Fifteen governors — including five in contention for the GOP presidential nomination in 2016 — are denouncing the White House-backed nuclear deal with Iran.
In a Tuesday letter
addressed to President Barack Obama, the state executives blasted the deal for essentially letting Iran continue being a "state sponsor of terrorism," while doing little to guarantee Tehran wouldn't obtain a nuclear bomb.
"The lifting of federal sanctions that will result from this agreement will only result in Iran having more money available to fund terrorist groups and attacks," the governors write.
"The people of our states will not be safer as a result of this agreement, much less citizens of countries like Israel which Iran has threatened to destroy."
The governors also want assurances that divestment policies for state-run pension funds and other state investments, "as well as restrictions against state contractors being invested in or doing business with the government of Iran" will stay in place.
The governors complain one paragraph of the deal provides the federal government will "actively encourage" states to lift state-level sanctions such as the divestment and contracting restriction laws.
"These state-level sanctions are critically important and must be maintained," they write.
House Speaker John Boehner applauded the governors' letter and urged others to "closely review the facts of the agreement, and join us in standing strong against the world’s largest state-sponsor of terror."
"Every governor has a responsibility to help keep Americans safe, and I strongly support those intending to keep state-level sanctions against the dangerous Iranian regime," he says in a statement.
The governors' letter was sent the same day Senate Democrats announced they have enough votes to block a disapproval resolution against the nuclear deal.
Included among the GOP governors signing the letter are Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, Ohio Gov. John Kasich and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie — all GOP presidential contenders.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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