Dec 14, 2015

Bipartisan Outcry Against President Obama’s Iran Inaction

Iran has now twice violated two United Nations Security Council resolutions by launching medium range ballistic missiles. The White House’s response? Nothing.

For obvious reasons, Iran’s actions and the Administration’s muted response led to bipartisan outcry.

Leader McCarthy said,

“In the Administration’s single-minded pursuit of implementing this bad deal, they are now ignoring Iran’s repeated violations of U.N. resolutions. Iran is an untrustworthy partner, and ignoring that puts America and the world at risk. President Obama should listen to Congress and the American people and halt the implementation of this terrible deal immediately.”

Leader McCarthy is not alone in condemning the President’s inaction. Senators Kelly Ayotte (R, NH) and Mark Kirk (R, IL) sent a letter to the Obama Administration, saying, “A failure to hold Iran accountable to its international obligations will invite more violations from Tehran and further endanger the security of Americans and our allies.”

Senator Bob Corker (R, TN) said, “If we cannot respond to a clear violation of a U.N. Security Council resolution, I have no faith that the U.N. and the Obama Administration will implement any form of snapback in response to the Iranian violations of the nuclear agreement.”

Democrats are also speaking out against this Administration’s refusal to hold Iran accountable:

  • Democrat Presidential candidate and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said that there should be no tolerance for small violations of the nuclear agreement. “How we handle enforcement in these early months will set the tone for years to come,” Clinton said. “Our message to Iran must be unequivocal. There will be consequences for even small violations.”
  • Senator Robert Menendez (D, NJ) asked, “What has happened as a result of Iran violating the U.N. Security Council resolutions as it relates to missile testing? Absolutely nothing. Something is wrong because the silence is so deafening.” He added, “Iran can support terror, Iran can develop its nuclear program, Iran can foment secretariat conflict across the Middle East … and yet, it will be rewarded with a multibillion dollar sanctions relief this coming year.
  • Senator Chris Coons (D, DE) worried about the precedent the President’s inaction would set, saying, “We have to have a menu of responses that we and our allies have agreed on and that we will take. Or the Iranians will pocket it and keep moving.”
  • Senator Ben Cardin (D, MD) said, “I think it’s extremely important that there be effective enforcement to show that there will be zero tolerance for violations…. Admittedly this is not the [Iran deal], but it’s an indicator, and it’s important.
  • Senator Tim Kaine (D, VA) said after the President’s inaction, “The first thing we have to do is we have to, every time there’s an infraction, shine a spotlight on it, call on the international community to act, and use all the leverage at our disposal.”
  • The House Minority Whip, Steny Hoyer (MD, 05) said, “Given Iran’s actions, the Administration must take action, along with our international partners, to pursue sanctions on entities that support Iran’s advanced ballistic missile program. This is a challenge on which the United States needs to lead. We know that hardliners in Iran will do everything possible to undermine the JCPOA, and we must respond forcefully to deny them that opportunity.
  • Representative and Democratic National Committee Chairman Debbie Wasserman Schultz (FL-23) asserted the President’s obligation to hold Iran accountable, saying, “It’s important to enforce our sanctions when there’s a violation.”
  • Representative Joseph Kennedy (MA-04) said, “Ignoring violations of the agreement will send a troubling signal to not only Iran, but our allies in the region about our commitment to vigorously enforcing its restrictions.”

Iran has no problem violating international agreements whenever it wants to. If we don’t push back, they will continue moving forward with their illicit and dangerous activity. We should take such violations as proof that that this terrible deal isn’t even worth the paper it is written on.