could not ignore the fact that Iran, the country that would benefit from sanctions being lifted, refuses to change its 36 year history of sponsoring terrorism.”
Manchin stated he considered the viewpoints of constituents, national security advisors and representatives from countries in the Middle East in making his decision.
While addressing the argument that the failure to strike a deal with Iran now could lead to war, Manchin flipped that statement on its side explaining he believed Iran would renege on terms of the deal ultimately moving the two countries closer to war. “The continued actions by Iran and it’s recent activities with Russia have proven to me that when we catch Iran violating the agreement — and I believe we will — I have great doubts that we will have unified, committed partners willing to prevent Iran from attaining a nuclear weapon. For those who are upset by my deliberations, I would simply say that the decision to pursue diplomacy is every bit as consequential as the decision to pursue war. In many cases, possibly even this one, the decision to abandon the first path leads eventually to the second, and I, like most Americans and West Virginians, have already seen too much American sacrifice in the Middle East to push us down the path towards war. However, I don’t believe a vote against this deal forces us to abandon the diplomatic path. We must continue to pursue peace but on terms that promise a lasting peace for the United States and our allies.”
In making his decision, Manchin joined with his colleague from West Virginia Senator Shelly Moore Capito and the majority of 59 U.S. senators who oppose the deal. However, senate democrats now hold enough votes to threaten a filibuster in an attempt to stop a senate override of the deal.
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Owen Wells is a reporter for Civitas Media. He can be reached at 304-752-6950 ext. 1729 or by email at [email protected]