Alhurra’s congressional correspondent Rana Abtar spoke with several members of Congress following the forum on ‘Defining Terms of an Acceptable Iran Nuclear Deal.’ Following the event, Abtar talked briefly to Representative Eliot Engel (D-NY) who stated that if Iran is not acting in good faith that Congress would want to step in. He added, “I think that’s a real possibility for Congress’ reaction (to be) to impose new sanctions” in the future. Senator Mark Kirk (R-IL) concurred, “I think we should have new sanctions. I think the best way not to have a war is to have non-military sanctions.”
Abtar also asked the members about current issues in Syria and Israel. When she asked them about the White House proposal to offer $500 million in aid to the Syrian rebels, Engel stated that the proposal was “better late than never.” He went on to say, “I think we should have been arming the Free Syrian Army for many years. They are the people who have stood up for democracy in Syria. They are the people that had the strength and the courage to stand up to the tyranny of Assad and his murdering of women, and children, and civilians.” He reiterated that even if the Administration is doing it now, it is still a positive step.
Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) agreed, saying she believes the U.S. should have given aid sooner, but she has some concerns about the current proposal. “Now the issue has become very muddled, the Administration is always too little too late.”
Regarding the Israeli conflict, Senator Kirk addressed his feelings towards Hamas’ actions that led to the current crisis. “I think Hamas is a bunch of murders, and to praise the killing of teenagers shows who they really are.”