Congressional Republicans slam Iran deal
November 24th, 2013
02:12 AM ET
9 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. texasnotea

    The truth evades those who hate and wallow in bitterness ... that would be the gop especially the tea party

    November 24, 2013 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  2. ak_steve

    Two reasons the GOP doesn't like this.
    1. It doesn't support the military industrial complex.
    2. It was negotiated by a democrat. Obama could cure cancer and they would object.

    November 24, 2013 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  3. Fair is fair

    Just words no action. Empty suit

    November 24, 2013 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  4. Thomas

    What dose the GOP do best ?

    DO NOTHING AND CRITICIZE THOSE THAT DO !

    What makes the GOP angry is they didn't get a photo opportunity .

    November 24, 2013 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  5. SilverHair

    There would be gushing thanks if gwb or ronnie had set this out.

    November 24, 2013 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  6. Anonymous

    Of course the party of IRAN-Contra doesn't like the deal. It puts a monkey wrench in their back door deals with Iran that are the source of valuable election money

    November 24, 2013 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  7. Logictox

    This is a horrible deal. It gives Iran 6 months to stall the world. Right now it has been reported they could be as little as 6 months away from a bomb. Neville Chamberlain lives again in John Kerry.

    November 24, 2013 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  8. Thomas Jackson

    Iran's goals are not military, they are economic. They have uranium on their territory, and they seek to be a supplier of nuclear fuel for China.
    Little known fact: Dick Cheney is STILL trying to close a deal with the Chinese for nuclear fuel. Iran's entry into the market has dashed his hopes of leaving a multibillion dollar legacy for his daughter and supporters. He has been trying to cash in on some kind of nuclear deal since the 1970s, and his quest IS THE REASON that Iran has any nuclear program at all. Cheney helped get the Iranian nuclear program started in the 1970s.
    Cheney's competing plan is to recycle nuclear fuel and sell it to the Chinese. Iran is trying to demonstrate that they can provide cheaper fuel. Westinghouse is one of Cheney's clients in this deal, amongst others. That is why Cheney tried to push a false flag plan to start a war with Iran. Lucky for us, he failed. If his plan had succeeded, Bush would still be president.

    November 24, 2013 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  9. labman57

    Congressional Republicans and conservative pundits are fond of criticizing the Obama Administration's foreign policy for being "too diplomatic" and for not touting America's "exceptionalism" and reminding all other nations of their inherent inferiority on a daily basis.

    Perhaps these pompous, self-righteous politicos don't really know what diplomacy means:
    1 : the art and practice of conducting negotiations between nations
    2 : skill in handling affairs without arousing hostility : tact

    Threatening to invade or bomb a sovereign foreign power is NOT diplomacy, despite what these right wing war-mongers believe.

    November 24, 2013 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  10. Ron Vazzano

    This is absolutely shocking: "Congressional Republicans Slam Iran Deal." I would have thought for sure that they would have applauded this development. I am being facetious of course.

    Is there ANYTHING that Obama could ever say or do that would get the support of the Republicans? Anything?

    We have just been knee deep in remembrances of JFK and his administration on the 50th anniversary of "that day". I remember watched his Cuban Missile Crisis speech that JFK gave the previous October on a very tension-filled night, alongside an uncle who was a conservative Republican. He, and I- a fairly Liberal Democrat- were on board with the program. We were Americans first...political adversaries second.

    Can anyone imagine the Cuban Missile Crisis in today's atmosphere?

    November 24, 2013 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  11. don in albuquerque

    @fair is fair-Can you say anything else?

    November 24, 2013 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  12. Maria Rivera-Carvalho

    Republicans slam anything Obama does, period. Who cares? This is a world of responsible, well informed, hard working adults, not prima donnas still crying and throwing trantrums because they lost the election.

    November 24, 2013 07:52 pm at 7:52 pm |
  13. Scott

    The GOP has too many crazy nuts in it. Lindsey Graham and Marco Rubio are examples of why people don't trust the GOP. Lindsey Graham wants to be a Senator for life and just says crazy things these days because he thinks it will help him get reelected. I hope he loses his next primary election. Marco Rubio is just a younger version of Lindsey Graham. Rubio could have been somebody important if he had chosen to show some leadership on immigration. Instead he lives in fear of his shadow.

    November 24, 2013 07:58 pm at 7:58 pm |
  14. Jeff Brown in Jersey

    The Republicans slam this deal? Oh well, it must be a good deal then! :-)

    November 24, 2013 08:26 pm at 8:26 pm |
  15. karek40

    The promised transparency of this regime is just another in a long list of lies and one wonders what the U.S. secretly gave up.

    November 24, 2013 08:33 pm at 8:33 pm |
  16. Marty

    In his criticism of the Iran deal, it's interesting to read that a Republican, John Boehner, would declare that, "Iran has a history of obfuscation that needs verification of its activities". I guess it takes one to know one!

    November 24, 2013 08:34 pm at 8:34 pm |
  17. Kinard

    Hell, they'd slam the second coming if it was not their idea to begin with. If you have nothing to say thats encouraging or positive, then shut the hell up for once.

    November 24, 2013 08:51 pm at 8:51 pm |
  18. S. B. Stein

    Given that all the details haven't been released, I would have hoped that Iran would have agreed to full enrichment suspension until full inspection of everything that remotely relates to nuclear energy. That would have never gotten agreed to by the Iranians. Part of me feels that something is a good start; but more of me really thinks that this is a smokescreen and delaying tactic.

    November 24, 2013 11:07 pm at 11:07 pm |
  19. simplefaith

    What else is new? Republicans have been against anything the Democrats and President Obama tried to accomplish.. Obstruction, negative attitude, bad behavior, etc. All they presented to the American people were Ted Cruz, Mitt Romney, Paul Ryan, Cantor, McConnell etc. etc. etc. When the Republicans were in office what policies did they pass except for WAR, WAR, WAR. In all my sixty years on this earth, I have never seen the worst Republicans in Congress. Nothing is being done to help the American people and our economy.

    November 25, 2013 04:29 am at 4:29 am |
  20. Mcshannon

    Calling another country an axis of evil is dumb but calling them brother and friend is bold and a peaceful recognition to promote harmony among all nations. Israel is unsatisfied because we have shed no American blood.

    November 25, 2013 08:56 am at 8:56 am |
  21. The Right Left

    A deal that may bring about a peaceful resolution is not acceptable to these chicken hawks that are always eager to serve the interest of their pay masters – The military Industrial complex. Always eager to send the sons and daughters of the poor to their deaths without ever putting their own in harms way.

    November 25, 2013 08:57 am at 8:57 am |
  22. on streetwise

    Obstruction is the GOP/Tea plank... their sole and only plank. GO VOTE in November, like your life depends on it.

    November 25, 2013 09:02 am at 9:02 am |
  23. jboh

    If President Obama cured cancer, the TEA/GOP would complain about how he put cancer researchers out of work. The whole point of sanctions was to get Iran to the bargaining table. Iran is at the table. President Obama has ordered the end of Bin Laden, the rescue of Capt. Phillips, the rescue of an American, and German aid workers in Somalia, the deaths of most of Al Qaida's senior leadership, the end of Go Daffy w/o US troops on the ground. He also got Syria to sign the international anti chemical weapons treaty, dispose of their chem. stockpile(under international supervision), and got Putin on the hook to assure Syrian compliance. TEA/GOP heroes W/Cheney lied us into Iraq for "weeks, maybe months, but certainly not years.", lied about Iraqi oil paying for the war and reconstruction, gave the Presidential Medal of Freedom to "slam dunk Tenant for lying about WMD's, and Bremer for losing $12 billion in cash. W also let Bin Laden get away when we had him cornered in Afghanistan. President Obama's foreign policy accomplishments make W's look like a stinking pile.

    November 25, 2013 09:27 am at 9:27 am |
  24. Roy Virani

    Republican Party is Party of distraction. they love war and kayos. They do not believe in peace. the best thing to do is give congress back to democrats. like they say don't get mad get even by voting them out of congress.

    November 25, 2013 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
  25. morrie

    This is not unusual. Republicans slam obama for everything before they understand anything about it.

    November 25, 2013 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
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