Republicans offered strong reaction to the announcement.
“Shame on the Obama administration for agreeing to a deal that empowers an evil Iranian regime to carry out its threat to ‘wipe Israel off the map’ and bring ‘death to America.’ John Kerry should have long ago gotten up on his crutches, walked out of the sham talks, and went straight to Jerusalem to stand next to Benjamin Netanyahu and declared that America will stand with Israel and the other sane governments of the Middle East instead of with the terrorist government of Iran,” former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee said in a released statement. “As president, I will stand with Israel and keep all options on the table, including military force, to topple the terrorist Iranian regime and defeat the evil forces of radical Islam.”
“President Obama’s nuclear agreement with Iran will be remembered as one of America’s worst diplomatic failures. The deal allows Tehran to dismantle U.S. and international sanctions without dismantling its illicit nuclear infrastructure—giving Iran’s nuclear weapons capability an American stamp of approval. In crafting this agreement, President Obama has abandoned the bipartisan principles that have guided our nonproliferation policy and kept the world safe from nuclear danger for decades. Instead of making the world safer, this deal will likely lead to a nuclear arms race in the world’s most dangerous region. What’s worse, the deal rewards the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism with a massive financial windfall, which Iran will use to further threaten our interests and key allies, especially Israel,” Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker said in a released statement.
“I call on all congressional leaders and presidential candidates, including Secretary Clinton, to repudiate this agreement. Iran’s Supreme Leader should know that a future American president will not be bound by this diplomatic retreat. Undoing the damage caused by this deal won’t be easy. But when the United States leads, and has a president who isn’t eager to embrace Iran, the world will follow. In order to ensure the safety of America and our allies, the next president must restore bipartisan and international opposition to Iran’s nuclear program while standing with our allies to roll back Iran’s destructive influence across the Middle East,” Walker added.
Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal released the following statement:
If Secretary Clinton goes along with President Obama’s efforts to appease Iran, it will make our enemies stronger, endanger our ally Israel and trigger a nuclear arms race in the Middle East that will destabilize the region.
Throughout this process, President Obama appeared more concerned with reaching a deal irrespective of the terms. The result is now a dangerous deal that has put Iran on a path to obtaining a nuclear weapon, depleted America’s military strength in the Gulf, and made Israel less safe. And that certainly makes us less safe here at home.
The Obama Administration is wrong when they suggest the IAEA can still inspect all of Iran’s nuclear facilities. The agreement does not provide for anytime-anywhere access to Iran’s nuclear facilities. President Obama admits that the 24-7 access is to ‘key’ facilities, which means not every facility can be surveyed. The Obama Administration is not being truthful with the world about this deal.
Congress should oppose this dangerous deal. Secretary Clinton should be a voice of reason and oppose this deal. While Secretary Clinton has been the architect of President Obama’s foreign policy, she can do the right thing and prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon and oppose this deal.
Carly Fiorina responded to the Iran deal during an interview on CBS News. “Iran has demonstrated bad behavior for 30 years. We know they have been trying to cheat on this deal. We know they have been funding proxies with a strategic objective of destabilizing the region. We know that when sanctions are lifted, they’ll have more money to fund those same proxies,” Fiorina said.
Former Texas Governor Rick Perry released the following statement:
President Obama’s decision to sign a nuclear deal with Iran is one of the most destructive foreign policy decisions in my lifetime. For decades to come, the world will have to deal with the repercussions of this agreement, which will actually make it easier for Iran to develop a nuclear weapon.
And Secretary Clinton, who played a significant role in initiating these negotiations with Iran, will have to justify to the American people why she supports allowing a known state sponsor of terrorism to move toward obtaining a nuclear weapon.
This deal is not a binding international treaty, but rather a political agreement among diplomats. I urge Congress to take the next 60 days of review very seriously. I will do everything in my power to work with the Senate to oppose this deal, including reaching out to Democratic senators.
As President, one of my first official acts will be to fully rescind this accord. I will order a review of Iran’s compliance with the deal, and an evaluation of Iran’s continued sponsorship of terror over the timeframe of the agreement. I will move to ensure that the arms embargo—and, specifically, the ballistic missile embargo — remain in place until Iran verifiably demonstrates that it desires to act as a stabilizing force in the region.
Former U.S. Senator Rick Santorum (R-PA) on CNN this morning said,”nothing in the deal curbed their terrorism.”
— New Day (@NewDay) July 14, 2015
U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) told Bloomberg News that the Iran Deal was akin to declaring war on Israel.
“If the initial reports regarding the details of this deal hold true, there’s no way as president of the United States I would honor this deal,” Graham said. “It’s incredibly dangerous for our national security, and it’s akin to declaring war on Sunni Arabs and Israel by the P5+1 because it ensures their primary antagonist Iran will become a nuclear power and allows them to rearm conventionally.”
U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) offered the following statement:
I have said from the beginning of this process that I would not support a deal with Iran that allows the mullahs to retain the ability to develop nuclear weapons, threaten Israel, and continue their regional expansionism and support for terrorism.
Based on what we know thus far, I believe that this deal undermines our national security. President Obama has consistently negotiated from a position of weakness, giving concession after concession to a regime that has American blood on its hands, holds Americans hostage, and has consistently violated every agreement it ever signed.
I expect that a significant majority in Congress will share my skepticism of this agreement and vote it down. Failure by the President to obtain congressional support will tell the Iranians and the world that this is Barack Obama’s deal, not an agreement with lasting support from the United States. It will then be left to the next President to return us to a position of American strength and re-impose sanctions on this despicable regime until it is truly willing to abandon its nuclear ambitions and is no longer a threat to international security.
U.S. Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) said that Congress must stop the Iran deal.
Today, the international community led by the United States has agreed to not only legitimize and perpetuate the Iranian nuclear program, but also to further arm and enrich the brutal theocratic regime that has oppressed the Iranian people for more than thirty years – a regime that is wrongfully holding United States citizens captive, that is sponsoring radical Islamic terrorism across the globe, and that regularly promotes the destruction of both Israel and America throughout its streets.
Despite these facts, it seems President Obama would concede almost anything to get any deal – even a terrible deal – from the Islamic Republic of Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei. Under the terms of this deal, Iran will retain all of its centrifuges, one-third of which will continue to spin. Rather than the most intrusive inspections regime in history that we were promised, IAEA inspectors must petition the mullahs to visit sensitive sites, and wait for two weeks for their permission. In a final, shocking concession, the United States will support lifting of the United Nations arms embargos that restrict the Iranian ballistic missile program and arms trafficking. And in return, billions of dollars of economic relief will flow to Tehran.
Yet, in his remarks this morning, the President glossed over the truth about Iran’s world-leading state-sponsorship of terrorism that is violently destabilizing the region, and would grow more deadly should the Iranians get a nuclear bomb. He failed to mention American citizens, Saeed Abedini, Amir Hekmati, and Jason Rezaian, who continue to languish in Iranian prisons or Robert Levinson, who is still unaccounted for. For them, today is no ‘opportunity to move in a new direction’ as the President claimed. We owe it to our fellow Americans to elevate, not ignore, their plight, to demand their swift and unconditional release by the implacably hostile regime that holds them.
Even by the low standards of the Joint Plan of Action, this is a staggeringly bad deal. It is a fundamental betrayal of the security of the United States and of our closest allies, first and foremost Israel.
But thankfully, it is not a done deal. We still have an opportunity to tell the truth about what Prime Minister Netanyahu called today a ‘bad mistake of historic proportion.’
Congress will have 60 days to review it, and the American people will have 60 days to tell their elected representatives just what they think of it. I urge all my fellow citizens to speak out and let their elected leaders know that even if President Obama won’t see it, we know the leaders of the Islamic Republic who lead crowds in chants of ‘Death to America’ and ‘Death to Israel’ are not our partners in peace, and must not be put on the path to a nuclear bomb.
Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush also released a statement.
The nuclear agreement announced by the Obama Administration today is a dangerous, deeply flawed, and short sighted deal.
A comprehensive agreement should require Iran to verifiably abandon – not simply delay – its pursuit of a nuclear weapons capability.
Based on initial reports and analysis, it appears this agreement does not “cut off all of Iran’s pathways to a nuclear weapon” – in fact, over time it paves Iran’s path to a bomb. Most of the key restrictions last for only 10 to 15 years. Even before the deal expires, it could allow Iran to develop an industrial-scale enrichment program and continue its R&D on advanced centrifuges and development of an ICBM.
The deal does not require Iran to come completely clean up front about possible military dimensions of its nuclear program or include true anytime/anywhere inspections necessary for a nuclear program shrouded in deception and lies.
President Obama has acknowledged the agreement would end the United Nations’ conventional arms embargo, a critical tool to combat Iran’s support for terrorism and destabilizing activities in the region.
The deal would provide more than $100 billion in sanctions relief that will breathe new life into Iran’s malevolent and corrupt regime, enabling its projection of terror and power as well as its repression of the Iranian people – who aspire for, and deserve, a more democratic future.
The clerical leaders in Tehran routinely preach “death to America” and “death to Israel” – and through their acts of terror, they mean it. We must take these threats seriously and should not base any agreements on the hope their behavior will moderate over time.
The people of Iran, the region, Israel, America, and the world deserve better than a deal that consolidates the grip on power of the violent revolutionary clerics who rule Tehran with an iron fist.
This isn’t diplomacy – it is appeasement.