Iowa’s two Republican Senators, Joni Ernst and Chuck Grassley, are on record in expressing opposition to the nuclear agreement with Iran, but Democrats in the Senate this afternoon were able to block a vote on a resolution designed to express “disapproval” of the deal. It means the deal goes through without a vote in congress and without the need for President Obama to veto any effort by Republicans to derail it.
Earlier today, Senator Grassley said the deal will have a “long-lasting” impact on security worldwide.
“It will not prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons, while providing a windfall that will allow them to ramp up their bad behavior,” Grassley said.
Senator Ernst, who spoke on the Senate floor late Wednesday afternoon, said the deal will let Iran “double-down” on its support of terrorist activities around the globe. Senator Grassley today said the deal will allow Iran to “stonewall” inspectors seeking to determine if the country’s trying to build a nuclear bomb.
“I also oppose the last-minute decision to lift the embargo on conventional arms and ballistic missiles,” Grassley said. “…Iran has long sought the technology to develop intercontinental ballistic missiles which would be a direct threat to the United States and our allies.”
And Grassley accused President Obama and his allies of being “intellectually dishonest” by arguing the only alternative to this deal is war. Grassley said it’s time to reopen negotiations instead.
“A better deal would not ignore Iran’s past bad behavior,” Grassley said. “Iran has, for many years, been the most active state-sponsor of terrorism. Iran has an egregious record of human rights violations and the persecution of religious minorities. It continues to imprison U.S. citizens.”
Grassley said the deal is indicative of President Obama’s philosophy of “leading from behind.”
“This deal appears to be the result of desperation on our side for a deal, any deal,” Grassley said. “And the Iranians knew that.”
AUDIO of Grassley’s floor speech, 15:00
Grassley said he heard almost unanimous opposition to the deal during the town hall meetings he held in 25 different Iowa counties last month. The latest national poll found a majority of Democrats and Independents were inclined to support the deal, while only 41 percent of Republicans did. A new Quinnipiac University Poll released this morning found two-thirds Iowa Democrats who plan to go to the Caucuses support the nuclear deal with Iran. Quinnipiac’s polling of Iowa Republican Caucus-goers will be released Friday morning.