Washington Leaders Respond to Trump's Withdrawal from the Iran Deal

U.S. senator Patty Murray said the deal "offers us the best path to safety and security."

By Hayat Norimine May 8, 2018

Nuclear talks vienna austria john kerry iran july 2015 gw9jbf

Nuclear talks in Vienna, Austria, in July 2015. 

President Donald Trump on Tuesday fulfilled a campaign promise and announced his plans to withdraw from Barack Obama-era landmark negotiations with Iran known as the nuclear deal—to lift UN-imposed sanctions against Iran in exchange for heavy restrictions and tightened international oversight on the country's nuclear program. 

Lawmakers from Washington state quickly responded to Trump's decision. U.S. senator Patty Murray, a ranking member of the Senate who supported the deal back in 2015, said it was "a reckless move" and urged him to reconsider. 

"I continue to believe that this deal offers us the best path to safety and security for our country and our allies, and the best approach to preventing Iran from developing a nuclear weapon, all while giving the U.S. and its allies the ability to keep the pressure on Iran and respond appropriately to its dangerous actions," Murray said in a statement. 

But Republican allies who have called for dismantling the deal celebrated Trump's announcement, including U.S. representative Cathy McMorris Rodgers, a ranking House GOP member from Eastern Washington.

"I support the president's decision to put our interests first and protect America from this bad deal," she said. "This is an opportunity for the United States to continue our partnership with our European allies to truly hold Iran accountable for its destabilizing actions." 

Pulling out of the deal further isolates the U.S. from its Western allies, Russia, and China—who all stand by the agreement—and dismantles a foreign policy legacy that prohibits Iran from building nuclear weapons for more than a decade and significantly reduces its uranium stockpile.

What Iranians got? A gradual removal of sanctions, so long as the country stays in compliance, and renewed hope that the deal would alleviate some of its economic woes. Through the deal, sanctions can be imposed again within 65 days if Iran strays from the agreement.

U.S. representative Adam Smith, a member of the House Armed Services Committee, said Trump's decision "will make us less safe by allowing Iran to quickly acquire a nuclear weapon, separating us from our allies, and fueling instability" in the Middle East. 

Seattle's U.S. representative Pramila Jayapal also condemned the decision and said it would "only ramp up tensions and cause other nations, including North Korea, to question whether they should make agreements with the United States that may not be kept." 

Meanwhile Trump announced that secretary of state Mike Pompeo is on his way to North Korea to prepare for a nuclear summit. 

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