WASHINGTON – Criticism of President Obama’s nuclear agreement with Iran has been fast and furious.
“I don’t trust Obama on this anymore than I trusted him on ‘if you like your plan, you can keep your plan,'” talk-show host Laura Ingraham told WND.
She added, “Elections have consequences—from our health-care system, to the definition of ‘marriage,’ to our military strength, to now our national security, Barack Obama has, indeed, ‘fundamentally transformed’ America.”
“This is sheer insanity,” Iran expert Clare Lopez told WND.
“This agreement legitimizes Iran’s overt nuclear weapons program and provides both cover and funding for its clandestine nuclear weapons program, with extra financial bonuses for its global terrorist network,” said the vice president for research and analysis at the Center for Security Policy.
In a dawn speech from the White House on Tuesday, Obama proclaimed, “[W]e have stopped the spread of nuclear weapons in this region,” but a parade of ferocious critics claimed just the opposite.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu feared the worst, saying, “From the initial reports we can already conclude that this agreement is an historic mistake for the world.”
He predicted, “Iran is going to receive a sure path to nuclear weapons.”
“Iran will get a jackpot, a cash bonanza of hundreds of billions of dollars, which will enable it to continue to pursue its aggression and terror in the region and in the world,” said the prime minister.
“One cannot prevent an agreement when the negotiators are willing to make more and more concessions to those who, even during the talks, keep chanting: ‘Death to America,'” Netanyahu concluded.
License to kill
By contrast, Obama said he hoped the deal would cause Iran to choose a “different path, one of tolerance, of peaceful resolution to conflict.” He also predicted a greater chance of war in the Mideast if Congress rejects the deal.
Former Israeli military spokeswoman Miri Regev said, instead, it gave Iran a “licence to kill.”
Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely called it “a historic surrender by the West to the axis of evil headed by Iran.”
Hillary blames Bush
Hillary Clinton didn’t fully endorse the deal in public, but she reportedly did in private, during a meeting with congressional Democrats.
During a brief press conference on Capitol Hill, the presidential candidate and former secretary of state merely called the deal “an important step,” one that “puts a lid on Iran’s nuclear programs.”
But, behind closed doors, Clinton gave the deal a “full-throated” endorsement, according to Rep. Gerry Connolly, D-Va..
Rep. Steve Israel, D- N.Y., said Clinton even blamed President George W. Bush for Iran’s nuclear proliferation.
According to the congressman, Clinton said it would hypocritical for Republicans to criticize Obama’s deal because, “[F]or eight years under George Bush, the Iranians built two nuclear facilities and they mastered the nuclear fuel cycle and enhanced the number of centrifuges spinning.”
Red lines become green lights
However, Democratic Sen. Bob Menendez of New Jersey, a senior member of the Foreign Relations Committee, said, “The bottom line is: The deal doesn’t end Iran’s nuclear program — it preserves it.”
“I’m concerned the redlines we drew have turned into green-lights; that Iran will be required only to limit rather than eliminate its nuclear program, while the international community will be required to lift the sanctions, and that it doesn’t provide for anytime-any-place inspections of suspected sites,” he said in a statement.
Leading GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump summed up the deal as, “Iran gets everything and loses nothing.”
He predicted, “The inspections will not be followed, and Iran will no longer have any sanctions.”
Trump called the agreement very dangerous and ” a horrible and perhaps catastrophic event for Israel.”
The businessman analyzed the deal harshly, stating, “[W]e should have kept the billions of dollars we have agreed to pay them. Any great dealmaker would know this is a perfect example of ‘tapping along’ and because they have been unchecked for so long throughout this extremely lengthy process, I guarantee they are much closer to producing a nuclear weapon than they were at the start of negotiations.”
Trump sized up the Obama administration as “incompetent leaders and even more incompetent negotiators.”
Death sentence for Israel
“A possible death sentence for the nation of Israel” that will “make everything worse” is how Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., described the deal on MSNBC.
‘This is most dangerous, irresponsible step I’ve ever seen in the history of watching the Mideast,’ said the presidential candidate. “With this deal, you’ve ensured that the Arabs will go nuclear. You have put Israel in the worst possible box. This will be a death sentence over time for Israel if they don’t push back. You put our nation at risk.”
“Barack Obama and John Kerry have been dangerously naive about the Mideast in general. They’ve taken it to a new level and any senator who votes for this is voting for a nuclear arms race in the Mideast,” he said in reference to the Corker bill, which requires a vote by two-thirds of Congress to reject the deal.
Congress now has 60 days to review the deal and to try to stop it with legislation.
However, Obama, promised to veto any attempt by Congress to stop the deal, saying, “I am confident that this deal will meet the national security interests of the United States and our allies.”
Another presidential candidate, Gov. Scott Walker, R-Wisc., bluntly declared, “President Obama’s nuclear agreement with Iran will be remembered as one of America’s worst diplomatic failures.”
Announcing his candidacy on Monday, Walker promised to “terminate” the deal on his first day in office.
Presidential candidate Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, called it a ” staggeringly bad deal” and a “mistake of historic proportion.”
“It is a fundamental betrayal of the security of the United States and of our closest allies, first and foremost Israel.”
Cruz added that it seemed “President Obama would concede almost anything to get any deal – even a terrible deal.”
GOP presidential candidate Carly Fiorina disputed Obama’s claim the deal will stop a Mideast nuclear arms race, noting, “Our Arab allies have said just the opposite, so has Israel, so there is reason for suspicion here that’s not partisan.”
“Saudi Arabia and Israel, as we know, don’t agree on very much, but they do agree that this is a bad deal,” she said on CBS.
Shame on Obama
Republican presidential hopeful and former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee said, “Shame on the Obama administration for agreeing to a deal that empowers an evil Iranian regime to carry out its threat to ‘wipe Israel off the map’ and bring ‘death to America.'”
“John Kerry should have long ago gotten up on his crutches, walked out of the sham talks, and went straight to Jerusalem to stand next to Benjamin Netanyahu and declared that America will stand with Israel and the other sane governments of the Middle East instead of with the terrorist government of Iran,” he added.
Another presidential candidate, Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., said Obama gave “concession after concession to a regime that has American blood on its hands, holds Americans hostage, and has consistently violated every agreement it ever signed.”
He predicted Congress will reject the the deal because it “undermines our national security.”
Appeasement, not diplomacy
Another GOP presidential candidate, Jeb Bush, said, “This isn’t diplomacy – it is appeasement.”
He labeled the agreement as “dangerous, deeply flawed, and short sighted,” and complained, “A comprehensive agreement should require Iran to verifiably abandon – not simply delay – its pursuit of a nuclear weapons capability.”
Presidential contender Rick Santorum blasted the deal as “a catastrophic capitulation” that give Iran “legitimacy” in the international community.
Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, another presidential candidate, said “While Secretary Clinton has been the architect of President Obama’s foreign policy, she can do the right thing and prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon and oppose this deal.”
Clinton’s rival for the presidential nomination, Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., maintained, “This is a victory for diplomacy over saber-rattling and could keep the United States from being drawn into another never-ending war in the Middle East.”
GOP presidential hopeful, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie said Obama was “playing a dangerous game with our national security.”
“The deal threatens Israel, it threatens the United States, and it turns 70 years of nuclear policy on its head,” Christie said. “I urge Republicans and Democrats in Congress to put aside politics and act in the national interest. Vote to disapprove this deal in numbers that will override the President’s threatened veto.”
Obama claimed, “This deal is not built on trust” because “it is built on verification,” but a chorus of critics strongly disputed that.
Worse deal than imagined possible
“It’s a deal worse than even we imagined possible,” said Weekly Standard editor William Kristol. “It’s a deal that gives the Iranian regime $140 billion in return for … effectively nothing: no dismantlement of Iran’s nuclear program, no anytime/anywhere inspections, no curbs on Iran’s ballistic missile program, no maintenance of the arms embargo, no halt to Iran’s sponsorship of terror.”
The chairman of the House Intelligence Committee said the deal will secure Iran’s pathway to a bomb, and that, “This deal will guarantee Iran the capability to carry out its clear intent.”
Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif., added, “I don’t know what information the Obama administration possesses that indicates this deal will actually prevent Iran from getting a nuclear weapon or will cause the mullahs to reduce their support for worldwide terrorism, but it sure isn’t the same intelligence we’re seeing in the Intelligence Committee.”
Threat to civilization
Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Texas warned the deal was “disastrous for the future of the United States,” an “ultimate betrayal of Israel, Egypt and moderate Muslim nations,” and, “a devastating threat to civilization which must not be ratified” by Congress.
The congressman observed the agreements reported provisions include “the lifting of the embargo on arms being sold to Iran; Iran will be allowed to keep its military sites off-limits ‘for a time;’ Iran can veto any nuclear inspections that were supposed to be allowed ‘anytime, anywhere;’ no nuclear facilities will actually be dismantled; and Iran will be ever closer to making good on its promise to try to wipe Israel off the map.”
Gohmert concluded, “The Obama-Kerry deal agrees to the release of tens of billions of dollars to Iran that unquestionably will include money used to terrorize and kill Americans, Christians, Jews and moderate Muslims the world over.”
Paves path to Iranian nuke
Rep. Ron DeSantis, R-Fla., chairman of the Subcommittee on National Security and a member of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, said, “This Iran deal gives (Iranian Supreme Leader) Ayatollah Khamenei exactly what he wants: billions of dollars in sanctions relief, validation of the Iranian nuclear program, and the ability to stymie inspections.”
“It even lifts sanctions against Quds Force Commander Qasem Soleimani, who is responsible for the deaths of hundreds of American soldiers during the campaign in Iraq,” he added. “The deal will further destabilize the Middle East, allow Iran to foment more terrorism, and aid Iran’s rise as the dominant power in the region. By paving Iran’s path to a nuclear weapon, the deal harms American national security and effectively stabs our close ally Israel, which Iran has threatened to wipe off the map, in the back. Congress needs to move swiftly to block this dangerous deal.”
“This act of appeasement by the Obama Administration now legitimizes both Iran’s path to nuclear weapons and the terrorist regime itself. It endangers the national security interests of the U.S., Israel, and allies across the word,” said former U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. John Bolton.
“Not only can Iran continue to pursue its 30-plus year objective of pursuing deliverable nuclear weapons, but the regime, the leading state sponsor of terror for over 35 years, is also free of global financial sanctions. Ultimately, we will see that Obama has capitulated to Iran’s demands, and this agreement is simply a pit stop between one set of negotiations and the other,” he added.
Historic victory for Iran
Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C. said, “The nuclear agreement is a historic victory — for Iran. For the last 18 months the Obama Administration made concession after concession to the rogue regime in Tehran, while taking the most basic demands off the table to try to secure a deal. I warned when the framework agreement was released that it relied on blind faith in a notoriously dishonest regime.”
He added, “The fact that the President came out today and threatened to veto any legislation that could potentially block the deal’s implementation is particularly concerning. If the deal is in fact strong, why is the President worried that Congress may reject it? Could it be the same reason why the Iranian regime is celebrating their victory? This historic deal requires strict scrutiny by Congress and I will not support any deal that puts the safety and security of the American people at risk.”
Sen. Orrin G. Hatch, R-Utah, called it “worse than no deal at all” because it “removes sanctions without robust means of ensuring the regime’s disarmament and compliance with its international obligations.”
“Sadly, the Administration just lit the fuse for a nuclear arms race in the Middle East,” said Sen. Ben Sasse, R-Neb. “We all know Iran’s neighbors will not sit idly as the world’s largest state-sponsor of terror becomes a nuclear-threshold state.”
Strengthens Iran’s ‘constructive’ role
Ordinary Iranians celebrated the deal in the streets and on twitter. Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif called it a “win-win solution” that builds a “new chapter of hope.”
In a nationwide televised address Tuesday, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani claimed, “Iran has never sought to manufacture a nuclear weapon and will never seek to manufacture a nuclear weapon.”
Secretary of State John Kerry called it “the good deal that we sought.”
European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said the deal was “a sign of hope for the entire world.”
British Prime Minister, David Cameron, said the agreement “secures our fundamental aim — to keep Iran from developing a nuclear weapon — and that will help to make our world a safer place.”
“We are certain that the world heaved a sigh of relief today,” said Russian President Vladimir Putin. “Russia will do its utmost to make sure that the Vienna agreement is fully implemented, thus contributing to the international and regional security.”
A Vatican spokesman said the agreement “is viewed in a positive light” by Pope Francis.
A spokesman for Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi said the deal would be “a catalyst for regional stability.”
Syria’s President Bashar Assad called it “a historic turning point” which will lead to “strengthening of the constructive role played by Iran in supporting the rights of nations.”
Iran took yes for an answer
The deal is supposed to delay the amount of time required for Iran to assemble a nuclear weapon from a few months to a year, which Western leaders hope would give them enough time to stop Iran from using such a device.
But many fear the agreement will just give Iran the cover it needs to complete its work in secrecy, and that the U.S. conceded far too much to the Islamic Republic.
The problem for the Obama administration had been, “Iran won’t take ‘yes’ for an answer,” a Capitol Hill source told WND on Monday.
Critics say the reason Iran had refused to take yes for an answer was that the Obama administration had conceded on virtually every key demand, so the Iranians just kept demanding more.
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