Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei's latest complaints about the nuclear agreement struck with the West last year is another threat to pull out of the deal unless President Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry drum up business for the regime, according to a leading opponent of the pact.
"To President Obama and Secretary Kerry: please focus on American safety and security, not on preserving this deal at any cost," Rep. Mike Pompeo, R-Kan., said Tuesday. "Iran is harboring al Qaeda terrorists, taking U.S. citizens hostage and using its forces to foment destruction around the globe. Stop using U.S. taxpayer dollars to purchase goods from Iran and to license the sale of potential military tools, like aircraft. It is not your role to act as agents of the Iranian Chamber of Commerce. America's security depends on you acknowledging that this agreement has not changed Iran's behavior in any material way."
Federal officials have generally acknowledged that Iran has continued to work to destabilize the Middle East in the year since the deal was negotiated, but they have maintained that the deal has succeeded in its main goal of delaying the regime's construction of a nuclear weapon. But Republican lawmakers have watched Iran test ballistic missiles with growing alarm and have discouraged international corporations from doing business in the country, even as the Iranians complain that they're not seeing the benefits of the deal.
"The nuclear deal, as an experience, once again proved the pointlessness of negotiating with the Americans, their bad promises and the need not to trust America's promises," Khamenei said Monday.
Pompeo dismissed that speech as an attempt to rattle Kerry and Obama. "The ayatollah, and other senior Iranian leaders, continue to make clear their hostility toward the U.S. and their intention to walk away from the nuclear deal if we refuse to provide assistance beyond what is required in the agreement," he said. "Do not come to American taxpayers seeking additional welfare for your country, beyond the $150 billion that was, unfortunately, provided to you as part of the deal."