Local politicians respond to Trump's Iran decision: 'A mistake of enormous proportions'

President Donald Trump delivers a statement on the Iran nuclear deal from the Diplomatic Reception Room of the White House, Tuesday, May 8, 2018, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

President Trump announced Tuesday that the U.S. would be leaving the Iran nuclear deal.

Trump signed a presidential memorandum that withdraws the U.S. from the 2015 Iranian nuclear accord. He also stated he's planning to reinstate sanctions on the Iranian regime.

Former President Barack Obama is calling Trump's decision to pull out of the Iran deal a "serious mistake" that will erode America's global credibility.

The sentiment was echoed by several local politicians, who sent out the following statements in response to Trump's actions:

Ore. Senator Jeff Merkley:

“This is a mistake of enormous proportions for America’s safety and security.

“A nuclear-armed Iran would be a catastrophe. And the best way to prevent Iran from getting a nuclear weapon is to not blow up the deal that is verifiably preventing Iran from getting a nuclear weapon.

“We can and should work with international partners to take on Iran’s other malign actions, including its ballistic missile program and destabilizing support for terrorism and proxies in the Middle East. But it’s entirely possible to do so without jeopardizing the progress we’ve already made in containing Iran’s nuclear program. Instead, President Trump’s action today puts the U.S., Israel, and the entire world at risk by reopening the path to a nuclear Iran.

“President Trump’s own State Department, along with leaders like Secretary of Defense Mattis and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Dunford, have certified that Iran has continued to fulfill its nuclear-related commitments and that staying in the deal is in the United States’ national interest. Additionally, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has continually certified that Iran has executed all of its obligations under the deal while undergoing the most stringent inspection regime in history.

“Critical U.S. allies – particularly the European Union, United Kingdom, France, and Germany – have continued to stress that the implementation of the JCPOA is vital to global security. Not only does President Trump’s violation of the deal isolate the United States, rather than Iran, from these partners and the international community, it delivers a blow to global non-proliferation efforts.

“Everyone agrees that Iran is a bad actor and we need to push back aggressively on their bad acts. Is it easier to push back on a bad actor with a nuclear weapon or without one?”

Wash. Senator Patty Murray:

“I oppose this latest reckless move by President Trump and strongly encourage him to reconsider. President Trump taking these steps to pull the United States out of this deal right now, without presenting any good evidence or rationale that Iran has violated it, moves us further from our goal of preventing Iran from developing a nuclear weapon, it erodes our nation’s ability to make new diplomatic agreements as we head into critical talks with North Korea, and it increases regional tension and moves us closer to armed conflict that should be avoided if at all possible.

“When I decided to support the deal in 2015, I laid out four clear principles that guided me. I said that first and foremost, Iran cannot be allowed to develop a nuclear weapon. Second, Iran cannot be trusted, and no deal should hinge on them holding up their end of the bargain based on their word or good faith alone. Third, a strong diplomatic solution is the best option. And fourth, the United States needs to keep all options on the table, including military options, if Iran decides to move toward a nuclear weapon or threatens us or our allies in any other way.

“I view our continued participation in the deal through the prism of these same four principles, and 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. Holding this brutal regime accountable becomes much more difficult if Iran is racing toward the bomb instead of being constrained by the terms of the deal.

“If Iran has violated the terms of the deal, then President Trump should present the evidence. As I said in 2015 in support of this deal, I will be ready to join others in moving quickly on other options if Iran doesn’t hold up its end of the bargain. But I just haven’t seen any compelling evidence that this is the case, and in the absence of that, I strongly oppose President Trump beginning the process of pulling our nation out of this agreement.“

Ore. Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici:

“I’m deeply concerned about President Trump’s unilateral decision to back out of the Iran deal. The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action was negotiated through cooperation, and it hinges on verification that Iran is not pursuing nuclear weapons. Every official inspection and report thus far indicates Iran’s compliance. Dismantling the deal – particularly without any alternative in place – puts our country and our allies at risk and diminishes our nation’s credibility around the world. The US alone cannot prevent Iran, and other nations, from developing nuclear weapons. We must work in concert and coordination with our global partners. Today’s action is an disappointing step in the wrong direction. ”

Ore. Senator Ron Wyden:

“Donald Trump’s reckless decision to withdraw the United States from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action comes after Trump’s own advisors say Iran has complied with the agreement, and despite a bipartisan call from Congress, and American allies, to preserve and strengthen the agreement,” Wyden said. “Iran is further away from a nuclear weapon because of this agreement and withdrawing now will only isolate the United States and leave us fewer options to prevent Iran from getting a nuclear weapon. Because of Trump’s decision, the United States and our allies are at greater risk today than they were yesterday.”

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