Congressman Ted Deutch (D-FL), the ranking member on the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on the Middle East and North Africa, spoke with Alhurra’s Inside Washington about current debate surrounding U.S.-Iranian relations and explained America’s foreign aid policy.
During the interview, which will air Saturday at 11 a.m. (EST), Congressman Deutch discussed the negotiations with Iran over its nuclear program and the administration’s position that any additional legislation is inadvisable.
“We need to move forward with negotiations to try to end the nuclear program,” he said. “But it would be helpful to have a date … by which additional sanctions would be imposed if a final agreement has not yet been reached.”
He went on to stress that his job is to represent the people who elected him. “If that means differing some from the administration from time to time, I think that’s what I have to do, and certainly the administration, I would think, understands that as well,” he explained.
Regarding the use of force against Iran, Deutch stressed, “We’re now at the point where if there is going to be a comprehensive solution, it will have to include not just the items that are commonly discussed– the enrichment and dramatically reducing enrichment capabilities and the number of centrifuges– but Iran coming clean about the military aspects, the possible military aspects of its nuclear program.”
He warned, “It would be too dangerous to see a nuclear arms race spread throughout the Middle East. And then, ultimately, when the President talks about all options being on the table I think Congress supports that approach by the President.”
Deutch also took time to explain foreign aid and its popularity among Americans. “We provide foreign assistance because it’s in our own best interests.” He added that the promotion of democracy and combating disease to help make the world a healthier place, “would be in the United States’ national interest.” He explained that the U.S. provides foreign assistance, “in order to avoid having to provide military assistance, in order to avoid having to go to war.”