McConnell, Yarmuth react to withdrawal from Iran deal announcement

05/08/2018 04:04 PM

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Kentucky federal lawmakers are reacting to President Donald Trump’s announcement that the United States will be withdrawing from the Iran nuclear deal.

The president made the announcement Tuesday, following months of speculation. Trump announced he would be reinstating all sanctions against the Middle Eastern Country prior to the 2015 deal.

“Today’s action sends a critical message. The United States no longer makes empty threats. When I make promises, I keep them,” President Trump said during his announcement.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, said he shared the sentiment with the president that Iran should never have nuclear weapons.

“The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action represented a deeply flawed agreement which President Trump has determined is not in the national security interests of the United States. Iran’s malign behavior across the broader Middle East—support to proxies such as Shia militias within Iraq, Hezbollah, the Houthis in Yemen, and militias inside of Syria, use of cyber-attacks, support for terrorism, and pursuit of an advanced ballistic missile program—must all be addressed in a wider regional effort.

“Our European partners now have an opportunity to come back to the table with Secretary Pompeo and negotiate the best terms to create either a better agreement, or a maximum pressure campaign against Iran,” McConnell continued. “I share the objective and commitment made by the President that Iran should never be able to acquire or develop a nuclear weapon.”

Kentucky’s only Democratic Congressman, however, is not in support of the president’s announcement, calling the withdrawal an “international crisis”. U.S. Rep. John Yarmuth, D-Louisville, along with several other House Democrats released the following statement:

“In refusing to waive sanctions that were lifted as part of the Iran Nuclear Agreement, President Trump has manufactured an international crisis that risks an armed conflict with a nuclear Iran,” he said. “Since its inception, the JCPOA has implemented the most stringent verification and monitoring standards ever placed on a nation, successfully preventing Iran from developing or obtaining a nuclear weapon. Despite frequent assurances of Iranian compliance from senior military and intelligence officials, independent inspectors, and our international partners, including Israeli security officials, President Trump consistently seeks to undermine the agreement and has yet to outline any plan to address his criticisms.

“With no strategy in Iran and no vision in the Middle East, President Trump’s reckless decision will increase tensions in hot spots around the world, push the United States closer to armed conflict with Iran, and severely diminish U.S. leadership and leverage,” the statement continued. “His actions serve only to isolate us from our allies, to encourage Iran to obtain a nuclear weapon, and to dissuade nations from negotiating agreements with the United States. President Trump has consistently demonstrated his ignorance of the complexity of the world’s challenges and today’s decision further highlights his inability to protect U.S. interests abroad.”

The Iran Nuclear Agreement was put into place by former President Barack Obama.

Michon Lindstrom

Michon is a producer for Pure Politics. Michon comes to Kentucky from Springfield, Illinois where she served as the statehouse reporter for the NBC affiliate. During her time in the Land of Lincoln she covered the state’s two year budget impasse and the largest school funding overall in Illinois history. Pure Politics airs weeknights at 7 and 11:30 on Spectrum News. Follow Michon on Twitter at @MichonLindstrom or reach her by email at michon.lindstrom@charter.com

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