Iowa’s congressional delegation is starting to weigh in on the Iran nuclear deal.
Republican Senators Chuck Grassley and Joni Ernst both say they’re skeptical of Iran and worry the proposed end of economic sanctions will mean Iran has more money to send to terrorists around the globe. Grassley suggests the deal is “a lot more carrot than stick” and Ernst says the deal needs “stronger” inspection requirements because Iran cannot be trusted to comply with limits on its nuclear ambitions.
Congressman Dave Loebsack of Iowa City is the only Democrat in Iowa’s congressional delegation. Loebsack says he’ll carefully review the deal, but Loebsack isn’t saying whether he’s inclined to back it or oppose it.
The two Republican presidential candidates campaigning in Iowa today are condemning the deal. Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush says the deal “isn’t diplomacy – it is appeasement.” Former Texas Governor Rick Perry says the deal is “destructive”. Perry campaigned early this morning in Charles City. Bush made a mid-day stop in Council Bluffs.
Read the prepared statements below:
Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa today made the following comment on the announcement of a nuclear agreement with Iran.
“I’ve always been skeptical about an agreement with Iran that fails to fully dismantle its nuclear program. This is a country that sponsors terrorism and has a history of hiding its nuclear program from outside inspectors. I’m concerned that Iran’s relief from international sanctions could offer a lot more carrot than stick. That would open the spigot to support Iran’s terror activities and nuclear capabilities, threatening our national security and the security of our allies in the region.
“It’s important that under the legislation Congress passed, the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act, Congress will have 60 days to review the agreement before the President could waive any congressionally imposed sanctions on Iran. Under the act, Congress will review every line of the agreement before approving or disapproving the deal. We need to understand all of the components of the agreement. Does the deal allow for anytime, anywhere inspections, including military sites? When and how will sanctions be lifted, and what process exists for re-imposing sanctions, should Iran violate the deal? Will sanctions on conventional arms and ballistic missile technology be lifted as a result of the agreement? Will this deal prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons capability and improve the security of the United States and our allies? These are just a few of the questions that come to mind.”
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Joni Ernst (R-IA) today released the following statement on the Obama administration’s nuclear deal with Iran:
“The 60 days will allow Congress and the American people to thoroughly scrutinize every aspect of the agreement with Iran. While I am still reviewing the details, I have very serious concerns that this agreement concedes too much to Iran and will ultimately strengthen the pathway for Iran to achieve a nuclear weapon. The bottom line, Iran must never be allowed to develop a single nuclear weapon – not now or at any point in the future.
“Iran is the world’s leading sponsor of terrorism and has aligned themselves with groups that are hostile to the United States and our allies. Therefore, we cannot afford premature sanction relief which has helped to curb Iranian support of terrorist activity. We cannot trust that Iran won’t use additional resources as an opportunity to fund terrorism and other proxy groups which pose a direct threat to our allies and national security interests in the region.
“Iran’s quarter century effort to obtain a nuclear weapon and long-standing support for terrorism will not subside overnight. We also cannot trust that Iran is complying with limitations on their nuclear program without stronger inspections. It is paramount that we are able to verify and enforce every aspect of Iranian compliance in order to confront and contain their nuclear ambitions.
“Iran is one of the greatest threats to peace and stability of our time, and we have a duty to stand behind our friends and closest ally in the region – Israel. The stakes are too high for the United States to risk any mistakes in an agreement with Iran. I look forward to carefully reviewing this deal in Congress to make sure we preserve our own national security and the pursuit of stability in the world.”
Washington, D.C. – Congressman Dave Loebsack released the following statement today after the P5+1 group of nations (China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom, the United States, plus Germany) reached an agreement with Iran on nuclear weapons.
“From the beginning I have said that the most important aspect of these talks must be to ensure that Iran is not able to develop nuclear weapons. Now that the P5+1 has come to an agreement with Iran, it is time for Congress to perform its constitutional duty of oversight and carefully look at the final product. I look forward to analyzing the agreement and will continue to discuss the details with folks in my district, my colleagues and arms control experts.”
Miami, FL — Governor Jeb Bush released the following statement in response to President Obama’s nuclear deal with Iran.
“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.”
AUSTIN – Today Governor Rick Perry released the following statement regarding the nuclear negotiations with Iran:
“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.”
UPDATE AT 4:06 P.M. WASHINGTON, DC – This morning, the Obama Administration announced the completion of an agreement between Iran and the P5+1 (China, Russia, United Kingdom, France, United States and Germany) countries regarding Iran’s nuclear capabilities. Congressman Rod Blum issued the following statement reacting to the news:
“I cannot stress enough my concerns about negotiating with the world’s largest state sponsor of global terrorism. Despite any good intentions of the deal, a preliminary review of the agreement shows it falls short of stopping Iran from further developing military nuclear abilities while allowing Iran to continue funding terrorism with a “signing bonus” of up to $50 billion in relief from sanctions – nearly double their annual military budget.”
“Especially troubling is the component of the agreement that will maintain a 14 day notification process for the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to inspect any undeclared facilities. If Iran is truly committed to transparency then anytime/anywhere inspections should have been part of the deal from the beginning.”
“Additionally, this agreement does not completely dismantle the nuclear program within Iran nor prevent Iran from acquiring ballistic missiles, as the agreement expires after 10 years and the arms ban is only 5 years long – or earlier if the IAEA can be convinced the nuclear program is entirely peaceful.”
“Further, there is no mention of securing the release of the three American citizens being wrongly held by Iran. This is simply irresponsible of the Administration to permit these Americans to remain in Iranian custody.”
“I look forward to reviewing the agreement in more detail over the next 60 days, and if in fact the deal is as bad as initially reported, will work to make sure that Congress does everything possible to block the agreement.”
(This posted was updated at 4:06 p.m. with additional information.)