On September 8, 15 Republican governors sent a letter to President Obama voicing their opposition to the nuclear deal between Iran and the world’s six major powers. They also declared their intention to “ensure that the various state-level sanctions that are now in effect remain in effect.” House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) released a statement in support of the signatories, who included four presidential candidates. The following is the full text of the governors’ letter and Boehner’s statement.
Dear Mr. President:
We write today to express our opposition to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, generally referred to as the Iran nuclear agreement, which your Administration recently negotiated with Iran, the P5+1 and European Union.
If implemented, this agreement would lead to the lifting of United States nuclear-related sanctions on Iran without any guarantee that Iran’s drive toward obtaining a nuclear weapon will be halted or even slowed. Iran is a state sponsor of terrorism, and it should not be permitted any pathway toward obtaining a nuclear weapon, now or ever.
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. Adam Szubin, acting Under Secretary of the Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Crimes recently told the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affair that he expects “to continue to see Iran funding Hezbollah and its other violent terrorist proxies.”
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.
Many of our states have 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.
Paragraph 25 of the Iran nuclear agreement provides that the federal government will “actively encourage” states to lift state-level sanctions such as the divestment and contracting restriction laws. While Secretary Kerry confirmed in testimony before the House Foreign Affairs Committee that the agreement will not preempt state law because it is not a treaty, we are concerned about what steps your Administration may take to attempt to implement paragraph 25.
Therefore, we wish to make it clear to you in advance of any efforts to implement paragraph 25 that we intend to ensure that the various state-level sanctions that are now in effect remain in effect. These state-level sanctions are critically important and must be maintained.
Governor Douglas A. Ducey
Governor Asa Hutchinson
Governor Rick Scott
Governor Michael R. Pence
Governor Bobby Jindal
Governor Phil Bryant
Governor Chris Christie
Governor Jack Dalrymple
Governor John R. Kasich
Governor Mary Fallin
Governor Nikki Haley
Governor Dennis Daugaard
Governor Greg Abbott
Governor Gary R. Herbert
Governor Scott Walker
Statement from House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH)
“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. Under the president’s deal, we know that Iran will retain a path to a nuclear bomb. We know that missile and weapons embargoes against Iran will be lifted. And even President Obama admits the Iranian regime will likely use its windfall of new money to support activities and terror networks that are ‘a threat to us and a threat to our allies.’
“In the House of Representatives, a bipartisan majority is working to stop a bad deal with Iran. I urge all governors to closely review the facts of the agreement, and join us in standing strong against the world’s largest state-sponsor of terror.”