Protest ensues after Wasserman Schultz supports Iran nuclear deal
Washington-Jerusalem clash affects South Florida community
AVENTURA, Fla. – After Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz announced her support of the Iran nuclear deal, about two dozen cyclists met to protest at her Miami-Dade County office to ride to her Broward County office to protest some more Monday.
Wasserman Schultz -- who is the first Jewish woman to represent Florida in the House -- announced her support on a Miami Herald Op-Ed Sunday. The chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee's Miami-Dade office is in Aventura, a city with a substantial Jewish population in northeastern Miami-Dade County.
Rafa Russ was at her office, 1900 West Country Club Dr., near the Turnberry Isle Resort, for a peaceful cycling Labor Day protest. He was among the protesters, who wore road shoes and tight cycling shorts and jerseys, on the cloudy Monday morning.
"We are not happy with the results so far. That's why we are here to voice our opinions ... we need a better deal," Russ said. He was among protesters shouting and wearing T-shirts that read, "WE NEED A BETTER DEAL."
During an interview with Jake Tapper on CNN's "State of the Union" Sunday, Wasserman Schultz said that although she still had some concerns, she was going to support the Iran nuclear deal and if necessary sustain President Barack Obama's veto. She said Obama assured her Saturday that she was going to be part of an effort to enhance Israel's security.
"In weighing all the information that I had in front of me, I concluded that the best thing to do is to vote in support of the Iran deal," the leading Jewish lawmaker said, "and make sure that we can put Iran years away from being a threshold nuclear state and make sure that we can more closely concentrate on their terrorist activities."
Obama, who met with King Salman of Saudi Arabia Friday at the White House, secured enough Senate votes last week. Amid the contentious Washington-Jerusalem clash over the Iran nuclear agreement, Wasserman Schultz said there was "angst and pause," as she made the "gut-wrenching" decision.
"There's nothing more important to me as a Jew than to ensure that Israel's existence is there throughout our generations," Wasserman Schultz said. She added that "there is no way that we would be able to ensure that better than approving this deal."
The United Nations, the United States and the European Union would lift sanctions after International Atomic Energy Agency confirms Iran followed Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.
- Iran would be able to resume oil sales on international markets
- They would be able to rejoin global financial system for trade
- P5+1 representatives, the EU and Iran will monitor compliance. UN will mediate disputes.
- UN arms embargo continues until IAEA agrees to end it.
- If Iran breaks the deal, sanctions return for a decade and can be extended for five years
Source: The White House
The White House claims the nuclear deal adds limits to Iran's nuclear programs and reduces uranium stockpile by 98 percent for 15 years, while making an Iranian nuclear bomb more difficult, as the deal sets up a comprehensive inspections regime through the International Atomic Energy Agency, a worldwide nuclear watchdog.
During an interview with NBC's "Meet The Press," Former Secretary of State, under President George W. Bush, Colin L. Powell said it was a "pretty good deal," because it includes a "very vigorous" inspection system.
"We are forgetting the reality that they have been on a superhighway for the last 10 years to create a nuclear weapon ... with no speed limit," Powell said. "We have stopped this highway race."
Iran has two facilities (Fordo and Natanz) where U-235 -- which can be used to fuel nuclear power plants or to produce nuclear weapons -- is separated from uranium hexafluoride gas.
The deal would only shutdown Fordo, which is set to be turned into a technology center. Natanz would continue the enrichment of uranium for civilian purposes and would house an international research team for eight years. Iran also would agree to re-design water nuclear reactors.
Former vice president Dick Cheney, who is promoting his daughter's new book, criticized the deal on "Fox News Sunday" calling it a "major defeat" for U.S. interests.
"The Iranians, I think, they'll end up dominating," Cheney said.
Jaime Mandel, one of the protesters at Wasserman Schultz's Aventura office, shares Cheney's fears. He rode 12.8 miles in his bicycle to Wasserman Schultz's Pembroke Pines office, 10100 Pines Blvd.
"We are disgusted with this Iran deal," Mandel said. "We don't believe this is a good deal and we don't feel we are represented." As her constituent, he said he was "very upset."
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