Amid escalating tensions with Iran, Rep. Dan Crenshaw criticized 2016 presidential candidate Hillary Clinton for suggesting President Donald Trump’s administration was to blame for the Middle Eastern nation’s announcement that it was flouting enrichment levels previously prohibited under the Iran nuclear deal.
A spokesman for Iran told The Associated Press on Monday that the country was enriching uranium “at around 4.5%,” a figure still far below weapons-grade levels of 90%.
In a series of tweets, Clinton slammed Trump’s decision to back out of the deal signed under President Barack Obama.
“When the Trump administration threatened to pull out of the Iran deal and impose more sanctions last year, it was clear that we’d lose our leverage and Iran would be free to do what it wanted. Predictably, Iran is now exceeding enrichment limits the deal once imposed,” she tweeted.
“By withdrawing from the deal, the administration has effectively broken up the international coalition that was unified in constraining Iran, and now Iran is once again increasing its nuclear capability,” she added in a followup tweet.
Clinton also accused Trump of choosing “a dangerous path leading to a riskier future.”
“But diplomacy is still the only way for the administration to climb out of the hole they’ve dug,” she tweeted.
The Iran Deal gave up our leverage and placed us in a weaker position down the road when the deal expired in 10-15 yrs.
Reversing that mistake is a crucial step to regaining our leverage, and we do so by showing strength and resolve, not rewarding bad behavior. https://t.co/MWV6optHLV
— Dan Crenshaw (@DanCrenshawTX) July 10, 2019
Crenshaw, a former Navy SEAL who served in Afghanistan, bluntly disagreed with the former secretary of state’s take.
“Wrong. The Iran Deal gave up our leverage and placed us in a weaker position down the road when the deal expired in 10-15 yrs,” the Texas lawmaker said in a tweeted response to Clinton.
“Reversing that mistake is a crucial step to regaining our leverage, and we do so by showing strength and resolve, not rewarding bad behavior,” he added..
Dan Crenshaw and the Iran deal
The Iran deal has proved controversial since before it was enacted in 2015. The accord led Iran to agree to limit its nuclear program and permit international inspectors into the country to verify compliance. In exchange, economic sanctions that had crippled the Middle Eastern nation would be lifted.
But skeptics argued that even if the agreement succeeded in getting the secretive Iranian government to cease all its nuclear activities, concerns remained that economic relief would just allow Iran to more comprehensively fund terrorism-related efforts.
Trump has been a particularly vocal critic of the deal, which he has called, the “worst, horrible, laughable.” On Wednesday, the president threatened to “substantially” increase sanctions on Iran, accusing the nation of secretly enriching uranium.
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