Rep. Ed Royce (R-CA), Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, hit back at President Barack Obama for a speech Wednesday in which he defended the Iran deal by claiming that Republicans are making “common cause” with the hard-liners of the Iranian regime.
Obama had argued that many of the same people who pushed for war in Iraq now opposed the Iran deal.
Royce responded by pointing out that Obama had appointed many of the same people responsible for the failed North Korean nuclear deal (such as Wendy Sherman) to negotiate the Iran accords.
North Korea is now a nuclear power with deadly weapons capabilities. Royce said Iran is more than likely to follow the same path:
The President was quick to question the judgment of those criticizing this deal. But the Obama Administration isn’t immune to its own misjudgments in this region; hugely underestimating ISIS is one example. And let’s not forget, some of the same people who negotiated this deal were involved in the failed agreement with North Korea — an agreement that was hailed at the time with some of the same language President Obama used today. Of course, North Korea now has multiple nuclear weapons.
The President was quick to refer back to the Cold War, but he was wrong to suggest that this agreement could be extended like a U.S.-Soviet arms agreement. When this deal expires, Iran will have an internationally blessed advanced nuclear program able to quickly produce a nuclear weapon. There will be no second deals. Iran will have won.
Royce also pointed out that Iran’s ballistic missile program is for the sole purpose of delivering nuclear weapons. He said, “[t]he President didn’t even try to justify the 11th hour lifting of the restrictions against Iran’s intercontinental ballistic program. That’s because there is no excuse for this concession, which was counter to the advice of our military and which leaves our homeland threatened.
“We must ask ourselves, does this deal make the world safer?” Royce asked.
Obama has threatened to veto Congress should it vote to disapprove the deal. Although the House has enough votes to pass legislation to reject Obama’s Iran deal, the fate of a veto-proof majority rests in the hands of the Democrats; many are still on the fence or undecided as to how they will vote.