US Republican presidential candidates blast Iran nuke deal
'President Obama’s nuclear agreement with Iran will be remembered as one of America’s worst diplomatic failures,' says one candidate

Republican candidates for the 2016 presidential election harshly criticized a deal reached Tuesday concerning Iran’s nuclear program.

Sen. Lindsey Graham said the deal ensured Iran will become a nuclear power, adding that the Iranians "don't want a power plant" but "a bomb" instead.

"About 15 years from now they'll have a nuclear weapon. We better get started on ours," Graham told CNN while suggesting that sanctions prevented Tehran from being able to produce such a weapon.

The economic windfall from the deal will be about $18 billion under the deal, according to the senator who said the money will be used to drive aggression.

"They're going to put it in their war machine," he said.

Business tycoon Donald Trump said the deal is awful and the agreement would be devastating for the U.S.’s closest ally.

Never one to mince his words, Trump told Fox Business Network that it was awful but especially "bad for Israel”.

Trump, who has been under fire for insulting comments he made about Mexicans while launching his bid for president, said Iranians were "great negotiators" and its leaders were "laughing at the stupidity of the deal" with the U.S.

"We should double up and triple up the sanctions and have them come to us,” he said. "They are making an amazing deal.”

The seemingly collective rejection of the deal by Republicans is a cause for concern for Hardin Lang, a senior fellow of Center for American Progress.

"Once you actually have an agreement in place, then you have some level of supervision, but what would happen realistically with a Republican administration is the bar for what they define as a violation of the agreement – there’s a gray space or defined room – that bar would be at its very highest,” he told Anadolu Agency.

"Anything would trip a concerted response to pressure Iran, to threaten to re-impose sanctions. To the extent that there is some gray room there, you’d see a much more reasonable understanding and interpretation of the agreement by a future Democratic administration.”

Lang’s assessment is supported by remarks about the deal by former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush who said it was a "dangerous, deeply flawed, and short-sighted” package.

Bush holds that the agreement, considered the most restrictive ever imposed on a country’s nuclear program, does not go far enough.

"A comprehensive agreement should require Iran to verifiably abandon – not simply delay – its pursuit of a nuclear weapons capability,” he said, according to the media reports.

Those comments closely resemble that of Sen. Marco Rubio, a staunch critic of President Barack Obama’s foreign policy moves.

"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,” said senator who also strongly criticized the Obama administration’s rapprochement with Cuba.

The latest candidate to enter the race, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, didn’t hold back on his criticism. "President Obama’s nuclear agreement with Iran will be remembered as one of America’s worst diplomatic failures,” he said while promising to kill the agreement if he won the election.

And Sen. Ted Cruz commented by saying the an approval of the agreement would ultimately result in war.

The pro-Israel Senator has repeatedly insisted that Congress require any " nuclear deal withIran to include recognition of Israel's right to exist," according to media reports.

But for all the opposition to the deal, the words may ultimately prove to be just that as it is not likely that there are enough votes in Congress to override a presidential veto - a measure Obama warned he would take to kill any legislation that might undermine the agreement.

Congress has 60 days to review the details of the deal.

Historically, in less than 10 percent of cases does Congress override a presidential veto.

Last Modified: 2015-07-15 12:07:23
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