Former United Nations Ambassador John BoltonJohn BoltonOvernight Defense & National Security — Milley becomes lightning rod Joint Chiefs Chairman Milley becomes lightning rod on right Ex-Trump adviser Bolton defends Milley: 'His patriotism is unquestioned' MORE said Saturday that President Obama is negotiating “an unprecedented act of surrender” with Iran in discussions over its nuclear weapons program.
“This deal is fundamentally flawed,” Bolton said at the South Carolina National Security Action Summit in West Columbia. “There really is no deal I’d trust Iran with. It is a regime determined to have nuclear weapons and this deal will give it to them.”
The Obama administration is hoping Iran will slow or stop its nuclear armaments research in exchange for removing economic sanctions. Britain, China, France, Germany and Russia are aiding U.S. efforts to bargain with Iran. The two sides will resume talks in Lausanne, Switzerland, next week.
Controversy erupted over an open letter Republicans sent Iran’s leadership Monday. It vowed Congress can void any deal it finds unsatisfying and was signed by 47 GOP senators.
President Obama said Friday he was “embarrassed” for the message’s signers. The move has drawn swift criticism from social media, with the hashtag #47Traitors a recurring trend online last week.
Bolton rebuked the president’s response as unjustified Saturday. He said the senators were not traitors, but rather lawmakers who “stood up for the Constitution.”
“The president coddles the Iranian ayatollah and attacks his own countrymen and our closest allies over this deal,” Bolton said Saturday. “The danger we hope to avoid is now imminent. This is just one example of how the president doesn’t care about America’s national security.”
Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran’s Supreme Leader, blasted the letter’s “backstabbing” on Thursday. Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), the letter’s driving force, criticized the Ayatollah’s regime Tuesday.
“They’ve been killing Americans for 35 years, they’ve killed hundreds of troops in Iran, now they control five capitols in the Middle East,” Cotton said on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.” “They are nothing but hard-liners in Iran, and if they do all of those things without a nuclear weapon, imagine what they would do with one.”
Bolton said Saturday that Obama’s eagerness for a deal would give Tehran a “free pass” for nuclear arms. He said American voters should thus make national security the central issue of 2016’s presidential elections.
“The gravest threat to our national security sits in the Oval Office,” Bolton said. “The next two years can’t pass swiftly enough. For God’s sake, let’s not make the same mistake in 2016.”