WASHINGTON (WABC) -- Thursday night when all political eyes were on the Republican debate, Senator Chuck Schumer, a Democrat from New York, announced that he's opposing the Iran nuclear deal.
His decision was eagerly-awaited, as he is expected to be the party's next leader in the Senate -- and this counters President Barack Obama's strong push for the deal. He's the first Democratic senator to oppose the deal.
To help you understand the Schumer's decision, we broke down the major points of his reasoning, as released Thursday evening.
Schumer considered these three main points:
- Nuclear restrictions on Iran in the first 10 years
- Nuclear restrictions on Iran after 10 years
- Non-nuclear components and consequences of a deal
He said in each case he asked: Are we better off with the agreement or without it?
Below is a break down of what Schumer didn't like in each of the three main points:
Here are his concerns about the first 10 years, which he said has "serious weaknesses in the agreement":
1. The 24-day delay before an inspection would be permitted would allow Iran to escape detection of tools that go into building a bomb and don't emit radioactivity
2. The U.S. can't demand inspections without getting a majority of the eight-member joint commission to approve
3. The "snapback" provisions, which allow all sanctions to be put back in place if Iran is not in compliance, would be cumbersome and difficult to use, especially if trying to only re-instate some sanctions should a non-severe violation be made
Here are his concerns about the next 10 years:
4. After 15 years of no sanctions, Iran would be stronger financially and better able to advance a robust nuclear program
5. In 10-15 years, Iran would being as close, if not closer to possessing a nuclear weapon than it is today
Here are his concerns about the non-nuclear elements of the deal:
6. For years, Iran has used military force and terrorism to expand its influence in the Middle East, actively supporting military or terrorist actions in Israel, Syria, Lebanon, Yemen, Iraq, and Gaza
7. Iran would receive at least $50 billion in the near future and would undoubtedly use some of that money to redouble its efforts to create more trouble in the Middle East
Want to read Schumer's full statement? Click here to access it on his website.
What do you think of Sen. Schumer's decision to oppose the Iran nuclear deal? Let us know in the comment section below.
BREAKDOWN: 7 reasons why Sen. Chuck Schumer is not supporting the Iran nuclear deal