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. Peter

    Is there anything that Obama does that they Republicans aren't critical of?

    So mechanical.

    So predictable.

    The polarization in our political system is ridiculous.

    November 24, 2013 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
  2. Lizzie

    Let's wait and see if this was a good deal, or if Iran as so many times before only wants time to develop Nuclear bombs, and on what country they will use them first.

    November 24, 2013 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
  3. vic , nashville ,tn

    GOP and ayatollahs are still in 1980s we can’t change that, different ayatollahs hate Israel and Saudi Gop love Israel and Saudi
    World is moving fast Iranians know that Iranians wants freedom form their preacher that is the fact. We have free Iranians from ayatollahs
    First we have send message to Iranians we are not your enemy this is the first step

    November 24, 2013 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  4. I Can't Believe It

    What does the President have to do to satisfy the Republicans? Let's see, maybe he could stop all the world's disasters, find a cure for cancer, turn water into wine, what????? I say the Republicans need to start thinking about everyone else in this country instead of themselves and their hurt feelings. Get over the fact that Barack Obama, a black man, and a Democrat, was elected not only once, but twice. GET OVER IT!!!! Work with the other side of the isle to find SENSIBLE solutions to our problems before we all go down in flames.

    November 24, 2013 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  5. MaryM

    Surprise, Surprise. Republicans want War, No PEACE for you Republican, Huh? You are nothing but a bunch or Warmongers.

    November 24, 2013 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  6. BeverlyNC

    Republicans only root for failure. They insanely believe all their obstruction, 433 filibusters in the Senate, and letting absolutely nothing getting done for the American People is their great achievement in hurting President Obama. They have not hurt President Obama at all. He continues to lead and accomplish. The Republicans only hurt We the People with their policy of making sure nothing gets done legislatively. They could care less. They are so wrapped up in hate, bigotry, and extremism they cannot see beyond their ideology of destruction. They are against everything and stand for nothing. They do not deserve to "serve" in our government. ALL of them should be voted out in 2014 so real leaders who know their job is the People can get actual work done for us. Defy their voter suppression, their gerrymandering of voting districts, their big government attempts to run our lives with their laughable "values" and get out and VOTE next year. We can end this Republican insanity. Haven't we all had more than enough of them? I stand with President Obama and respect all he has accomplished and tried to accomplish for our nation. He is a leader. Who of you could have stood up to the Republican campaign of hate and obstruction for 6 years and not given up? President Obama has never stopped working for solutions for us. Healthcare will work as it rolls out. It is fixable. It will be as critical to us all as Social Security and Medicare. Think of all this President has done for us. Ended discrimination in the military. Stood up for women's rights in the workplace to be paid equally. Brought us healthcare. Did you know we spend the most on healthcare in the world but are ranked 26th in results and access for our people? There is a whole long list of what the President has done for us. Of course you don't remember because Republicans have attacked or minimalized each one. What have they done for our nation? For you? Nothing but destroy and cheat to win power.

    November 24, 2013 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  7. Rick McDaniel

    The most truthful statement that we haven't gained anything.

    Obamaland is not safer, Israel is not safer, and there is nothing that would prevent Iran from exporting weapons of mass destruction, for use by terrorists around the globe.

    November 24, 2013 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  8. Tampa Tim

    A bagger thinks this initial step with Iran is a smokescreen for the ACA. You cannot cure stupid by watching Fox, can you? Everyone needs to remember, not one republican voted to help our 45 million uninsured. They have taken the side of those who have worthless junk policies. The GOP is always on the wrong side of history.t

    November 24, 2013 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  9. Randy, San Francisco

    Republican Tea Partiers have a peculiar and irrational fixation. Why is EVERYTHING related to or blamed on ObamaCare?

    November 24, 2013 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  10. MaryM

    I have had enough of these republicans obstructionist and I know the Majority of Americans have had enough also.
    Bye Bye GOP, you are going the way of the dinosaurs.

    November 24, 2013 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  11. saywho

    BB and republicans are in the same evangelical bed. Do anything to rebuild the Temple in Jerusalem. Start Armageddon – the sooner the better.

    November 24, 2013 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  12. Strangways

    "Republicans are critical." No surprise there. Ok, Republicans, tell us about your alternative plans for Iran... your breakthroughs... your communications? Nothing. Zilch. Nada. All they can do is sit on the sidelines and whine.

    November 24, 2013 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  13. LR

    It'll be news when the GOP agrees with anything this administration is doing!

    November 24, 2013 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  14. Tom1940

    In the words of Pres. Regan "trust – but verify". Did those words appear in this agreement, or not? Short of the complete dismantling of Iran's nuclear capability, there should have been no agreement. Israel is correct. This is a bad deal and will come back to haunt the West (and other's in the region as well). I am surprised that Russia with it's large muslim/islamic population along it's southern border would agree to letting Iran have any nuc's at all. Suit Case nuclear devices are a fact and the terrorist factions fighting against Russia will eventually secure access to these kinds of weapons – then what? A huge gamble.

    November 24, 2013 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  15. ST

    Do republicans have in their vocabulary something known as: "YES"? Iran Deal, is a big step forward. I can't wait to see polls what folks say on this deal.

    November 24, 2013 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  16. John

    It is funny, everyone bashes republicans for opposing a deal that keeps the nuclear program of the leading terrorist state in tact when it could have been abolished. That's a bad thing though, Denocrats I'm pretty sure don't read bills or the impact they just blindly follow whatever Obama says. Enjoy your healthcare... That's right you can't, because it doesn't work.

    November 24, 2013 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  17. don in albuquerque

    For the first time in my life (and am well over 60) will vote a straight ticket. I cannot think of one single reason to vote for any member of the GOTP.
    Have they accomplished anything of real value in the last five years? And you cannot count Issa as one.

    November 24, 2013 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  18. ghostwriter

    I'm confused...If conservatives believed that Iran was such a threat, why did they choose to go after Iraq? We could've nipped this in the bud years ago. Then again, they might have had as much trouble proving Iran was actually doing anything.

    November 24, 2013 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  19. Jack

    You know I am sure one thing, the Republicans/Limbaugh/Hannity will find any and every thing to criticize President Obama.

    November 24, 2013 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  20. Evergreen

    We already know what the Republicans will say. It's written in their "Talking Points" playbook for all to see. Same talking points regardless of the issue being discussed.

    November 24, 2013 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  21. REGinAZ

    Now we have our president negotiating for peaceful solutions and there are some politicians more worried about “the money’s” concern over other countries’ satisfaction. Whose interests are more important – their campaign contributions, another country's demands or America's interests and peace? I’m sure Adelson, Gingrich, Romney and others could tell us a whole lot about that – if they were open and honest.

    November 24, 2013 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  22. ThinkAgain: The GOP owes our nation $24 billion

    @Peter: "Is there anything that Obama does that they Republicans aren't critical of?"

    Short answer: No.

    President Obama could walk on water, cure cancer and establish peace in the Middle East, and the repubs would still complain.

    November 24, 2013 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  23. ThinkAgain: The GOP owes our nation $24 billion

    @ghostwriter: "I'm confused...If conservatives believed that Iran was such a threat, why did they choose to go after Iraq? We could've nipped this in the bud years ago. Then again, they might have had as much trouble proving Iran was actually doing anything."

    GW went after Iraq because of oil.


    November 24, 2013 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  24. McRCN

    Sounds like Obama told the Iranians, if you want to keep your nuclear power program you can keep it.

    November 24, 2013 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  25. Mohammed Yousuf

    US Conservatives opposing Iranian Conservatives. Its same everywhere.

    November 24, 2013 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
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