President Trump shows a signed presidential memorandum reinstating US nuclear sanctions on the Iranian regime on May 8, 2018. Evan Vucci/AP

This week, Donald Trump pulled America out of the Iran Deal, more formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action. President Trump’s dangerous and reckless decision on the Iran Deal makes us and Israel less safe, damages our credibility to the world, and throws into jeopardy the only check on Iran’s ability to freely pursue nuclear weapons, absent another disastrous war in the Middle East.

In short, it’s a disaster.

The United States has one of the finest diplomatic corps in the history of the world, and President Obama’s Iran Deal was one of its most remarkable foreign policy achievements of the 21st century. Obama’s bold initiative opened a critical diplomatic channel, put the brakes on Iran’s quest for a nuclear weapon, and kept the United States out of yet another disastrous war in the Middle East. The deal allowed America and its allies to monitor Iran’s nuclear activity and ensure it did not verge into nuclear weapons production, so that an unchecked military nuclear program would not drag the entire region into a nuclear arms race.

I have always been a proud advocate of the Iran Deal. While not perfect, the Iran Deal created the most attractive plan for a long-term strategy to deal with Iran’s nuclear program and prevent a nuclear showdown in the Middle East.

Unfortunately, I’m the only Democrat in the race to represent New York’s 12th Congressional District that supports this achievement of diplomacy over militarism.

Despite representing one of the most progressive districts in America, the incumbent in this race joined Republicans and a handful of other Democrats to vote against the Iran Deal. In doing so, she largely supplied Donald Trump with many of the arguments he made this week to pull out of the deal.

Rep. Maloney argued baselessly that the deal would “make the region even more dangerous” and “would give Iran billions of dollars that it could direct toward terrorism.” This type of fearmongering, along with her outrageous decision to wear a burqa on the Congressional floor while sounding drumbeats of war in Afghanistan, seriously calls into question her judgment. This is the same rhetoric and behavior that dragged us into the disastrous Iraq War, which Maloney also voted for and supported.

Now, we are dangerously in the hands of Donald Trump and John Bolton to make decisions on how to deal with the Iranian nuclear threat, a pair that I simply don’t trust to make good decisions about our country’s foreign policy. Instead of scrapping the Iran Deal, we must pick up where it left off, and focus on determined enforcement and additional agreements that discourage Iran from pursuing its disruptive foreign policy through nuclear or conventional military means.

Democrats must defend and restore the Iran Deal, one of the most important pieces of President Obama’s legacy. Standing by the Iran Deal, strictly enforcing our current sanctions, and maintaining vigilance around the clearly defined limits instituted by the Iran Deal is the only way to achieve increased stability in the Middle East.

Americans don’t want to fight any more endless and costly wars, and we need to elect more representatives who value diplomacy first.

Lawyer, Activist, Business Ethics Professor @ NYU Stern. Running for Congress in New York’s 12th District.

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