Republican Governors Oppose Iran Nuclear Agreement

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Sixteen Republican governors sent a letter to President Obama today to voice their opposition to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, otherwise known as the Iran Nuclear Agreement, and declare their intentions to keep in place current state-level sanctions against Iran.

Governors Doug Ducey of Arizona, Asa Hutchinson of Arkansas, Rick Scott of Florida, Mike Pence of Indiana, Sam Brownback of Kansas, Bobby Jindal of Louisiana, Phil Bryant of Mississippi, Chris Christie of New Jersey, Jack Dalrymple of North Dakota, John Kasich of Ohio, Mary Fallin of Oklahoma, Nikki Haley of South Carolina, Dennis Daugaard of South Dakota, Greg Abbott of Texas, Gary Herbert of Utah, and Scott Walker of Wisconsin all signed on to the letter to outline their concerns about the entire agreement, specifically paragraph 25, which provides that the federal government will “actively encourage” states to lift any state-level sanctions they have against Iran.

“The Iran nuclear agreement negotiated by the Obama administration is a bad deal and should be rejected,” said Indiana Governor Mike Pence.  “While President Obama plans to lift nuclear-related federal sanctions on Iran, as governors we intend to ensure that our state-level sanctions remain in effect, and we have made that clear to the President today.”

A copy of the letter can be found here and is excerpted below.

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.