Here is a compilation of reactions from Florida politicians regarding the latest developments involving an agreement between Iran and world powers in Vienna over the Islamic Republic’s nuclear program:
Republican presidential contender Jeb Bush calls the Iran nuclear deal “dangerous, deeply flawed and short sighted.”
He says the agreement merely consolidates the grip on power of “violent revolutionary clerics who rule Tehran with an iron fist.”
Bush says the agreement is not diplomacy, but “appeasement.”
U.S. Senator Bill Nelson:
“First thing is to not tear down this agreement before the ink is even dry, before we even read it. Congress has a role now, by law, and it’s to thoroughly scrutinize the details of the agreement. We’re not going to approve something that doesn’t keep Iran from developing nuclear weapons and doesn’t give us the ability to inspect and verify that Iran abides by all the terms.”
U.S. Senator Marco Rubio:
“I have said from the beginning of this process that I would not support a deal with Iran that allows the mullahs to retain the ability to develop nuclear weapons, threaten Israel, and continue their regional expansionism and support for terrorism. Based on what we know thus far, I believe that this deal undermines our national security. President Obama has consistently negotiated from a position of weakness, giving 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. I expect that a significant majority in Congress will share my skepticism of this agreement and vote it down. Failure by the President to obtain congressional support will tell the Iranians and the world that this is Barack Obama’s deal, not an agreement with lasting support from the United States. It will then be left to the next President to return us to a position of American strength and re-impose sanctions on this despicable regime until it is truly willing to abandon its nuclear ambitions and is no longer a threat to international security.”
U.S. Rep. Gus Bilirakis:
“At first glance, the so called Iran Nuclear deal is not an acceptable deal for America and our allies. As I suspected, this agreement will threaten our national security interests at home and abroad. It is now up to Congress to examine the specifics of the deal and ensure the most dangerous regime in the Middle East halts its nuclear armament progress in order to prevent further regional conflict and an international arms race.”
U.S. Rep. Ron DeSantis:
“This Iran deal gives 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. 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.”
U.S. Rep. Tedd Deutch:
“The terms of this proposed deal must be judged by whether Iran’s nuclear weapons program will be halted, whether we will have the necessary access to it, whether the limitations imposed are strong enough and whether Iran is blocked from acquiring nuclear weapons. It will also be measured by whether sanctions on the Iranian regime regarding arms sales, ballistic missiles, human rights violations, and support for terrorism remain firmly in place.”
“This appears to be a lengthy agreement with detailed annexes. Guided by these principles, and in keeping in mind the four Americans still held in Iran, I will review the deal closely, and I am sure every Member of Congress will do the same.
“I applaud Secretary of State John Kerry and his negotiating team for their commitment to diplomacy throughout the course of these P5+1 talks. Yet throughout these negotiations, I have maintained that Congress, as the architects of the sanctions regime that brought Iran to the table, has a fundamental role to play. In assessing the strength of the deal and acting based upon that assessment, I take this role very seriously.”
U.S. Rep. Lois Frankel:
“A nuclear-armed Iran would put the most dangerous weapon in the hands of the world’s foremost sponsor of terror and lead to a proliferation of nuclear weapons in the Middle East. Because of the seriousness of this issue, Congress must subject this prospective deal to intense objective, non-partisan scrutiny.
“In June, I made a statement urging vigilance ahead of the upcoming nuclear agreement deadline, outlining the following five key components that should be included in any final deal to ensure the agreement verifiably prevents all Iranian pathways to a bomb:
- Robust and intrusive inspections;
- Phased sanctions relief that comes only as a result of Iranian compliance;
- Dismantlement of key nuclear infrastructure;
- Disclosure of possible military dimensions of the program; and
- A long timeline that gives the international community confidence that it can hold Iran accountable.
“I plan to evaluate the proposed agreement using these standards.”
U.S. Rep. Alan Grayson:
“I am very much in favor of peace between Iran and the United States, and between Iran and its neighbors. I recognize that an extraordinary amount of effort went into the negotiations for this agreement over the past two years. And I am pleased to see that the sanctions imposed on Iran brought it to the negotiating table.
“Having reviewed this agreement, there are three areas that concern me:
“First, I’m concerned that the lifting of economic sanctions will not stop Iran from continuing to be a sponsor of global terrorism. In fact, that support would now be well financed by an increase in its oil revenues.
“Second, I’m concerned that Iran will continue its missile program, which would help it develop a missile directed against the United States.
“Third, I’m concerned that this is just a pause in Iran’s nuclear weapons program, and not an end to it. I am hopeful that there will be peace between Iran and the rest of the world. That peace must include Iran no longer threatening the security of any other country, by nuclear or non-nuclear means, with missiles or otherwise. It must also include Iran no longer being a sponsor of global terrorism.
“It remains critical that Iran, under the current regime or any regime like it, never be allowed to develop or possess a nuclear weapon – the security of the Middle East, and millions of lives, depend on it.”
U.S. Rep. Patrick Murphy:
“A nuclear Iran is one of the greatest threats to the United States, our ally Israel, and to regional stability in the Middle East. The agreement reached between the P5 +1 and Iran must guarantee that Iran cannot obtain nuclear weapons. While I have concerns about this agreement, I look forward to reviewing this entire proposal and having Congress provide rigorous oversight in the coming weeks.”
U.S. Rep. Tom Rooney:
“If Iran follows this deal to the letter, it will continue expanding its nuclear program and, in 10 years, use those developments to build a nuclear bomb. Iran will get billions in economic relief that, under the terms of this deal, it can use to ship arms and wreak havoc across the region. This deal doesn’t stop Iran’s nuclear program – it legitimizes it. This bill doesn’t curb Iran’s aggression – it enables it.
“The President promised he would walk away from any deal that didn’t permanently dismantle Iran’s nuclear program. He abandoned those goals and broke his word to the American people.
“This deal makes America, Israel, and the rest of the world less safe, secure, and free. Members of both parties pledged to oppose any agreement that allowed Iran a pathway to the bomb. We should keep those promises and reject this deal in a bipartisan fashion.”
U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen:
“As expected, the Obama administration has capitulated to the demands of the Iranians and has negotiated a weak and dangerous nuclear deal that undermines our national security and poses a threat to our allies in the region, especially the democratic Jewish state of Israel. We were repeatedly and forcefully told in Congress that this deal would only cover Iran’s nuclear program, but now it is clear that Obama has agreed to lifting all U.N. Security Council sanctions, including the arms embargo on Iran and its ballistic missile technology.
“The president has moved the goal post back so many times on his own previous red lines on the nuclear deal that now Iran gets to keep its facilities at Fordow and Natanz and its Arak reactor will remain open for business. This deal sets in place every key component of a nuclear program that Iran needs to develop a weapon and, according to reports, the only mechanism for inspections will come as a result of consultations with Iran. Iran has been caught cheating throughout the negotiations, but the Obama administration has not been open or forthcoming. Obama officials have come to Iran’s defense every time, so it will only embolden Iran to continue its illicit activities. Congress must do our due diligence to examine this deal before the president can take it to the U.N. for a binding vote.”
U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman-Schultz:
“I look forward to reviewing in detail the deal our nation’s top negotiators and diplomats have put forward with Iran after months of tireless work. As I have said throughout the negotiations, any deal must ensure that Iran can never achieve their goal of developing a nuclear weapon. Congress now has the critical role of carefully reviewing the details of this agreement to ensure that it protects our national security and that of our allies in the region, particularly Israel, and does not allow Iran to get away with cheating.
“I was proud to join my colleagues in supporting the Iran Nuclear Review Act of 2015 which gives us the responsibility of assessing whether this deal contains, at a minimum, crucial criteria, including: robust verification measures; access to information about past military dimensions; limits on technical research and development; phased sanctions relief; and an instant snapback of sanctions should Iran violate any aspect of the deal. As I have said from the beginning, no deal is better than a bad deal, particularly given Iran’s horrific track-record of deception and continued facilitation of terrorism against the United States and our allies worldwide. Over the coming weeks, I will be discussing the details of this deal with the administration, technical experts and analysts, as well as my constituents and will be carefully assessing its provisions and implications. This is a critical decision and one that will require careful, thoughtful review.”
Material from The Associated Press was used in this post.