I spent last week with a group of Congressional colleagues visiting allies in the Middle East and thanking the men and women in uniform who are protecting and serving our country. On Thursday, our delegation was recapping the week, noting how much of our conversation focused on Iran.
After visiting with our partners on the ground in the Middle East, my concerns about Iran’s efforts to foment unrest, brutal violence and terror have only grown.
Throughout the week, there had been some chatter that the parameters of a potential deal with Iran were about to be announced. As we were having dinner, people were reading off their phones and leaving the table to take calls. Around the same time the president was speaking in the Rose Garden, I found out he’d be calling me afterwards.
So I got up, and went outside to collect my thoughts a bit.
Like all of my exchanges with the president, the call was pretty straightforward. He briefed me, walked me through it, I shared some of my concerns, and thanked him for calling.
I told my colleagues about the call, and we walked through the bigger picture: in Iraq, you’ve got Iranian soldiers patrolling the streets in Tikrit. The Saudis saw the Houthis in Yemen and said enough’s enough. And one Iranian commander declared this week that Israel needs to be wiped off the map.
It would be naïve to suggest the Iranian regime will not continue to use its nuclear program, and any economic relief, to further destabilize the region.
In the weeks ahead, Republicans and Democrats in Congress will continue to press this administration on the details of these parameters and the tough questions that remain unanswered. We will stand strong on behalf of the American people and everyone in the Middle East who values freedom, security, and peace.
We’ll see where things go next, but judging by where we’ve just been, there’s a lot left to talk about.