Maine Congressional Delegation Split On Pulling Out Of Iran Nuclear Deal

May 9, 2018

Members of Maine’s congressional delegation don't see eye-to-eye on President Donald Trump’s decision to pull out of the Iran nuclear deal.

Independent U.S. Sen. Angus King says that while Tuesday’s decision is not surprising, it is disappointing and potentially disastrous to U.S. interests. He says by all accounts, the plan effectively hindered Iran’s ability to develop nuclear weapons in the near term.

"At a moment when our country already faces serious threats across the globe, the decision to unilaterally withdraw from the JCPOA strains our relationships with key allies, strengthens the hand of Iranian hard-liners, escalates an already concerning matter of national security, and could motivate Iran to accelerate its efforts to develop nuclear weapons – particularly given that the Administration has not yet proposed an adequate strategy to deter Iran’s nuclear ambitions outside of the agreement,” King writes, in a statement.

Republican U.S. Sen. Susan Collins says it would be better for the U.S. to continue to work closely with its allies to fix the serious deficiencies in the agreement negotiated by the Obama administration.

“The 2015 agreement is fundamentally flawed because it leaves Iran as capable of building a nuclear weapon at the expiration of the agreement as it was when it first went into effect," Collins says, in a statement. "Under the terms of the agreement, Iran merely has to be patient in order to ultimately design and develop a nuclear arsenal."

On the U.S. House side, Democratic U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree, of Maine’s 1st District, says the president is putting his personal whims above national security interests. She says Trump’s unilateral decision is unjustified, reckless and will make the U.S. less safe.

Republican U.S. Rep. Bruce Poliquin, of Maine’s 2nd District, says the Iran nuclear accord is a horrible deal. He says it does not go far enough in ensuring Iran will eliminate its nuclear weapons program while at the same time lifting critical economic sanctions on the regime.