“It’s certainly an argument I’ve heard made,” said Rep. Adam Schiff, the ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee. “We’ll be better off with the agreement were we to need to use force.”
Schiff has already announced his support for the Iran deal. But the argument could be useful as the administration tries to persuade centrist Democrats with a hawkish view of Iran to support the agreement, which provides relief from sanctions for Iran in return for curbs and inspections of its nuclear program. Congress is expected to vote on the deal next month.
Obama officials rarely discuss the concept in public, partly out of concern over long-standing tensions between Iran’s clerical regime and the International Atomic Energy Agency, which will monitor Iran’s nuclear complex under the deal. Iranian officials have often accused IAEA inspectors of being Western agents.
“I can certainly understand why the Iranians wouldn’t like that argument,” Schiff said. “But then the Iranians have made a lot of arguments that we don’t like.”