Top Republicans in Congress criticized the administration’s strategy in Iran on Monday, saying recent actions prove President Obama made a mistake in securing a nuclear deal with a country that cannot be trusted.
Over the weekend, Iran tested a long-range ballistic missile, prompting some to wonder if it had already broken the newly-signed nuclear deal. Iran also announced the conviction of American reporter Jason Rezaian, who has been held in an Iranian jail for more than a year.
Rep. Ed Royce, R-Calif., said these moves demonstrate that the Obama administration has failed in its negotiations with Iran.
“[T]he administration has shown a dangerous naivety regarding who it is dealing with,” Royce, the chairman of the House Foreign Relations Committee, said in a statement. “The administration didn’t get Jason released when it had the leverage of the nuclear agreement. It must redouble efforts to get Jason and the other imprisoned Americans home now.”
Rezaian, an Iranian-American reporter for the Washington Post, has been held in an Iranian prison for 447 days, according to a Post report. Iranian officials announced over the weekend that he was convicted in a trial not open to any outside witnesses, though it’s still unclear on which charges he was convicted.
Rezaian faced four charges, the most serious of which is espionage. He faces a maximum sentence of 20 years, the Post reported.
Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, said Iran’s opaque handling of Rezaian’s trial proves that the country should not be trusted to inspect itself, as required by the nuclear deal negotiated in July.
“President Obama’s gamble that a nuclear deal would lead to a more responsible Iran has already failed,” he said in a statement.
Iran tested its newest long-range ballistic missile over the weekend, dubbed “Emad,” or Pillar. The move prompted many to speculate whether the launch violated the nuclear deal, but Iran claimed that it did not, saying the country has always retained a right to advance its own national security.
Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., said these two issues show that while the administration claimed the nuclear agreement would improve and strengthen relations with Iran, the opposite seems to be happening.
“Iran’s increasing malign behavior in the past few weeks is the dangerous, yet predictable consequence of the administration’s long habit of ignoring and downplaying the broader threat that Iran poses,” said McCain, chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee. “The president needs to give up on his failed policy of acquiescing to Iranian power and start doing significantly more to counter it.”
Barack Obama wrote 46 personal letters this month to felons imprisoned for non-violent drug offenses but he couldn’t find the time to write a letter to Kathryn Steinle’s family whose father held her in his arms as she died. Her final words were, “Help me Dad.” Nor could Barack Obama find a way to free our Americans held in Iranians prisons.
Mr. Obama ignored the imprisoned Americans when the nuclear deal was finalized because it didn’t involve nuclear he said. Of course the conventional weapons he included in the treaty at the last minute also didn’t have anything to do with nuclear.
While he lets former Marine Amir Hekmati, ex-FBI Agent Robert Levinson, Christian pastor Saeed Abedini and Washington Post Iran Bureau Chief Jason Rezaian, in the order they are pictured below, rot in violent Iranian prisons, he has removed all sanctions from an Iranian commander responsible for the deaths of more than 1,000 U.S. soldiers.
(Left to Right) Former Marine Amir Hekmati, ex-FBI Agent Robert Levinson, Christian pastor Saeed Abedini and Washington Post Iran Bureau Chief Jason Rezaian
The head of the Revolutionary Guards’ elite Quds Force, General Qasem Soleimani, photo below, who directed covert operations abroad, is now a celebrity in Iran and is the subject of music videos, documentaries, and news reports.
Soleimani helped Shiite militias in Iraq slaughter U.S. soldiers. He sent copper-tiipped IEDs into Iraq, killing at least 500 of our soldiers and Marines in one effort alone, the Daily Beast reports.
Also in the sanctions-relief pile is the man General David Petraeus called “truly evil”, Revolutionary Guard Corps general Mohammad Reza Naqdi (photo below) who said “erasing Israel off the map” should be Iran’s objective, with or without a nuke.
Also on the list are several other terrorists calling themselves generals. The list of individuals relieved of sanctions includes 800 of our enemies.
Barack Obama is the man who did and said nothing when two of our soldiers were kept imprisoned under trumped up charges in Mexican prisons but who spoke out on behalf of American Mohamed Soltan who is the son of a prominent Muslim Brotherhood leader imprisoned in Egypt.
He left them behind but didn’t leave a deserter behind, trading five Taliban for him.
Obama spoke out for Mohammed Morsi, the Muslim Brotherhood leader who was rapidly turning Egypt into a dictatorship worse than the one they had.
Barack Obama is the man who defends rioters as victims (to be distinguished from protesters) and condemns the Tea Party as radicals.
He is the man who, along with Hillary, demanded the reinstatement of the Honduran dictator wannabe at the very beginning of his reign.
He is the man who called the men of Benghazi “bumps in the road”, who smirked when he said the jobs weren’t shovel ready, who said there wasn’t a smidgeon of corruption in the IRS.
He is the man who went golfing twenty minutes after his speech about the beheaded American journalist, James Wright Foley.
He is the man who mourns criminals, helps out war criminals, hasn’t a word to say about Kate Steinle, and didn’t help Americans imprisoned in Iran because they weren’t nuclear.