McCain: Iran has ‘literally been getting away with murder’
Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) on Friday praised President Trump’s decision to decertify Iran’s compliance with the Obama-era international nuclear accord, saying Tehran has “literally been getting away with murder.”
McCain pointed to Iran’s support for the government of Syrian President Bashar Assad, saying Tehran “has contributed to hundreds of thousands of deaths and the displacement of millions, destabilizing nations across the Middle East.”
“For years, the Iranian regime has literally been getting away with murder,” McCain said in a statement. “Meanwhile, the United States has lacked the comprehensive strategy to meet the multifaceted threat Iran poses. The goals President Trump presented in his speech today are a welcomed long overdue change.”
McCain also said that Iran “has the blood of hundreds of American soldiers on its hands from its support of anti-American terrorist groups and militias throughout the region.”
Trump declared Friday that the Iran nuclear deal was no longer in the national security interest of the United States, but stopped short of withdrawing the U.S. from the agreement.
The president said he would not certify Iran’s compliance with the 2015 deal, which the administration is required to certify to Congress every 90 days.
Trump had twice certified Iran’s compliance with the deal. But on Friday, he declared that Iran had violated the “spirit” of the accord with its non-nuclear behavior, citing its support for Assad and militant groups in the Middle East in addition to its ballistic-missile program.
“Iran has routinely threatened the United States and its neighbors for decades. It is the largest state sponsor of terrorism in the world,” McCain said in his statement, citing the country’s support for Assad, who has waged a brutal war against Syrian people.
“I did not support the nuclear deal at the time it was proposed, and many of its specific terms will make it harder to pursue the comprehensive strategy we need. In that sense, I agree with the President that the deal is not in the vital national interests of the United States,” he said.
Trump has proposed changes to the law that holds the deal in place, calling for Congress to install new benchmarks for Iran in order for Tehran to avoid nuclear-related sanctions in the future.