President Barack Obama could have used the leverage created by international sanctions to dismantle Iran's nuclear program, Sen. Shelley Moore Capito said in Saturday's GOP address
, but instead went for a deal that "fails to meet even the administration's own objectives."
"Because the president operated from a position of concession and not of strength, the American people are left with a bad deal," the West Virginia Republican said. "The President has said that sanctions will go back into effect if Iran violates this agreement, but let’s be clear, reversing course will be next to impossible."
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Congress has thoroughly examined the deal, Capito said, to determine if it will improve security in the Middle East, make the United States safer, and eliminate Iran's path to a nuclear weapon, and a bipartisan majority agrees with much of the American public that the deal is a bad one.
“The partisan minority in Congress who support the deal acknowledge its shortcomings, and the litany of flaws raised throughout this debate should invoke serious concerns about our entering into this agreement with Iran," Capito said.
In addition, the bill will release tens of billions of dollars for Iran, which will "only increase its ability to sponsor the Syrian regime, support Hezbollah and threaten our allies."
Capito said she visited the Middle East in the spring and heard firsthand from world leaders about the dangers posed by a nuclear Iran.
The country is the world's largest state sponsor of terrorism and is holding four American prisoners hostage, she continued, and Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said just last week that he does not think that Israel will continue to exist within the next 25 years.
Iran is not a credible player, Capito said, and stronger sanctions could have forced the country to accept a better agreement.
“Unfortunately, a partisan minority in the Senate blocked a bipartisan majority from even taking a true up or down vote on whether the nuclear agreement should be approved," she said.
Further, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has offered an amendment that prevents the sanctions from being lifted, unless Iran released the four Americans it's holding and agrees to recognize Israel's right to exist, but Democrats also blocked a vote on that, Capito said.
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