The Buzz

U.S. Rep. Emanuel Cleaver comes out for the Iran nuclear pact


Missouri Congressman Emanuel Cleaver said Wednesday that he’ll back the proposed Iranian nuclear pact.

His announcement comes the same week as the administration has garnered enough support in the Senate so that President Obama will not be forced to veto a Republican resolution disapproving the accord.

In a statement, Cleaver, a Kansas City Democrat, said he was disappointed in the quality of the debate over the controversial agreement. He called it a “worthless exercise in Lilliputian politics.

“I have heard it all: if a member supports the agreement, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), he or she is anti-Semitic or a self-hating Jew. On the other hand, if a member concludes that the agreement is too indigestible to support, he or she is a war monger.”

After talking with the president and even evaluating his own evaluation process, Cleaver said he’ll back the agreement.

“I am as comfortable with this decision as any I have previously made,” he said.

He accused Republicans of seeking to humiliate the president and “diminish his credibility around the globe” by sending a letter to Iranian leaders signed by 47 GOP senators that said the next president would disregard any such agreement.

Cleaver also the decision by House leaders to invite Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to speak before a joint session of Congress without discussing the matter with the White House was another setback.

“There is absolutely no evidence that any of the P5+1 participants would return to the negotiating table if the U.S. Congress aborts the agreement they found acceptable. In fact, British Ambassador Peter Westmacott responded to those who suggest a return to the negotiating table as ‘farfetched’. Germany’s Philipp Ackermann said that ‘the option of getting back to the negotiating table is close to zero’.

“This agreement has some flaws and is not perfect. But if we demand perfection, we are denying the essential qualities of negotiation and international engagement.”