Upon the announcement by President Barack Obama early Tuesday morning that a deal between the United States and Iran has been reached over Iran’s nuclear energy program, Republican presidential candidates commented in interviews and took to social media to object to the deal and urged members of Congress to vote it down.
The nuclear deal has sparked controversy over the past few months as the U.S., European Union and United Nations have struggled to negotiate with Iran. The deal is expected to reduce crippling economic sanctions while Iran affirms that it won’t “seek, develop or acquire any nuclear weapons,” according to sources with knowledge of the wording.
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, who entered the crowded GOP presidential field just one day ago, said the agreement “will be remembered as one of America’s worst diplomatic failures.”
“@BarackObama’s #Iran deal gives Iran’s nuclear weapons capability an American stamp of approval – SW,” Walker wrote on his Twitter page.
Appearing on Laura Ingraham’s conservative radio talk show on Tuesday, candidate Carly Fiorina voiced her concerns about Iran’s history of keeping its promises.
“History tells us that Iran will cheat," she said. "Contrary to what this administration has said: this will give Iran nuclear weapons."
Florida Sen. Marco Rubio released a lengthier statement to voice his disapproval of the deal and called on members of Congress to vote the deal down.
“Based on what we know thus far, I believe that this Iran deal undermines our national security,” Rubio tweeted.
“I expect that a significant majority in Congress will share my skepticism of this agreement and vote it down,” Rubio also wrote on Twitter.
South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham told Bloomberg News that the deal was a “nightmare” for Israel and added that his “initial impression is that this deal is far worse than [he] ever dreamed it could be.”
Mike Huckabee, the former Arkansas Governor, criticized Secretary of State John Kerry for not supporting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
“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 state governments of the Middle East instead of with the terrorist government of Iran," Huckabee said.
Rick Santorum, the former Pennsylvania Senator, told CNN that “the Iranians have never kept a deal. Never.”
While he has yet to release a statement, Jeb Bush, the former Florida Governor, has objected to the deal in the past, calling it “horrific” and warning that Iran will become “emboldened” after the deal is approved.
Earlier this morning, President Obama unveiled the deal, saying that “the deal is not built on trust. It is built on verification,” which makes note of the inspections and other safeguards built into the deal. Obama added that he "will veto" any attempts to dismantle the deal.
Congress now has 60 days to review the deal and vote to either accept or reject it. If the deal is rejected and Obama vetoes the rejection, Congress will need a two-thirds vote to stop the deal.
Photo Credit: U.S. Department of State/WikiCommons, Marco Rubio/Twitter Screenshot