GOP presidential candidates aren't wasting any time blasting President Obama's deal with the Iranians over their nuclear program. Here are some of their reactions. I'll add more statements as they become available.
"Shame on the Obama administration for agreeing to a deal that empowers an evil Iranian regime to carry out its threat to 'wipe Israel off the map' and bring 'death to America.' John Kerry should have long ago gotten up on his crutches, walked out of the sham talks, and went straight to Jerusalem to stand next to Benjamin Netanyahu and declared that America will stand with Israel and the other sane governments of the Middle East instead of with the terrorist government of Iran. As president, I will stand with Israel and keep all options on the table, including military force, to topple the terrorist Iranian regime and defeat the evil forces of radical Islam."
"Iran has demonstrated bad behavior for 30 years. We know they have been trying to cheat on this deal. We know they have been funding proxies with a strategic objective of destabilizing the region. We know that when sanctions are lifted, they’ll have more money to fund those same proxies."
"I have said from the beginning of this process that I would not support a deal with Iran that allows the mullahs to retain the ability to develop nuclear weapons, threaten Israel, and continue their regional expansionism and support for terrorism."
"Based on what we know thus far, I believe that this deal undermines our national security. President Obama has consistently negotiated from a position of weakness, giving concession after concession to a regime that has American blood on its hands, holds Americans hostage, and has consistently violated every agreement it ever signed."
"I expect that a significant majority in Congress will share my skepticism of this agreement and vote it down. Failure by the President to obtain congressional support will tell the Iranians and the world that this is Barack Obama’s deal, not an agreement with lasting support from the United States. It will then be left to the next President to return us to a position of American strength and re-impose sanctions on this despicable regime until it is truly willing to abandon its nuclear ambitions and is no longer a threat to international security."
Pres Obama has consistently negotiated from a position of weakness, giving concessions to a regime that has American blood on its hands.— Marco Rubio (@marcorubio) July 14, 2015
“If what they are telling me is remotely true, this is a disaster,” he said. “If it is true we are lifting an arms embargo without a change in behavior you have set in motion re-arming the most radical regime in the Middle East. From our point of view, I can’t think of a worse outcome than to get the Ayatollah a guaranteed nuclear program. From the Sunni Arabs’ point of view, it’s a declaration of war. And it could be a death sentence for Israel.”
“I would not lift inspections until there was a certification they are no longer the largest state sponsor of terrorism,” he said. “I would not give them a penny of money or a bullet until they are no longer a threat to destabilize the region. I would tie any monetary relief or lightening of inspections to a complete change in behavior.
“It’s like taking a can of gasoline and throwing it on a fire. The Sunni Arabs are going to see this as a provocative act against their chief antagonist, they are not going to sit on the sidelines. And, oh my God, our friends in Israel. I feel so bad for them if any of this is true because it guarantees their chief antagonist will become a nuclear nation with the passage of time.”
"President Obama’s decision to sign a nuclear deal with Iran is one of the most destructive foreign policy decisions in my lifetime. For decades to come, the world will have to deal with the repercussions of this agreement, which will actually make it easier for Iran to develop a nuclear weapon. And Secretary Clinton, who played a significant role in initiating these negotiations with Iran, will have to justify to the American people why she supports allowing a known state sponsor of terrorism to move toward obtaining a nuclear weapon. This deal is not a binding international treaty, but rather a political agreement among diplomats. I urge Congress to take the next 60 days of review very seriously. I will do everything in my power to work with the Senate to oppose this deal, including reaching out to Democratic senators. "As President, one of my first official acts will be to fully rescind this accord. I will order a review of Iran’s compliance with the deal, and an evaluation of Iran’s continued sponsorship of terror over the timeframe of the agreement. I will move to ensure that the arms embargo—and, specifically, the ballistic missile embargo — remain in place until Iran verifiably demonstrates that it desires to act as a stabilizing force in the region."
"The Iran deal announced today with fanfare and another heaping dose of false hope is almost certain to prove an historic mistake with potentially deadly consequences. A careful review of the 100-plus pages is in order to fully understand the lengths to which the negotiators were willing to stoop to secure a deal at any cost with the world's leading sponsor of terrorism and a regime dedicated in word and deed to bringing death to America. Without anywhere anytime surprise inspections, a full accounting of Iran's past secret nuclear arms pursuits, elimination of Iran's uranium stockpiles and the lifting of any sanctions only upon verification of Iranian compliance, this is not a good deal, but a recipe for disaster and the first fateful step toward a frenzied nuclear arms race in the Middle East."
“Today, the international community led by the United States has agreed to not only legitimize and perpetuate the Iranian nuclear program, but also to further arm and enrich the brutal theocratic regime that has oppressed the Iranian people for more than thirty years – a regime that is wrongfully holding United States citizens captive, that is sponsoring radical Islamic terrorism across the globe, and that regularly promotes the destruction of both Israel and America throughout its streets.
“Despite these facts, it seems President Obama would concede almost anything to get any deal – even a terrible deal – from the Islamic Republic of Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei. Under the terms of this deal, Iran will retain all of its centrifuges, one-third of which will continue to spin. Rather than the most intrusive inspections regime in history that we were promised, IAEA inspectors must petition the mullahs to visit sensitive sites, and wait for two weeks for their permission. In a final, shocking concession, the United States will support lifting of the United Nations arms embargos that restrict the Iranian ballistic missile program and arms trafficking. And in return, billions of dollars of economic relief will flow to Tehran.
“Yet, in his remarks this morning, the President glossed over the truth about Iran’s world-leading state-sponsorship of terrorism that is violently destabilizing the region, and would grow more deadly should the Iranians get a nuclear bomb. He failed to mention American citizens, Saeed Abedini, Amir Hekmati and Jason Rezaian, who continue to languish in Iranian prisons or Robert Levinson, who is still unaccounted for. For them, today is no ‘opportunity to move in a new direction’ as the President claimed. We owe it to our fellow Americans to elevate, not ignore, their plight, to demand their swift and unconditional release by the implacably hostile regime that holds them.
“Even by the low standards of the Joint Plan of Action, this is a staggeringly bad deal. It is a fundamental betrayal of the security of the United States and of our closest allies, first and foremost Israel.
“But thankfully, it is not a done deal. We still have an opportunity to tell the truth about what Prime Minister Netanyahu called today a ‘bad mistake of historic proportion.’
“Congress will have 60 days to review it, and the American people will have 60 days to tell their elected representatives just what they think of it. I urge all my fellow citizens to speak out and let their elected leaders know that even if President Obama won’t see it, we know the leaders of the Islamic Republic who lead crowds in chants of ‘Death to America’ and ‘Death to Israel’ are not our partners in peace, and must not be put on the path to a nuclear bomb.”
This post has been updated with additional information.