Political Notebook

State Assembly members urge rejection of Iran nuclear deal

Assembly Member Henry T. Perea, D-Fresno
Assembly Member Henry T. Perea, D-Fresno

Just so you know, Assembly Members Henry T. Perea of Fresno and Luis Alejo of Salinas are opposed to the Iran nuclear deal, an agreement that would lift sanctions on the Middle Eastern nation if it cuts back its nuclear program.

The two Democrats drafted a letter not only urging Congress to reject the deal, but also saying the state’s leaders – presumably those who serve in Congress – “must have the resolve to reject an agreement that does not ensure peace.”

The question is, why?

Perea or his spokeswoman couldn’t be reached for comment.

Jack Pitney, a Claremont McKenna College government professor, said he wasn’t really sure why the pair sent the letter. But, he added, “The Iran nuclear deal is a lot sexier than potholes on the I-5.”

The controversial agreement was reached this summer between Iran and not only the United States, but also the United Kingdom, China, France, Russia, Germany and the European Union. It has been a lightning rod ever since.

Congress will weigh in on the agreement sometime in the coming weeks.

California has no role in its fate, but Congress is being inundated with letters and petitions urging it to either support or reject the agreement, which may have prompted Perea’s and Alejo’s actions.

This isn’t the first time the state has weighed in on a federal issue, Pitney noted. In substantive ways, he said, the California Legislature has gotten “semi-involved” in some federal issues over the years. He cited South Africa divestment during that country’s apartheid era as an example.

“But in this it’s kind of hard to figure out what role there is for the California State Assembly – unless they’ve volunteered to go to Iran and inspect nuclear sites,” Pitney said.