YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Talking with the Valley’s two Congressmen about the lifting of sanctions against Iran brings about two very different answers.
“I just think it’s a really big sign that things are moving in the right direction,” Tim Ryan said.
“This is extremely concerning,” Bill Johnson said. “It really, really is.”
Johnson stopped in the Valley Monday afternoon, and says the deal to lift sanctions in exchange for Iran meeting certain conditions with its nuclear program was a sign of weakness, not strength, for the Obama Administration. Especially after Iran seized two U.S. Navy boats last week, and held a dozen American sailors at gunpoint.
“I’ve never seen in my lifetime when an American president has seemed too small and insignificant in the face of such global challenges,” Johnson said.
However, Ryan sees the deal as a fair exchange that will help ease tensions in the Middle East.
“Hopefully, step by step, this country can move into the modern era and be…a strong country, but a country that can grow their economy and live peacefully with their neighbors.”
Already, Iranian leaders have promised to increase their country’s oil production at a time when global prices have been slumping due to a glut in the market.
“That’s what they need to try to get their economy going,” Ryan said.
Johnson argues that the additional exports will put even more pressure on oil and gas businesses in this region, that have already been struggling against falling energy prices and reduced demand for exploration.
“We’re going to pay a price with American jobs here, as our oil and gas producers have to stand down their operations,” Johnson said.
This is something that he says could make problems even worse for American companies supplying the oil and gas industry.