Congressional Republicans slam Iran deal
November 24th, 2013
02:12 AM ET
10 months ago

Congressional Republicans slam Iran deal

Updated 10:47 a.m. ET, 11/24/14

Washington (CNN) – Republicans blasted the Obama administration Saturday night after President Barack Obama announced a historic agreement had been reached by Iran and six world powers over Tehran's nuclear program.

In tweets and official statements, House and Senate Republicans argued that the administration was appeasing a duplicitous enemy without securing enough concessions in return.


"Unless the agreement requires dismantling of the Iranian centrifuges, we really haven't gained anything," tweeted Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-South Carolina.

"By allowing the Iranian regime to retain a sizable nuclear infrastructure, this agreement makes a nuclear Iran more likely," said Sen. Marco Rubio, the freshman Florida Republican and potential presidential candidate in 2016. "This agreement shows other rogue states that wish to go nuclear that you can obfuscate, cheat, and lie for a decade, and eventually the United States will tire and drop key demands."

"Iran will likely use this agreement - and any that follows that does not require any real concessions - to obtain a nuclear weapons capability," he warned.

Some even suggested that the deal was orchestrated by the White House to divert attention from the ongoing debacle over Healthcare.gov, the Obamacare exchange site whose disastrous rollout has tanked the president's approval ratings.

"Amazing what WH (the White House) will do to distract attention from O-care (Obamacare)," tweeted Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas.

The shots came from the other side of Capitol Hill as well. Rep. Buck McKeon, a Republican from California, is the chair of the House Armed Services Committee.

"Iran hasn't given the world reason to be anything but deeply skeptical of any agreement that leaves their capacity to build nuclear weapons intact," he said in a statement.

"The President sees wisdom in placing trust, however limited, in a regime that has repeatedly violated international norms and put America's security at risk. Apparently, America has not learned its lesson from 1994 when North Korea fooled the world. I am skeptical that this agreement will end differently."

At least one Republican was a bit conciliatory. Sen. Mark Kirk of Illinois is a moderate Republican who has been pushing for more sanctions on Iran.

Still, he noted implicitly that he would accept the deal, only continuing to work towards tough new economic sanctions "if Iran undermines this interim accord or if the dismantlement of Iran's nuclear infrastructure is not underway by the end of this six-month period." The "if" is key here.

Acceptance is not agreement, however, and Kirk made clear his distaste for the deal.

"This deal appears to provide the world's leading state sponsor of terrorism with billions of dollars in exchange for cosmetic concessions that neither fully freeze nor significantly roll back its nuclear infrastructure," he said.

House Speaker John Boehner was also more measured in his statement, which was released Sunday morning.

“The interim deal has been and will continue to be met with healthy skepticism and hard questions, not just of the Iranians, but of ourselves and our allies involved in the negotiations," he said. "Iran has a history of obfuscation that demands verification of its activities and places the burden on the regime to prove it is upholding its obligations in good faith while a final deal is pursued."

At least one Congressional Democrat did come to the president's aid late Saturday night: Rep. Adam Smith, a Democrat from Washington and the ranking member of the House Armed Services Committee.

"The deal announced today is a positive step in the right direction, and I applaud the Administration for making progress on this impotent national security issue," he said. "This interim agreement gives us the chance to make significant progress towards the goal we and our allies seek: preventing Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon."

More responses are sure to come as Washington awakes and new details of the accord are revealed Sunday morning.


Filed under: Congress • Iran • Republican
soundoff (104 Responses)
  1. BDR

    If Republican's want to invade Iran let them do it on their own watch and stop trying to browbeat Obama into a stupid mistake that can then be criticized.

    November 24, 2013 08:13 am at 8:13 am |
  2. Norma Vessels

    The Republicans in Congress never stop, do they? They just go on and on and on, creating trouble wherever their feet take them. It's a nasty trail.

    November 24, 2013 08:15 am at 8:15 am |
  3. mjd

    republicans would oppose if iran blew themselves off the face of the earth. if obama says it is dark at 10 at night the wacko repubs would say it's light. china,russia,britain,and france all signed off!!

    November 24, 2013 08:24 am at 8:24 am |
  4. Will Kautz

    Republicans critical? Gee! Who could have predicted that!?!

    November 24, 2013 08:30 am at 8:30 am |
  5. nintex

    OK, so I open the news page this morning and the headline is about a deal with Iran over the nuclear problem – I think "YAY! This is some positive news for once." The very next article says the Republicans slam the Iran nuclear deal. Give me a blankety-blank break! They don't even necessarily need to know what they're slamming anymore; just as long as it's something good from the administration, they're against it. This is good news for Democrats as every time I read something like this I make out and send off a check to the Democratic party.

    November 24, 2013 08:39 am at 8:39 am |
  6. Rick McDaniel

    No one in America, cares what Republicans think.......the subversives of socialism will have their way, no matter what, and when that turns bad for the people of Obamaland, in the future, no one will place the blame where it belongs.

    November 24, 2013 08:45 am at 8:45 am |
  7. Name jk. Sfl. GOP CRUZ lee&rubio 24billion dallar LOSS of your tax money conservatives,the garbage of America.

    Who cares what the incompetent GOP says or does, they haven't accomplished anything sence 2009!!!

    November 24, 2013 08:53 am at 8:53 am |
  8. BD70

    It has come to the point that I no longer read or listen to what the republicans have to say about the Obama Administration. I know its always going to be negative so why bother. You wouldn't even have to post this ticker for me to know the republicans don't like it. Are against it...and the answer is NO.

    November 24, 2013 08:53 am at 8:53 am |
  9. unretired05

    Of course the GOP didn't like it. They think Iranian arms deals are supposed to be secret and used to sway an election.

    November 24, 2013 09:04 am at 9:04 am |
  10. Liz the First

    Of course they are! the so-called followers of the Prince of Peace never met a war they didn't love. God forbid they shouldn't get to blow someone to smithereens. Obama proves every day he's the real Christian here.

    November 24, 2013 09:06 am at 9:06 am |
  11. Tampa Tim

    Republicans want another war so badly, they will do or say anything to get us into another 10 year quagmire. Unlike Rubio, cautious Kirk, at least served in the military. After seeing the stupidity of the GOP by putting their party above the will of the American People for the last 5 years, I think we should support the work of the six countries.

    November 24, 2013 09:09 am at 9:09 am |
  12. Bootsie Randolph

    Republicans critical. Boy. Here's a surprise. Was it in the Playbook?

    November 24, 2013 09:11 am at 9:11 am |
  13. Larry L

    Of course Republicans are critical. They've opposed all efforts to end their recession, create jobs, reform healthcare, and end the wars they started. They cheer bad economic news and declare good economic news "misleading". They are opposed to gay marriage, background checks for gun purchases, compassionate immigration reform, separation of church and state, and just about anything that protects our environment. Their only mission is to obstruct all progress and discredit the President. Time to flush the political toilet.

    November 24, 2013 09:12 am at 9:12 am |
  14. Nychsa

    There was a time when I would always listen to both sides of a debate. However, since Obama came into office, the GOP has decided that NOTHING he does will pass muster with them, and therefore anything his administration does is met with scorn. I never hear any alternatives from the GOP, I just hear indiscriminate complaints. Therefore, i've stopped taking the GOP seriously, even those members whom I've long respected. I do however pay attention to what Governor Christie says. He seems to be focused on the issues and not focused on this trend of destroying the government.

    November 24, 2013 09:13 am at 9:13 am |
  15. Tampa Tim

    Lindsay Graham for president of Israel.

    November 24, 2013 09:13 am at 9:13 am |
  16. HenryMiller

    It mystifies me why the GOP paranoiacs think it's any of our business whether Iran has nukes or not. Is it Israel? Any nukes Iran has is Israel's problem.

    November 24, 2013 09:15 am at 9:15 am |
  17. Tampa Tim

    Anyone surprised that republicans are opposed to something that 56% of Americans favor?

    November 24, 2013 09:16 am at 9:16 am |
  18. larry

    this a very good first step with Iran. CONGRADS TO OBAMA . Republicans will never except any thing this president does for the good of the nation or the world

    November 24, 2013 09:19 am at 9:19 am |
  19. raul c.

    A deal is better than no deal at all. Move on GOP the party of nothing since just like the ACA you have no deals to bring to the table.

    November 24, 2013 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
  20. Forrest

    This seems like a costly smoke screen for the administration's ACA woes. Sadly, as always, its us taxpayers who have to pay that cost. It's time to vote the Democrats out and start impeachment proceedings to get rid of the destroyer of hope before he changes our nation for the worse any more.

    November 24, 2013 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
  21. Dougie

    Of course the Republicans are upset, after all that is where they planned to have their next war. Now they may well have to find some place else to start one.

    November 24, 2013 09:32 am at 9:32 am |
  22. Michael Q

    The Republicans objected again, and I'm supposed to be surprised!

    November 24, 2013 09:33 am at 9:33 am |
  23. Dennis Freeman

    Gee, what a surprise!

    November 24, 2013 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  24. Ronald M

    Never trust a leader who is so desperate to change the news cycle that he will agree with a terrorist state to allow it to maintain nuclear capability. I never thought Obama-care was good for the Country, but I NEVER thought it would wind up possibly destroying the world.

    This is not a "Camp David" deal, it is a "Munich Deal" and all we are missing is Obama coming off a plane waiving a signed paper.

    WOW! The Obama Zombies will support ANYTHING that man does – no matter how dangerous to the entire world.

    "Those who do not remember the past are doomed to repeat it."

    November 24, 2013 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  25. g

    no profit here

    November 24, 2013 09:50 am at 9:50 am |
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