Palmer: Iran nuclear deal ‘a disaster’

Published 9:38 pm Tuesday, September 1, 2015

U.S. Congressman Gary Palmer speaks with about 40 residents during a Sept. 1 town hall meeting at Alabaster City Hall. (Reporter Photo/Neal Wagner)

U.S. Congressman Gary Palmer speaks with about 40 residents during a Sept. 1 town hall meeting at Alabaster City Hall. (Reporter Photo/Neal Wagner)

By NEAL WAGNER / Managing Editor

ALABASTER – U.S. Congressman Gary Palmer said he “really can’t find anything good” in the Iran nuclear deal pending before Congress, and said it will be “a disaster” if it is approved.

During a Sept. 1 town hall meeting at the Alabaster City Hall, Palmer, who is serving his first term representing Alabama’s 6th Congressional District, said the pending nuclear deal could possibly give Islamic extremists access to atomic weapons.

If the deal is approved, it would pave the way to lifting longstanding economic sanctions against Iran by several world powers, and would seek to limit Iran’s nuclear program.

Palmer said if Iran were to one day develop a nuclear weapon, “the celebration would not be that Iran has a bomb, the celebration will be that a sect of (radical) Shiites has a bomb.” Palmer also said if Iran develops atomic weapons, it could set off a “nuclear arms race in the Middle East.”

While speaking to the about 40 people in attendance at the town hall meeting, Palmer said the United States has already been affected by a “group of well-educated Islamic extremists.”

“If these young people are representative of some of the fanatics out there that they would fly a plane into a building and die instantly, what in the world would make members of Congress think there aren’t some who would fly a plane into a city carrying an atomic bomb?” Palmer said, referencing the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. “There is a regime that is determined to conquer the world for Islam, and they have no problem killing millions and millions of people to make that happen.”

Sept. 17 is the deadline for Congress to act on the proposed Iran deal. If it passes, Palmer said Iran will receive $150 million “up front.”

“If they violate the agreement, as sorry as the agreement is, we can’t pull that money back because they will have all of it,” Palmer said.

Palmer also criticized the Environmental Protection Agency, and said he is looking for Congress to pass a budget funding the government through Jan. 20, 2016 or April 15, 2016, rather than through Dec. 18 of this year.

Palmer said if Congress must vote on funding the government on Dec. 18, “the Democrats will pressure us to hastily pass a budget” as the Christmas holiday looms, and said “they will put all kinds of junk” in the proposed budget.

Several of Palmer’s current bills are seeking to limit the EPA, he said.

“I’m really going after the EPA, because they are out of control,” he said. “What is going on now is killing the economy, and it is particularly harmful to senior citizens and those on a fixed income.”

If Palmer’s bills are signed into law, they would prevent the EPA from implementing new regulations within five years of each other, he said.