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

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"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, 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. keith greystoke

    this is the first step yo ww3

    November 24, 2013 02:34 am at 2:34 am |
  2. J.V.Hodgson

    The deal is still being negotiated by the P5+1 and the Iranians in Geneva and details of what is agreed specifically on Uranium enrichment and the checks or balances in the agreement or not remain unknown.
    Classic current republican style. It's an Obama admin solution and it must QED be bad and wrong. War War is the only way for them
    My guess is that if you ask them they have no idea of what the required enrichment level is of uranium for a nuclear device to work.

    November 24, 2013 03:31 am at 3:31 am |
  3. BeverlyNC

    Republicans hate everything President Obama accomplishes but yet stand for nothing and have not offered a single solution for the nation. Their entire platform is to oppose everything President is for. They think they are hurting the President but they aren't. Republicans are hurting We the People and don't care. It's all become about what distortion of the facts they can try each day with the media. It's not about the People who elected them or what issues we have needing work. And Republicans still can't figure out why their popularity stays stuck in the single digits. Why would the Koch brothers and Karl Rove throw hundreds of millions into a Party so unpopular and with no platform or credible candidate? That "reality" thing seems to be hard for them to grasp. Like Ted Cruz and Rand Paul. Seriously?

    November 24, 2013 03:48 am at 3:48 am |
  4. Kathleen

    I am a small business owner in Wisconsin and a very healthy cancer survivor of 12 years (told I am cured). I have been lucky to be part of a high risk plan as I will always be un insurable. To afford the plan I have had to take the $5000 deductible thus basically have no insurance unless something big happens. With the Affordable Health Care Act I will pay about $50 more per month but have a $1000 deductible and copays so will be able to treat things like pre or surface skin cancer before it becomes something big. I am very grateful for the ACA and sad for those of you that let Fox "news" do your thinking for you. It's the insurance companies and your employers that are taking this opportunity to cancel or raise your premiums while offering you fewer benefits knowing they can blame the ACA. The Right rules by fear mongering and unfortunately most people don't check out what they are being told.

    November 24, 2013 04:14 am at 4:14 am |
  5. Maripil

    Republicans are total obstructionist that whatever president Obama achieves will never be good enough!!

    November 24, 2013 04:20 am at 4:20 am |
  6. joel hudlow

    Well armageddon is likely on the way.Maybe obama is the antichrist.Now the saudis jordanians syrians and everyone in the region will start their own programs.What a bunch of asses.National security has been thrown away.The iranians are a terrorist state.Now they can threaten us like the north koreans and wait for christhmas.For those who voted for this ass and kerry another horses ass i have to say for people who dont like war you have paved the way for possibly the last one.These people send other people to blow themselves up and obama thinks they just want to start their own pepco.Get rid of this moron now.I hope you read this mister president you sir are a damn fool.Wait the dems will now stop free speech and cbs nbc and abc will all go along with it.

    November 24, 2013 04:59 am at 4:59 am |
  7. guest

    This reflexive warped Republican response to all things Obama is enormously fatiguing for the nation.

    November 24, 2013 05:22 am at 5:22 am |

    They could just taste that Iran War money. Why do they hate America so much?

    November 24, 2013 05:38 am at 5:38 am |
  9. Bob Vargas

    On Saturday, President Obama awoke...and republicans lined up to criticize him. Some argued that he got up way too early, while others complained he slept in.
    After he paused for six minutes to eat some toast for breakfast...the GOPwas OUTRAGED, and demanded he be impeached!!!!

    November 24, 2013 06:26 am at 6:26 am |
  10. Anonymous

    this stupid republican more than half of them don't know where is iran located

    November 24, 2013 06:39 am at 6:39 am |
  11. david mann

    President Obama could find a cure for cancer AND HIV on the same day and Repugnicants would still criticize him. What a bunch of hypocrites.

    November 24, 2013 06:54 am at 6:54 am |
  12. Vence

    Damn if does it, damn if he doesn't!

    November 24, 2013 07:00 am at 7:00 am |
  13. TRoN

    Send Republicans to Israel in one-way trip. Americans are getting tired of their critical of President Obama's every bits of actions. If it was John McCain who made the deal with Iran, Republicans would gloating about it and popping the champagne, laughing their collective butts off.

    November 24, 2013 07:04 am at 7:04 am |
  14. works4me

    Republicans against the world...Unite

    They slam this historic deal? Wow... didn't see that coming. They'd much rather have a war, any war, anywhere. Money to be made in war... lots of it. Just ask 'em!

    November 24, 2013 07:12 am at 7:12 am |
  15. don in albuquerque

    Thank You Mr. President!!! But on the other hand, just who do you think you are. The very idea trying to subvert world war. Where do you come off impacting our ability to wage war, invade a weaker country, and hurt profits for our war machine? The whole world knows our biggest export is Death.

    November 24, 2013 07:13 am at 7:13 am |
  16. Colorado

    Well of course they're against it. The POTUS is doing his job, Congress.........not so much.
    They're called "do nothing" for a reason.

    November 24, 2013 07:24 am at 7:24 am |
  17. Marie MD

    Poor teaklans.
    They don't understand diplomacy. No more wars with other countries where they can send the children they saved from abortions to send them to their deaths in unnecessary lies of war.

    November 24, 2013 07:34 am at 7:34 am |
  18. Robert N. constant

    The oil rich Koch brothers who fund the Tea Party do not want Iranian oil on the market.

    November 24, 2013 07:35 am at 7:35 am |
  19. Sridhar

    Time for republicans to get a life. Give the process a chance and see what happens in 6 months. The senators that are complaining have little/no interesting an agreement. They are looking for votes for the next election. To point to this negotiation as a distraction from focusing on the flawed website is as low as any senator can get to. Mr Cornyn time wake up and stop complaining about everything that the president and his team are trying to do.

    November 24, 2013 07:48 am at 7:48 am |
  20. Alan

    Surprise, surprise, Miss Lindsey Graham and the rest of the republicans will do anything to destroy this president. No matter the effect it has on our country. The party of NO! Like spoiled little children.

    November 24, 2013 07:51 am at 7:51 am |
  21. NoMoreRetoric

    Really. How could that ever be....
    The Republicans have a complaint about something the President has done. Who would have ever guessed?
    Wow since the Republicans said it, it must be true since the don't lie and don't obstruct either.

    So sick of the Republican party

    November 24, 2013 07:51 am at 7:51 am |
  22. king

    the repubs disagree with Obama, surprise surprise surprise. name me one thing Obama did that the repubs didn't go bunkers over, even the slaying of benladin the repubs found fault in for crying out loud. if this president dont accomplish a mission without flaws the re pubs will find anything in the millions of occurrence leading up to the accomplishment to bring to the front, and use their superior propaganda machine to rip his success apart. the American people are very easily swayed and doesn't see the rabid opposition this party has toward the president.

    November 24, 2013 07:52 am at 7:52 am |
  23. Craig in Pa.

    And this is NEWS somehow??? What else is new??

    November 24, 2013 07:58 am at 7:58 am |
  24. Jack Clinton

    Of course they are critical. This will help keep world peace, keep the US out of war and not allow Iran to make a nuclear bomb! Oh, and more importantly, it was accolished during the Obama amninistration.

    November 24, 2013 08:10 am at 8:10 am |
  25. Ollie Octopus

    What a joke! I can hear it now when Iran breaks the agreement. "Now you have done it! You're going to have to sit in a corner for 10 minutes of time out," said John Kerry to the bad boys. Why should they abide by the agreement? We are a wolf without teeth! They know we won't do a thing to them.

    November 24, 2013 08:12 am at 8:12 am |
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