Thousands of Americans gathered on the west lawn of the US Capitol and thousands more joined online united against the Iran nuclear deal as political leaders blasted the Obama Administration for negotiating a bad deal. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, Rep. David Brat (R-Viriginia) and other leaders took the stage decrying Barack Obama’s nuclear deal with Iran, saying it does nothing to keep American and its allies safe and finances terrorism abroad.
The rally was hosted and sponsored by the Tea Party Patriots, a Georgia-based organization that has become one of the largest tea party organizations in the country. Jenny Beth Martin, co-founder of the Tea Party Patriots, emceed the protest, saying the deal was bad for America’s safety and security, leading to a nuclear Iran much sooner than under current UN and US sanctions.
“I think that this deal actually will guarantee, it virtually guarantees that Iran will wind up with a nuclear weapon, rather than preventing it,” Martin said. She was joined by members of various foreign policy and conservative organizations, including retired military leaders and business leaders who oppose the deal.
“Barack Obama wants a deal with Iran, we don’t,” said Bill Walton, a businessman and board member of the Tea Party Patriots. He said Iran is not a nation to trust that the deal was so bad no American can actually visit Iran to make sure they are upholding their end of the deal.
“You thought TARP was bad,” he said. Walton also pointed out that the deal allows Iran to join the SWIFT system, allowing the Persian nation to wire money effortlessly. That move, Walton said, will allow more terrorism funding.
Brat used biblical references in his argument, saying “You will know them by their fruits. The chief executive of this country is making a deal with Iran, the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism, and will provide a legal pathway in about 12 to 14 years to a nuclear weapon.”
He went on to attack Democratic and Republican leaders, saying their lack of effort to ensure a Senate vote on the treaty, as opposed to a vote of disapproval, got the United States in the mess it is in today.
The largest applause and excitement came for Cruz and Trump, who spoke back-to-back against the deal and the Obama Administration. Cruz called the Iran deal the “greatest single national security threat facing America,” saying the agreement’s passage will make Obama’s White House the world’s largest financial of Islamic terrorism with $100 billion flowing directly to Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Khamenei. He also called Secretary of State’s John Kerry’s refusal to negotiate the release of four Americans held in Iranian prisons a disgrace.
“It is a disgrace for this administration to abandon Americans in Iranian hell holes,” he said. He went on to say that by allowing Iran to develop nuclear weapons Democrats are showing they prefer party loyalty to Obama than to the safety of the Americans they represent.
“There was a time when there was a tradition of Scoop Jackson Democrats, of JFK Democrats of Joe Lieberman Democrats. Of Democrats who were willing to defend national security,” Cruz said. “Sadly that is becoming rarer and rarer in today’s Congress.”
Cruz also saved time to attack Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) for failing to show leadership and force Obama to submit a treaty for consideration. He said that the two leaders should tell the White House that it is illegal to lift sanctions because the clock on consideration has not yet started. There was a moment when Cruz made allusions to his presidential run, saying that if the deal passes “Any commander in chief worthy of defending this nation should be prepared to stand up on January 20, 2017, and rip to shreds this catastrophic deal,” he said to raucous applause. “If Iran does not stop it nuclear program we will stop them.”Afterward, Trump took to the stage and immediately called the deal incompetent, saying he has been doing business deals for a long time and that “Never, ever, ever in my life have I seen any transaction so incompetently negotiated such as our deal with Iran.”He also brought up the problems with negotiating with a nation led by Khamenei, saying that Iran’s true colors came to light just moments earlier when the supreme leader said Israel will not exist in 25 years and that he will not allow any more negotiations with the United States. “They rip us off,” Trump said. “They take our money, they make us look like fools and now they are back to being who they really are.”The billionaire businessman said that the countries involved in the negotiations are getting “lots of money” from Iran, and that Iran itself is getting $100 billion, money they receive even if the deal would fall through, while the United States gets nothing. “We are led by very, very stupid people,” he said to cheers.