WASHINGTON (JTA) — U.S. Rep. Grace Meng, a Democrat who represents a heavily Jewish district in New York City, has come out in opposition to the Iran nuclear deal.
“I believe the inspections procedures set forth are flawed — leading nuclear experts to assert that, pursuant to these procedures, inspectors would not necessarily know whether Iran is manufacturing uranium components for a nuclear weapon,” Meng said in a statement Wednesday, a day after she confronted Secretary of State John Kerry with questions during congressional hearings on the deal.
Meng, who represents a district in the borough of Queens, also expressed concerns in her statement about leaving Iran’s nuclear infrastructure intact and how Iran would use money it received from sanctions relief. The July 14 nuclear deal reached between Iran and six major powers exchanges sanctions relief for nuclear restrictions.
Congress has until mid-to-late September to review the deal. Opponents need two-thirds majorities in the House of Representatives and the Senate to override President Barack Obama’s promised veto of any bid to kill the deal, putting much of the focus on Democrats, as Republicans mostly are against the deal.
Another Democrat, Rep. Juan Vargas of California, has come out against the deal, while a number of prominent party members, chief among them Rep. Nancy Pelosi, also of California, the House minority leader, favor the agreement. Joining Pelosi are a number of leading Jewish Democratic lawmakers, including Reps. Sander Levin of Michigan and Jan Schakowsky of Illinois, and Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California.