Congressman Rod Blum plans to vote “no” on the Iran nuclear deal when it comes up for a vote in the U.S. House. Blum doubts the deal will be able to keep Iran from getting the bomb.
“I don’t think our country or the Middle East will be safer when Iran has a nuclear weapon,” Blum said. “My job is to keep America safe and also, to the extent possible, protect our allies.”
Blum, a Republican from Dubuque, is eight months into his first term in congress, representing Iowa’s first congressional district. Blum made the decision to vote no on the Iran deal after reading the text of the agreement.
“Obviously I was hoping it would be a great deal. That would be the best thing and it wasn’t what I expected at all,” Blum said. “I thought: ‘Too many loopholes, America is not involved with inspections, there’s 24-day advance notice, the Ayatollah has come out recently and has said we can’t inspect military sites,’ so very troubling.”
Blum announced in mid-July he had major concerns about the deal, but said a month and a half ago that he planned to review the details before making a final decision. Blum on Thursday suggested his no vote is partly based on objections raised by Israel’s prime minister.
“I don’t know if I want to have a country have a nuclear bomb who has publicly stated they want to wipe another country off the face of the planet,” Blum said. “Now that’s frightening to me.”
Blum spoke over the noon hour Thursday at a sports bar near the University of Northern Iowa campus in Cedar Falls.
Diplomats from the U.S. and five other countries negotiated the deal that will ease international sanctions which have crippled Iran’s economy. Although resolutions of disapproval are likely to pass the Republican-led House and Senate, President Obama has secured enough support from Democrats in the U.S. Senate to sustain his veto and seal the deal. Iran’s supreme leader on Thursday ordered a vote in that country’s parliament on the deal, but threatened his country would withdraw from the deal if economic sanctions against Iran aren’t cancelled permanently rather than just suspended.
(Reporting in Cedar Falls by Pat Blank of Iowa Public Radio; additional reporting by Radio Iowa’s O. Kay Henderson)