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WTAS: Praise for President Donald J. Trump’s New Strategy on Iran

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu: “I congratulate President Trump for his courageous decision today. He boldly confronted Iran's terrorist regime. If the Iran deal is left unchanged, one thing is absolutely certain- in a few years' time, the world's foremost terrorist regime will have an arsenal of nuclear weapons and that's tremendous danger for our collective future. President Trump has just created an opportunity to fix this bad deal. To roll back Iran's aggression and to confront its criminal support of terrorism. That's why Israel embraces this opportunity. And that's why every responsible government, and any person concerned with the peace and security of the world, should do so as well.”

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY): “This new strategy announced by the president to contain Iran’s regional ambitions, its malign conduct and efforts to dominate the broader Middle East is an appropriate response to the consequences of the Obama Administration’s failed policies. The Obama Administration’s determination to draw down America’s conventional military presence from across the globe, avoid conflict with competitor nation states even when those same countries threatened our national security interests, and its drive to negotiate an agreement with Iran that left a state sponsor of terror with an internationally recognized nuclear enrichment program was simply inadequate. The president’s decision not to certify that the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) is ‘in the vital national security interests of the United States’ now provides the opportunity for Congress to strengthen the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act and create a standard for certification that is consistent with our interests.”

House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI): “The nuclear agreement struck by the previous administration with Iran is fatally flawed. Not only did it codify Tehran’s domestic enrichment capability, but once key restraints expire in the coming years, the regime will be free to pursue nuclear weapons under the guise of international legitimacy. All the while, Iran has continued to test-fire ballistic missiles and finance its terrorist proxies across the globe. Simply enforcing a fatally flawed agreement is not sufficient. I support President Trump’s decision to reevaluate this dangerous deal, and the House will work with his administration to counter Iran’s range of destabilizing activities.”

Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL): “President Trump made the right decision to decertify the Obama Administration's Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action on Iran (JCPOA). He is correct in finding that this deal is not in our national interest. I know the White House has been working hard to craft a new law to fix the Iran deal, and I appreciate them and Chairman Corker seeking my input. I will reserve judgment until actual legislation is presented. But I have serious doubts about whether it is even possible to fix such a dangerously flawed agreement. Ultimately, leaving the nuclear deal, reimposing suspended sanctions, and having the president impose additional sanctions would serve our national interest better than a decertified deal that leaves sanctions suspended or a new law that leaves major flaws in that agreement in place.”

Senator Tim Scott (R-SC): “There are no surprises with Iran – they are bad actors who have been funding terrorist actions around the globe for decades. The United States must stand strong against Iran’s rogue actions, and the President made it clear today we will not idly stand by when it comes to Iran. I look forward to a spirited debate in Congress over the coming weeks regarding potential next steps to ensure Iran does not develop a nuclear weapon.”

Senator Tom Cotton (R-AR): “Lawmakers need to do now what we couldn't do two years ago: unite around an Iran strategy that truly stops Iran's nuclear weapons program and empowers the United States and our allies to combat the full spectrum of Iran's imperial aggression. The legislation Senator Corker and I have been working on with the administration will address the major flaws in the original Iran deal: the sunset clauses, the weak inspections regime, and the failure to restrict Iran's development of advanced centrifuges. And it will create time and leverage for firm diplomacy-together with our allies-to work and neutralize the threat of a nuclear Iran permanently.”

Senator John McCain (R-AZ): “For years, the Iranian regime has literally been getting away with murder. Meanwhile, the United States has lacked a comprehensive strategy to meet the multifaceted threat Iran poses. The goals President Trump presented in his speech today are a welcomed long overdue change. They offer the United States a path forward that centers our policy towards Iran on its destabilizing regional ambitions rather than its nuclear program alone. I look forward to learning more about the specifics of this strategy, and the Senate Armed Services Committee will conduct thorough oversight of our military’s role in it.”

Senator David Perdue (R-GA): “President Trump is correct to decertify President Obama’s dangerous Iran Nuclear Deal because it is not in our national security interests. In no circumstance can we allow Iran to develop a nuclear weapon and President Obama’s deal laid out a road map for Iran to do just that. I applaud President Trump’s action to decertify. Decertification gives the U.S. significant leverage at the negotiating table to get the international community on board to tackle non-nuclear issues and to address shortcomings in the deal, like sunset clauses and inspection loopholes. To be clear, this is part of a long-term regional strategy. This includes countering Iranian influence in Yemen, Iraq, and Syria, where Iranian proxies have been gaining control and influence in the region. President Trump is doing what the last administration refused to do: reengaging with the rest of the world, while asserting American security interests.”

Senator Roger Wicker (R-MS): “I continue to believe that the pact with Iran, negotiated by the Obama Administration, is a terrible deal for America and our allies. Iran is still the leading state sponsor of terrorism, and its illegal ballistic missile program is advancing. By his actions today, President Trump is giving us the opportunity to strengthen our hand to hold Tehran accountable. Decertification does not end U.S. participation in the agreement, but it does represent the first step toward negotiating a better deal.”

Senator Jim Inhofe (R-OK): “Denying presidential certification of the flawed Iran deal is the right call. The Iran deal clearly does not have sufficient means of preventing Iran’s ability to acquire nuclear technology and does nothing to check their litany of other abuses, including developing intercontinental ballistic missiles, funding terrorist organizations and supporting rogue regimes like Assad. Worse, it has put our most valuable allies in the region, especially Israel, at greater risk. The president’s action today marks a strong new beginning to America’s foreign policy—one where our allies trust us and our enemies respect us. I look forward to working with the President, his administration and my colleagues in Congress to make meaningful, substantive changes to the Iranian Nuclear Agreement Review Act.”

Representative Trent Franks (R-AZ): “Before the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action was willed into being (it was never signed by Iran), the Clinton Administration orchestrated the wildly ineffectual ‘Agreed Framework’ with North Korea. Two decades later, the Hermit Kingdom is armed with a hydrogen bomb and is threatening to turn the United States to ‘ashes and darkness.’ History could not be clearer: appeasement policies do not work. The Iran Deal was not a treaty approved by Congress. President Trump has every right decertify Iranian compliance with the JCPOA. Moreover, I applaud his efforts.”

Representative Mike Coffman (R-CO): “It is no secret that Iran is the world’s largest sponsor of terrorism and that their ultimate goal remains to have nuclear weapons. I support the President’s position to reevaluate the flawed Iranian treaty and I will continue in my role in Congress in identifying ways we can counteract Iran’s destabilizing behavior. As a Marine combat veteran, I know that weakness only invites further aggression by our adversaries.”

Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL): “This decision is a welcome opportunity to address some of the major deficiencies within the JCPOA and ensure that Iran will never be a nuclear weapon state. We must work together to close the loopholes, get rid of the sunsets, stop Iran’s ballistic missile program, mandate inspections of Iran’s military sites, and, once and for all, attain the unconditional release of all the U.S. citizens and legal permanent residents being unjustly held in Iran. We were sold a false bill of goods that promised international sanctions against Iran’s other illicit activity, yet too many in the international community, particularly our P5+1 partners, have given Iran a pass. There has not been one new EU sanction against Iran since the deal was implemented, despite Iran’s continued human rights violations, support for terror, and pursuit of ballistic missiles. Decertifying provides some much needed leverage and we need to use this opportunity to get the EU on board with sanctioning Iran’s non-nuclear related activity, including taking action against the IRGC, and protect the national security interests of the United States and our allies.”

House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes (R-CA): “The decertification of the Iran nuclear agreement as ‘not in the national security interests’ of the United States is an important initial step toward reining in the world’s biggest state sponsor of terrorism. It’s crucial that the Trump administration’s new, tougher Iran policy will be well-resourced and aggressively implemented, and that the administration designate the regime’s entire Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps as a terror group. I hope to see our allies join us in sending a strong, united message that the Iranian regime’s support for international terrorism and its nuclear ambitions will no longer be tolerated.”

Representative Pete Roskam (R-IL): “I support the President’s decision to refuse to certify the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) under the 2015 Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act and to advance the fight against Iran’s destabilizing behavior in the Middle East. I will soon be introducing legislation to support the President’s goals of permanently preventing a nuclear-armed Iran and countering Iranian aggression.”

Representative Jim Banks (R-IN): “President Trump is right to call for a new policy on Iran and demand a change in the Iranian regime's behavior. Iran has continued to engage in aggressive activity and to support terrorism despite the Obama Administration’s flawed deal. Congress must partner with the administration to correct flaws of past policy and hold Iran accountable for its destabilizing actions. We must work with our allies to ensure that Iran’s nuclear ambitions truly are stopped.”

Representative Lee Zeldin (R-NY): “President Trump’s decision not to recertify the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), otherwise known as the Iran Nuclear Deal, was the right decision for America’s best interests. The JCPOA in its current form is deeply flawed and one sided for what is in the agreement, and deeply flawed and one sided for what is not in the agreement. It is not a pathway for how to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon. It is a blueprint for how Iran can acquire a nuclear weapon. This ‘deal’ propped up the wrong regime, providing Iran, the world’s largest state sponsor of terror, with a jackpot of up to $150 billion in sanctions relief, without even asking for a signature.”

Representative Bill Johnson (R-OH): “I am encouraged by the steps taken today by the President to put the rogue Iranian regime, the world’s foremost state sponsor of terrorism, on notice. It is clear that a new, comprehensive strategy is vital to preventing Iran from ever creating or acquiring nuclear weapons, and checking its regional aggression. The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) is a deal that America should not have been a party to in the first place. It only temporarily restricts Iran’s nuclear program, and does little to deter Tehran from continuing its thirst for nuclear weapons and technology - all while filling the regime's coffers. Not only has Iran repeatedly displayed a disturbing pattern of behavior while continuing to recruit and fund terrorist groups operating in Syria and Iraq, but the Iranian regime’s continued nuclear testing on military sites also undermines the standards set by the international community to promote security and regional stability. History shows that President Trump is right to be wary of Iran, and this announcement today solidifies the Administration’s policy of protecting American security, and preventing Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons.”

Representative Dave Joyce (R-OH): “The Iran nuclear deal is a bad deal for the United States and our allies. The world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism, and the leading cause of violence in the Middle East, cannot be allowed to obtain a nuclear weapon. Congress must continue to work with the Administration to ensure American interests are put first and the Iranian regime is held fully accountable for its support of terrorism around the world.”

Representative Mike Turner (R-OH): “I was opposed to the Iran Nuclear Deal because it has an insufficient inspection regime, insufficiently addresses long range ICBM missile development, and is limited to 10 years, giving the appearance of permission to develop nuclear weapons during the 11th year. However, in my briefings from the International Atomic Energy Agency, it appears that Iran is materially complying with the provisions that require Iran abandon pursuit of the development of nuclear weapons. After the President’s statements today, the international community and Congress must provide sufficient leverage for amending the agreement in ways that could ensure Iran never obtains nuclear weapons.”

Representative Ted Poe (R-TX): “President Trump’s decision to de-certify the Iran nuclear deal is the right decision at this time. It is not in the interest of the United States to enable Iran a patient pathway towards acquiring a nuclear weapon. The regime in Iran has proven time and again that it cannot be trusted and that its true intentions are the ultimate destruction of Israel and the United States. Through decertification we are sending Tehran a strong signal that the United States will not appease its threatening behavior. I also applaud the President’s designation of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, better known as the IRGC, as a terrorist organization through Executive Order 13224 – a step I proposed in my bill H.R. 479 earlier this year. The IRGC is a leading cause of instability in the Middle East through its support of the murderous regime in Syria, its development of ballistic missiles, and its provocative action towards our sailors transiting the region. It is past time we hold this band of thugs to account.”