WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw Tuesday, May 8, from the Iran nuclear agreement drew praise from most members of Louisiana’s delegation to Congress who released statements, including its two members of Louisiana Baptist churches.
Negotiated by former President Barack Obama in 2015, the deal lifted most U.S. and international economic sanctions from Iran in exchange for the Middle Eastern country agreeing to restrictions on its nuclear program. Trump called the deal “one of the worst and most one-sided transactions the United States has ever entered into.”
U.S. Rep. Ralph Abraham, a member of Alto Baptist Church, called the decision wise and calculated.
“The Iran Deal was not a deterrent to a nuclear weapon; it was a pathway to a nuclear weapon,” Abraham said in a statement. “The President has always put the security of the United States and our allies first and foremost above politics. This is another example of solid, positive leadership.”
U.S. Rep. Mike Johnson, a member of First Baptist Church in Bossier City, agreed.
“Rather than curbing the nuclear ambitions and dangerous activities of Iran, this deal did the opposite and further emboldened the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism,” wrote Rep. Mike Johnson, a member of First Baptist Church in Bossier City, through his Facebook page.
“The Iran Deal endangered not only the people of the Middle East, but the entire world. Iran has continually acted in bad faith, lying about the regime’s nuclear operations and showing no true intent of upholding the minimal requirements placed upon it,” Johnson continued. “The United States has no choice but to respond to these aggressive actions by creating a plan that puts the safety of America and our allies first.”
U.S. House Whip Steve Scalise called the plan negotiated by Obama flawed, and noted it was bad not only for the U.S. but for Israel as well.
“The Iran deal failed to end Iran’s nuclear program once and for all, and has only emboldened Iran to destabilize the Middle East,” Scalise wrote on his Facebook page. “The bad deal also enabled Iran to increase their financial support for terrorist organizations worldwide, and furthered development of Iran’s ballistic missile program.
“Also, as Prime Minister Netanyahu presented last week, Iran has a clear track record of lying about the military dimension of its nuclear program and even under the deal, inspectors could not access all sites in Iran. In addition, the deal was naively premised on trusting Iran to verify their compliance, and allows key provisions to sunset in a matter of years,” he added
“America and our strongest ally Israel are not safe with a nuclear Iran. After eight years of a weakened foreign policy under President Obama, I am glad that President Trump is restoring American leadership and making it clear there will be zero tolerance for rogue regimes who sponsor global terrorism,” Scalise continued. “In Congress we will continue to support President Trump’s moves to impose tougher sanctions against Iran so we can hold them accountable and ensure an end to their nuclear program, and I encourage our allies around the world to do the same.”
U.S. Rep. Clay Higgins said the deal threatened stability in the Middle East and endangered America’s ally, Israel.
“We cannot trust a regime who chants ‘death to America’ and openly sponsors terrorist activities,” Higgins said in a statement. “President Trump’s decision sends a clear message that the United States won’t continue to bow down to foreign adversaries while they accumulate nuclear weapons. He has already proven this with North Korea. President Trump continues to show strong leadership as he restores America’s standing in the world.
“America stands shoulder to shoulder with Israel. We can never allow Iran to develop weaponized, nuclear capability. This so-called ‘deal’ allows just that. It cannot stand.”