Arkansas Congressmen Back Iran Deal Exit, Most World Allies Disappointed

May 9, 2018

Credit C-SPAN

Arkansas’s Congressional delegation is applauding President Trump’s decision to resume sanctions that were waived as part of the Iran nuclear deal. The state’s junior U.S. Senator Tom Cotton is chief among the champions of the President’s move. Many of allies of the United States have expressed regret about the U.S. decision to exit the agreement, even as a majority of its citizens support the deal.

Speaking on the Hugh Hewitt Show before the announcement was official, Cotton touted a 2015 letter he sent to the supreme leader of Iran. The letter, signed by 47 Republican Senators, warned any deal negotiated by the Obama administration to slow nuclear development in exchange for easing sanctions, wouldn’t last.

“I think I told them so,” said Cotton. “I told them that if they did not get the assurances of a two-thirds vote of the United States Senate as our Constitution mandates…then they should not be surprised if a new President does not stick with the terms of the deal that Barack Obama negotiated.”

Senator John Boozman also supports the President’s decision to exit the Iran nuclear agreement. His office agrees with Cotton, that the deal had several flaws, “including the fact that Iran was not required to destroy a single centrifuge and that adequate verification measures were sorely lacking. Additionally, Iran continues to be an antagonist in an already volatile region, fighting and financing proxy wars against its own neighbors, U.S. partners and our allies."

U.S. Representative French Hill released a statement as well, calling for allies to participate in forming a new response to Iran’s nuclear ambitions.

“…I support President Trump in his decision to withdraw from the nuclear deal with Iran. The final agreement did not protect the safety of U.S. citizens and it put our allies, including Israel, in grave danger. In the most simplistic terms, this deal was a delay in Iran's nuclear program in exchange for complete sanctions relief and beyond. By reimposing sanctions on Iran, we put pressure back on Iran’s brutal mullahs and signify American support for the people of Iran who bravely advocate for change that embraces liberty, freedom, and a more democratic form of government. We can now collaborate with our allies on finding a better path forward to end Iran’s nuclear program and their ability to threaten their neighbors and the free world.”

However, the desire to re-work the accord with allies and the Iranian people, expressed by the state’s Congressional delegation, runs contrary to the wishes of allies and the Iranian people.

The leaders of the European Union, France, Germany, the United Kingdom, Turkey, Australia, Japan, China and Russia  have expressed regret at the U.S. decision to stop honoring the agreement. The Iran Poll shows a narrow majority of Iranians, 52 percent, support keeping the deal. That number has dropped from 76 percent at its advent, as Iranians became increasingly skeptical the U.S. would honor it.

Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Israel are supportive of President Trump’s decision.