US Democratic lawmakers censure President Donald Trump and Republicans for Washington’s withdrawal from Iran nuclear deal, calling on the American people to “vote them all out” over the measure.
“Trump and his Republicans will go down in history as the party that destroyed our country’s credibility, ruined our global reputation, and made the world a more dangerous place — all to sabotage President Obama’s legacy. Vote them all out. Every single one,” the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) tweeted immediately after Trump announced the US withdrawal from the deal.
While, California Democratic lawmaker Adam Schiff described Trump’s decision as a mistake of “historic proportions,” Senate Democratic Whip Dick Durbin warned that the president’s decision will pose more threats to the entire the Middle East.
“Decision to withdraw from Iran deal will undermine our national security, increase prospect of a nuclear Iran or a conflict with them, and cause the world to conclude America doesn’t keep its word. Scuttling the deal without a Plan B is not a strategy, but a dangerous abdication,” Schiff said.
Senior Democratic Senator Bob Menendez on the Senate foreign relations committee warned that abandoning Iran’s deal will jeopardize the security of the US and Israel and harms US relations with its allies.
“With this decision President Trump is risking US national security, recklessly upending foundational partnerships with key US allies in Europe and gambling with Israel’s security,” Menendez pointed out.
Chris Murphy, a Democrat member of the Senate foreign relations committee, described Trump’s announcement as “terrible news,” saying “Pulling out of the Iran deal is like a soccer player deliberately kicking the ball into their own team’s goal.”
“There is nothing but downside for the US, especially since Trump has zero plan for what comes next,” he added.
Senior Democratic legislator on the Senate Intelligence Committee Mark Warner issued a statement, warning against creating rift between the US and its allies.
“Simply withdrawing the United States from the JCPOA will not benefit the American people and US national security: it will only succeed in driving a wedge between us and our allies, whose help we need to enforce any future sanctions regime against Iran,” he said. “Withdrawing from this agreement makes the United States, and the world, less secure,” Warner pointed out.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi described Tuesday a “sad day for America’s global leadership” and warned that “Trump Administration’s dangerous and impulsive action is no substitute for real global leadership.”
Even some lawmakers on the Republican front also criticized Trump for abandoning the deal.
Ohio Republican representative Mike Turner, who is also a senior member of House Armed Services Committee, lashed out at Trump for abandoning the JCPOA without any proof.
“Without proof that Iran is in violation of the agreement, it is a mistake to fully withdraw from this deal,” Turner said in a statement.
Republican Maine Senator Susan Collins also said she preferred that the US would “remedy” the “flaws” in the nuclear deal with its allies rather than walking away from the accord.
Independent US Senator Bernie Sanders expressed concern that Trump’s “reckless decision” would lead to another open-end war for the US.
“After 17 years of war in Afghanistan and 15 years of war in Iraq, the American people do not want to be engaged in never-ending wars in the Middle East. I am deeply concerned that that is exactly where President Trump is taking us with regard to Iran,” Sanders (pictured above) said . “President Trump’s speech today was the latest in a series of reckless decisions that move our country closer to conflict.”
“Trump’s decision isolates the United States from our most important European allies who all continue to support the agreement and have consistently said that it is in their own national security interests to see it upheld,” Sanders added.
The Vermont senator warned that abandoning the JCPOA would “seriously harm” Washington’s future non-proliferation negotiations, including with North Korea, adding “Why would any country in the world sign such an agreement with the United States, and make the touch concessions, if they thought that a reckless president might simply discard that agreement a few years later?”
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer told reporters he did not see any reason for US withdrawal from the deal, noting,
“There are no reports that Iran has violated the agreement.”
US Ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell called on German businesses to immediately halt their operations in Iran.
“As @realDonaldTrump said, US sanctions will target critical sectors of Iran’s economy,” Grenell tweeted. “German companies doing business in Iran should wind down operations immediately,”
Germany is one of Iran’s key trading partners, with the country’s exports to the Islamic Republic exceeding $3.1 billion in 2016, showing a 26-percent growth compared with 2015.
There were also those who threw their support behind the US withdraw from the international agreement, backed by the UK, Russia, Germany, France and China.
Among them was the former CIA chief, who asserted that the US campaign against Iran is “broader” than the nuclear issue and it will include efforts to end Iran’s ballistic missile program and the country’s growing influence across the Middle East.
In a tweet after Trump’s announcement, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo pledged to work with Washington’s allies to find a “real, comprehensive and lasting solution” to what he called “the Iranian threat.”
US Vice President Mike Pence (pictured below) bragged about Washington’s preparedness to work with its allies to reach a new deal that “prevents Iran from ever becoming a nuclear power.”
He falsely claimed that the JCPOA “virtually guaranteed Iran’s ability to start producing nuclear weapons by 2025.”
The US and its allies can “combine tough-minded American diplomacy and strong economic pressure” to reach a new deal, Pence said.
US House Speaker Paul Ryan also said that, “From the beginning, the Obama-era Iran Deal was deeply flawed.”
Ryan added that he would have preferred to fix the agreement rather than abandon it and expressed regret over the fact that the US “could not reach an understanding with our European partners” to do that.
The Wisconsin Republican lawmaker (pictured below) said Washington would use the period before re-imposing sanctions against Iran to work with its allies to reach a consensus over Iran.
The Republican Jewish Coalition, which has long been lobbying against Iran’s deal, hailed Trump’s “bold foreign policy” and said that the decision “renewed hope for a truly long-term nuclear-free Iran.” “Iran continues to be an existential threat to Israel, and continues to menace Israel directly and through its proxies (such as Hezbollah),” the group said in its statement.
The Treasury Department said there will be “certain 90-day and 180-day wind-down periods” after which the sanctions will be in “full effect,” including sanctions against Iran’s oil sector, metal trades and transactions with its central bank.
The Treasury said sanctions will also be re-imposed on aircraft exports to Iran and the country’s efforts by Tehran to acquire US dollars.
US Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin (pictured below) told reporters that licenses for airplane manufacturers Boeing and Airbus to sell passenger jets, parts and services to Iran will be revoked after a 90-day period.
“The Boeing and (Airbus) licenses will be revoked… Under the original deal there were waivers for commercial aircraft, parts and services and the existing licenses will be revoked,” Mnuchin said.
Boeing agreed in December 2016 to sell 80 aircraft worth $17 billion to Iran Air, including 15 Boeing 777-300ER long-range jets.
A new survey conducted by SRSS among 1,015 Americans from May 2 to May 5 showed that 63 percent of respondents wanted the US to remain part of the Iran nuclear deal.
While 29 percent said Washington should exit from the accord, eight percent did not have an opinion.
Forty-six percent of the respondents also disapproved the way Trump is managing relations with Iran.
Russia and China, as the other signatories to the JCPOA, have warned against efforts to scrap the landmark accord and pledged to continue to honor their commitments under the deal.
The International Atomic Energy Agency has been monitoring Iran’s compliance with its commitments under the JCPOA and has consistently verified the Islamic Republic’s compliance.
The Islamic Republic has always insisted that its atomic program is merely for peaceful purposes and that the West is using the nuclear case as a pretext to put pressure on Tehran.