Bad Deal, Say Dismayed Republicans

By Staff | July 14, 2015 | 10:21am EDT
Republicans say "no deal" with Iran. (AP File Photo)

( - Republican objections to the Iran nuclear deal started coming in before the ink was dry. Here's a sample, in no particular order:

Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence:

“The Obama administration has achieved the rare feat of uniting Israel with a wide array of Arab nations. Unfortunately, the issue that unites them is opposition to the Iran deal. I don’t know what information the Obama administration possesses that indicates this deal will actually prevent Iran from getting a nuclear weapon or will cause the mullahs to reduce their support for worldwide terrorism, but it sure isn’t the same intelligence we’re seeing in the Intelligence Committee. Iran has killed hundreds of U.S. soldiers, tried to conduct a terrorist attack in the United States, and is committed to annihilating Israel. This deal will guarantee Iran the capability to carry out its clear intent."

Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), chairman of the Senate Finance Committee: “For decades, the Iranian regime has been dangerous in its aims and duplicitous in its quest for nuclear weapons.  Any deal that removes sanctions without robust means of ensuring the regime's disarmament and compliance with its international obligations is worse than no deal at all.  Empowered by the bipartisan Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act that we passed into law earlier this year, Congress must fully scrutinize this agreement and must not hesitate to oppose the deal if it endangers the security of the United States or our allies in the region.”  

Sen. John Corynyn (R-Texas), chairman of the  Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs:

“From the beginning there has been bipartisan concern with how the Obama Administration has approached these negotiations. Iran has done nothing to demonstrate to the American people that we should trust them. Unfortunately, this deal abandons longstanding U.S. policy to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon in favor of one that merely delays it.

“While the Obama Administration might think any deal is better than no deal, allowing Iran a clear path to develop nuclear weapons would sacrifice sound policy for a short-sighted political victory for the President. Thanks to a strong bipartisan vote earlier this year, we will now put this deal under the microscope on behalf of the American people, and if it jeopardizes our national security interests, Congress may have no choice but to vote it down.”

Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.): “I have often stated that I believe this negotiation was lost from the start when President Obama capitulated and agreed that Iran would not have to dismantle its nuclear program.  Initial reports of the deal do not change my opinion.  That said, I will carefully review the details before rendering my final judgment.”  

American Center for Law and Justice:
“It is unconscionable that the Obama Administration would sign a deal with Iran without securing the freedom of (American) Pastor Saeed (Abedini), who has been imprisoned for nearly three years simply because of his Christian faith,” said Jay Sekulow, chief counsel of the ACLJ. “President Obama told the Abedini family face-to-face that he considered the release of Pastor Saeed a ‘top priority.’ How could that be a ‘top priority’ when a deal is reached and Pastor Saeed is left behind?  What happened today makes a bad deal even worse. We will now focus our attention on convincing Congress to reject this deal.”

Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), speaking Monday morning on MSNBC's "Morning Joe":

"If you look at the text of the deal, Iran will have weeks to delay. They'll be able to decide whcih sites that we inspect. But more funda, if they realyy wanted to end their nuke progam and rejoin the civilized world, they could simply grant us access. They don't. They are an outlaw, terror sponsoring anti-american regime..They have the blood of undreds of American soldiers on their hands who've  been killed in Iraq and Afghanistan..."

(Cotton noted that Obama's stated goal at the outset of the negotiations was to "dismantle Iran's nuclear program," but he said the deal "leaves their nuclear program entirely intact.")

Republican Conference Chair Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.):

“Based on what we know already, today’s announced agreement is a significant setback for global peace and security. Let’s be clear – this deal creates a path for the world’s most prolific supporter of terrorism to obtain nuclear weapons, and empowers it to increase its support for violent extremists in the region and beyond, while continuing to threaten Israel with annihilation. Over two years of negotiation, the Administration has recklessly compromised away our values and leverage in exchange for Tehran’s continued obstruction and intransigence.

“Given Tehran’s history of nuclear deception and circumvention, we have no reason to believe that Iran will comply, even with the deal’s flawed terms. Throughout the negotiations process, Iran has only increased, not decreased, its destructive influence in the region and beyond – and this deal rewards it with hundreds of billions of dollars of sanctions relief that it will surely use to further these activities. This is not reform. This is incentivizing bad behavior at all costs."

Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu:

"This deal repeats the mistakes made with North Korea. There, too, we were assured that inspections and verifications would prevent a rogue regime from developing nuclear weapons. And we all know how that ended. The bottom line of this very bad deal is exactly what Iran's president Rouhani said today: The international community is removing the sanctions and Iran is keeping its nuclear program. By not dismantling Iran's nulear program, in a decade this deal will give an unreformed, unrepentant, and far richer terrorist regime the capacity to produce many nuclear bombs -- in fact, an entire nuclear arsenal, with the means to deliver it. What a stunning, historic mistake. Israel is not bound by this deal with Iran...because Iran continues to seek our destruction. We will always defend ourselves."

Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee: "When you have Rouhani and Putin...the leader of Iran and the leader of Russia spiking the ball over what has happened, you can imagine that would be the reaction from Netanyahu...The early read (of the deal) creates great skepticism on my part and concern for our country and that part of the world."

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