Rep. Josh Gottheimer: We cannot trust or do business with Iranian leadership

Last month, Gottheimer led a bipartisan group of 50 lawmakers who came forward to raise concerns about the Iran deal.

Josh Gottheimer at the Annual Jerusalem Post , New York 2022

WASHINGTON – As the negotiations between Iran and the superpowers are again on hold, Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D-New Jersey) said on Monday that the Iranian leadership cannot be trusted.

“The Iranian leadership is not someone we can trust or do business with,” Gottheimer said at the Jerusalem Post Conference in New York. “They’ve been spending more time with Russia and China in an alliance against Ukraine. They are sharing technology on Drones, [on] every front,” he said.

“Antisemitism in New Jersey is second highest behind New York. It is, unfortunately, a regular thing we deal with and we need to speak out against it every time it happens, which I do.”

Rep. Josh Gottheimer

it seemed as if a JCPOA revival could happen any minute, and “months where it looks dead.”

“Right now it looks like it’s not moving forward but we’ve thought that before,” the New Jersey congressman said.

Last month, Gottheimer led a bipartisan group of 50 lawmakers – 34 Democrats and 16 Republicans – raising concerns about the deal.

“Every time it looks like the deal could go forward, a bunch of us would say, ‘Hold on a second. First you should come to Congress.’”

US Representative  Josh Gottheimer at the Jerusalem Post Conference in New York, September 12, 2022 (credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)US Representative Josh Gottheimer at the Jerusalem Post Conference in New York, September 12, 2022 (credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)

He noted that he is a part of a group of lawmakers who opposed the JCPOA from the start and have been clear about their concern “that Iran hasn’t been honest and have continued their terror programs, and now it’s getting worse with the IRGC attacking Americans, attacking our bases.”

“I led a group of us saying, ‘Hold on. If you move forward with this, you’re going to face a tough vote in the House,’ Gottheimer said. “I think it’s been pretty clear, including several months ago, to say that we have deep concerns. And I’ve had constructive talks with the administration. They know it’s a foolish path to go on, and I’m just trying to be transparent.”

Asked about members of his party who used antisemitic tropes in several occasions, Gottheimer said, “From the moment those initial comments were made, I led efforts making it clear that those comments were antisemitic and the BDS [Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions] movement is antisemitic. The most important thing is to speak out when these comments are made without giving unnecessary tensions.”

Speaking about antisemitism in New Jersey, Gottheimer said swastikas were often painted on his signs, “and you’ll find people say I work for Israel and not the US, which is by the way an [antisemitic] trope.”

“Antisemitism in New Jersey is second highest behind New York,” he said. “It is unfortunately a regular thing we deal with and we need to speak out against it every time it happens, which I do.”