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Congressional Candidates Rip President Trump For Pulling Out Of Iran Nuclear Treaty

May 09, 2018 04:40PM ● By Bill Gilman

Alexandra Chandler, left, and state Sen. Barbara L'Italien.

President Trump's announcement Tuesday that the United States was withdrawing from the nuclear treaty with Iran has drawn criticism domestically and around the globe.

Two of the 13 Democratic candidates running for Congress in the 3rd District released statements slamming the president for his decision and accusing him of damaging the security and credibility of the United States.

In her statement, state Sen. Barbara L'Italien, D-Andover, said there is no reason to abandon a diplomatic course of action with Iran in favor of saber rattling.

  “This is an irresponsible decision by an irresponsible president. We don’t know what will happen now, but there’s a serious risk that Trump may be forcing us into a dangerous and avoidable crisis," said L'Italien. “I believe in diplomacy, and the Iran deal was a great of example of why it must be our first option. The negotiations worked. Their nuclear program has been abandoned. The Iranian government’s ballistic missile program and their support of terrorists and proxy wars across the region are dangerous, but the best way to handle them is by recommitting to diplomatic engagement. This is absolutely the wrong direction."

L'Italien, who has been an advocate for the nuclear freeze movement since she her days as a student at Merrimack College, also took the opportunity to endorse a bill put forth by Sen. Ed Markey that would significantly limit the power of the president to launch a "first-strike" nuclear attack.

“This choice is a scary reminder of how much power we’ve put in the hands of a president who has proven he can’t be trusted with it. Congress needs to make it clear they won’t let Trump run wild," she said. “I am a strong supporter of Senator Markey and Representative Lieu’s proposed bill to prohibit the president from launching a nuclear first strike without a declaration of war by Congress. The need for this common-sense check on Trump is more clear now than ever. I will encourage my colleagues in the state legislature to pass my resolution calling for action on this measure as soon as possible.

Chandler spent 13 years as an analyst at the Office of Naval Intelligence, where she specialized in analysis combating the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and arms smuggling. Immediately following President Trump's announcement, she released a statement accusing him of lying about the effectiveness of the nuclear treaty with Iran.

"It pains me to say that an American President just spent 15 minutes lying to the American people and the world," said Chandler. "The Iran Deal was working exactly as the United States, France, the United Kingdom, Germany, Russia, and China negotiated it to do. The International Atomic Energy Agency has verified 10 times that Iran has complied with all the major terms of the agreement. Under the agreement, Iran was kept at least a year away from breaking out to nuclear weapons capability for a decade. A decade during which we could make progress on a deal for a longer term, and confront Iran's support to terrorism, its pursuit of missile technology, its human rights abuses and threats to Israel. Instead, we are choosing to face all these problems at once. He is making all of us less safe."
Chandler also said stepping away from the treaty takes the United States out of the process of inspecting Iran's nuclear operations.

"(President Trump) has traded a tough inspection regime -- where we could verify, not trust -- for the chance to look and sound tough in front of his most extremist ideologue supporters and campaign donors," she said. "He has traded America's good word -- necessary for durable peace with North Korea or favorable trade negotiations with allies and competitors -- for the chance to manufacture drama and crisis which is the currency of his administration abroad and at home ... From the Paris Accord to the Iran Deal, this Administration is dragging our word through the mud."

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