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May 16, 2016 5:31 pm

Texas Governor Refuses Obama’s Request to Lift State Sanctions on Iran; Says Nuclear Deal Undermines US Security, Poses Existential Threat to Israel

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Texas Governor Greg Abbott. Photo: Ruthie Blum.

Texas Governor Greg Abbott. Photo: Ruthie Blum.

The governor of Texas sent a harsh letter to US President Barack Obama on Monday, announcing that his state would not only maintain its sanctions on Iran, but strengthen them, The Algemeiner has learned.

Governor Greg Abbott explained that the letter was in response to a written appeal made by Obama on April 8, requesting that Texas “review” its economic sanctions against the Islamic Republic – as was promised to Tehran in the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, the nuclear deal between Iran and world powers reached in July.

“I strongly oppose the Iran deal because it undermines the national security of the United States and its strategic allies abroad – especially our most important Middle East ally, Israel,” Abbott wrote to Obama. “Entering into an agreement with a country that consistently calls for ‘death to America,’ and repeatedly articulates antisemitic policies is short-sighted and ignores geopolitical realities.”

Asserting that the nuclear deal poses an existential threat to the Jewish state, Abbott stressed Texas’ steadfast support for Israel – where he had just returned from a trip sponsored by casino magnate Sheldon and Dr. Miriam Adelson. He then described why he sees a parallel between Israel and his own life story.

Wheelchair-bound since the age of 26, when a tree fell on his back and paralyzed him, Abbott – author of Broken but Unbowed — said, “Israel faces enormous challenges on a daily basis, but it remains unbowed. It remains vigilant and strong. And what I learned in my life is that our lives aren’t defined by our challenges; instead, they’re defined by how we respond to the challenges we face. Probably no country in the world epitomizes that more than Israel.”

Abbott went on to present the similarities that he sees between Texas and Israel, pointing to the Jewish state’s being a “startup nation” and to his own state’s being “probably the most entrepreneurial in the US.”

He then quipped, “But when I draw parallels between Israel and Texas, don’t take my word for it; take the word of Bibi Netanyahu. The thing he seemed proudest to talk about was the trip that his son took to the state of Texas. His son came back and told his father, ‘Dad, Texans are just like us.’ And it’s stunningly true.”

To illustrate, Abbott returned to the analogy of his injury, due to which he has steel rods in his spine to keep his back in place. “The impression I got and get from Israel is that it is a nation with a spine of steel,” he said.

What he called the “cap-off event” of his Israel trip was a visit to the Old City of Jerusalem, where “you can connect culturally and religiously with the very cradle of religion.”

Abbott concluded: “Israel has no stronger ally in the United States than the state of Texas. That’s true for several reasons, in part because of our personality similarities, but also in part because of our commitment to defending religious liberty [and] state sovereignty. There is no state — I say with a smile — in the country that defends state sovereignty more than Texas. And there is no country that defends state sovereignty more than the nation of Israel. As Prime Minister Netanyahu made clear to me during our meeting… Israel is the nicest house in a rough neighborhood… I am deeply disturbed by the Iran deal that was struck by President Obama. I view it as a potential existential threat to Israel and, frankly, to nations across the globe. It makes no sense to me why the United States would be an accomplice to arming and aiding economically a nation that to this day seems to be devoted to terrorism. And every step of the way during the negotiation and post-negotiation process…Iran has repeatedly shown unwillingness to comply with any of the demands that were expected of them. And you all know probably better than I do what Iran did in March, where it launched missiles, saying in Hebrew that Israel should be wiped off the face of the earth. If that is not a message that the world should comprehend and understand the magnitude of, then the world needs to wake up.”

Governor Abbott made these statements during a round-table discussion in New York City with members of the Jewish media.

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  • Carolyn Hyde

    As a Texan who made Aliyah, immigrated to Israel, I want to bless and thank Gov. Abbott and the great State of Texas for standing up for Israel and America!
    I wish Gov. Abbott was running for president – he’d have my vote for sure!
    Blessings from the Galilee!

  • Don Donnelly

    In full agreement with the Gov. Greg Abbott, I wish the other Governors would act the same instead of playing follow the leader, and what a leader !

  • Jack

    Next year in Texas!

  • Thank you Governor for standing up for our God, Country and great state of Texas.

  • Mike Street

    Full support to the State of Israel, The State of Texas and to Governor Greg Abbott. Its hard to believe what this President has done.

  • GD Bless Texas

    GD Bless Texas

  • iche soudry

    finally someone that not only owns hardened balls, but aiso understands the problem

  • Marcia Mattheus


    You are a man of strength and conviction that sees the truth of the State of Israel and not the rhetoric. Thank you for your devotion to our country and a free world.

  • Yadja

    I listened to the Congressional hearing today on the Iran Deal. It was really something and beyond a shadow of a doubt O lied, what’s new and used Rose to make sure the media and all lied along with him.

    Congress tore into the Democrats and finally said that it is time Congress stood against the president and stopped this unconstitutional behavior.

    O is the most dangerous man we have ever had in the WH. During the hearings it was made clear O is turning away from our allies in the ME and towards Iran.

    Sooner or later he will be exposed and asked to Stand Down or shut up.

  • I am so happy about this latest stand for Israel and against terrorism.
    Please note that the governor of North Carolina has also refused to stop the sanctions against Iran when he was pressured by the present US administration.
    I ask that Americans throughout the 50 states immediately contact your governors and request that sanctions against Iran be reapplied.
    The comments of the governor of Texas were so spot on. It must be obvious to the US administration what drives Iran to be nuclear-capable. Soooo since the Iranian leaders’ purpose is clear to all of those in power in the US government, being the destruction of Israel as well as the United States, what would be the “perks” for the leaders of the US government leaders who were responsible for the “Bad Deal?”
    Look to the leaders of your state to apply “States Rights” in order to stop “the slippery slope of destruction of the United States of America” purposed by leaders of terrorist Iran and their allies.

  • governor of texas fearlessly expressed what is thinks is right and even did not botherede that he is going harsh with MR PRESIDENT

  • wyn harter

    Thank you Governor Abbott for the courage to address the danger of Iran, the alley in Israel and the failure of this President’s failure to see truth!

    ‘simply said’

    • I am a very pissed off American.I can not believe this traitor in the white house would even begin to ask the states of our nation to foot the bill for his stupidity and blusterous constant mistakes he makes while pretending to be something he most certainly is not and that is someone who thinks he can run this nation. I have not once allocated any type of financial support or in agreement with anything this blundering fool has done. He has done nothing to help the American people. The only thing he has done is to tear down the family morals and disrupt the way of lives of so many American citizens.Thank God for the Governor of Texas and all the rest of our brave leaders who defend our constitutional rights. God Bless you Greg Abbot and God Bless America!!

    • LEE GREB

      A word of advise, “Don’t mess with Texas”.

    • Bill Reeder

      The sanctions are a farce, they were put in force to force Iran into Central banking just as Libya and lebanon were force into it. Now with the BRICS Iran nor any country has to be involved with central banking. While the smoke screen in regards to making nuclear weapons, Iran has been able to buy all the nuclear weapons they want from China and Russia! To have sanctions means that US and potentially Texas companies cannot compete in the market for Iranian business as all of the EU were making haste to gain in January. The US is behind in gaining business, and now Abbot wants to place Texas companies farther to the back of the line, all for a deal he does not like that makes ZERO Difference!

  • I’m thankful for you Greg Abbott
    More people need to stand up as you do.
    My prayers are with you.
    Stay strong
    God bless you!

  • Reform School

    Texas should revoke Barry’s bail.

    • Reform School

      Did the 48 comments fall into a rabbit hole under Kansas?

  • Dan

    Great job Texas for standing for righteousness. It’s not all of America that is like the current IS president. All of us in Newyork and Florida that stands for Israel. Our hearts and prayer to the nation of Israel and may our Lord God make them prosper in everything they do. Shalom

  • Greg Abbott for President.

  • Excellent speech.

  • Dr. A. Levine

    Fantastic news. Now, if only another 40 or so Governors did the same thing, the American people and voters would be both proud and well-served, in the interests of both the United States & our values, principles and National Interests, serving all of our citizens by standing up for what is right & moral, against Iran’s tyrants, murderers and terrorists and their supporters. It would also demonstrate for all to see that President Obama is both wrong and misleading in service of Iran’s Mullahs and Ayatollahs but clearly seen by many as not acting in the best interests of the USA, of our allies and of prospects for peace and safety of our citizens and all good people!!!

  • Dr. A. Levine

    Fantastic news. Now, if only another 40 or so Governors did the same thing, the American people and voters would be both proud and well-served, in the interests of both the United States & our values, principles and National Interests, serving all of our citizens by standing up for what is right & moral, against Iran’s tyrants, murderers and terrorists and their supporters. It would also demonstrate for all to see that our President Obama is both wrong and misleading and in mercenary service of Iran’s Mullahs and Ayatollahs but clearly not acting in the best interests of the USA, of our allies and of prospects for peace and safety of our citizens and all good people!!!

  • Eli yecheskel

    I whole heartedly agree with you. Obama missed a great opportunity to strike a peace deal between Israel and Iran. What Israel needs to do is strike a deal with Iran to remap the Middle East at the expense of the sunny states that nourish and breed terrorism. Obama knows my position on this and misunderstood the good things that I said when I wrote that the west needs to get out of the Middle East because it does not understand that region of the world. He got out and made a mess. I hope that the remapping of the Middle East would include a state for Kurdistan at the expense of turkey, Iran and Syria and that israel’s border would be expended 15 miles east of where the border is now and that the refugees in the Middle East-often referred to as Palestinians, have Jordan as their new state where 70%are indeed refugees that are also called Palestinians. In the process,the remapping should include the resurrection of Transjordan that includes all the gulf states. In addition, the United Nations should be considered as a the perpetrator of instability in the Middle East because that institution institutionalize the refugee problem in the Middle East. The United States should also withhold any funding of the United Nations. It eased to represent what it was originally intended for.

  • David Sherman

    Nice to see we have some real friends who “get it”.

  • Suzanna Deutsch

    Thanks, Governor Abbot!

  • Peter

    My hat off to Governor Greg Abbott for standing up against OBAMA and his BAD DEAL!
    It is refreshing to see and hear a Governor openly stand up for what is right and fully defend it!!!

  • Yves Souvenir

    I am happy to read this.

    for sure the next President of the united states will make all the US states Israels strongest allies, and not only Texas and Belgium.


  • noanoa

    I salute Texas Governor Abbott !

    Obummer is definitely in the wrong role, he should have been a preacher/Imam at a small church/mosque in the Mid West where he could have done what he does best: Preach.


    What a guy Gov Abbott must be.

  • nat cheiman


  • Darren Elmore

    Thank you for standing with Israel !!!

    We, Texas, are blessed for blessing Israel !!!

  • Ani

    Thank you Governor Abbott and thank you Texas! Glad to know someone in the US has a brain and a conscience!

  • Mike P

    This guy has more common sense than most of the Jewish Democrats I know.

    Jewish Democrats, for the most part, drink whatever Kool-Aid their party comrades tell them to drink, trust the good faith of any Democratic politician claiming to look out for Israel–more than they trust Israelis to look out for Israel, and believe that party loyalty is more important than preventing a nuclear Holocaust that may well include Iran nuking its claimed “Great Satan”–that would be us here in America.

  • Chris Rettenmoser

    The next US president MUST shred the MOST TREACHEROUS Iran nuke deal to P I E C E S !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Iran MUST BE MADE to abandon it’s nuke & missile program COMPLETELY…BY ALL MEANS OF DIPLOMATIC & MILITARY force !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Franklin Delano Paskutnik

    Perhaps Donald Trump should pick Mr.Abbott as his vice-presidential running mate!Obama’s pandering to Iran will cost the United States – and the world – dear in the future and will be seen as his regime’s biggest foreign policy blunder when the history of his presidency is written one day.The evil Islamic Republic is now holding another contemptuous “Holocaust Cartoon Contest”,which has even been condemned by the head of the anti-Israel UNESCO.Is Iran the kind of friend the US wants? Obama seems to think so.I don’t believe Obama understands the minds of the fanatical,rabid and thoroughly sinister Muslim regime of Iran.I’m counting off the days to the end of the Obama presidency.Hopefully – with Obama gone – work can begin on repairing the severely damaged US-Israel relationship.

  • fred

    I applaud Governor Abbott’s words. It is like manna from heaven when in general it seem that some in the US accept Obama’s betrayal as good politics,Iran is beaming with glee for fooling the US & the world.

  • Henna du Plessis

    A true blue and a true friend of Israel. May Hashem bless him abundantly. Also Sheldon and Dr. Miriam Adelson.

  • ita

    Hey, Donald T. Looking for an upright VP. How about Gov. Greg Abbott.

  • Nava Turner


    Dear Governor Abbott, What a beautiful and true explanation you have given us about the “Wonderful State of Israel” which we are all very proud of. May G-d bless you and your loved ones and all the Texans with health, happiness, success and a strong fist. We are very proud of you all and standing with you as one against Obama and Iran.

  • racy we

    Thank you Gov. Abbott for the truth you tell and your heartfelt support for the only true democracy in the Middle East. Gov. Cuomo, the governor of my state, is not a patch in your pocket. He placates the socialist leftist government and does not have the backbone (yours is literally made of steel) to stand up for fear he may offend his voting base.

  • Hooray for the voice of reason! Can no one see that the Iranian leaders are lying through their teeth? Keep the pressure on; these people only respond to strength. They are Not rational people with whom we can have a dialog or understanding.
    Governor Abbott, I hope you run for president next time. You are a man of integrity and common sense, traits much lacking in our choices these days.

  • JarredS

    Every day we get new evidence on how Obama has lied about his deals with Iran…Iran has an ally in Obama…The deceit the double dealing the shameful way that he treated Bibi is absolutely reprehensible….When Obama says that he has Israel’s back…What he means is that he has Israel’s back…With a knife in it…

  • Jim Delaney

    Is it my imagination, or just wishful thinking on my part? But it does seem to me that Texas is acting more and more like an independent nation. Do I smell secession? Sure hope so. The 9th largest economy in the world, it is a beacon of sanity in the western world. As an independent Republic of Texas, Israel couldn’t have a more steadfast ally, nor Texas a better ally than Israel.

  • Isaac Semaya

    The Confederate State of Texas is alive. Not well. Foreign policy is part of the Federal Government not any state. Stupid does what stupid says

  • Sam Engler

    It is mind boggling that President Obama chooses to punish our good friend & ally, Israel while rewarding our treacherous enemy, Iran at every opportunity to do so. Is he so thickheaded or biased that he fails to understand what the governor of Texas states so eloquently?

  • Kerry Berger

    Texas Governor Gregg Abbott has stepped over his authority as a State Governor and shown great disrespect for the sitting President of the United States. This kind of insubordination should lead to his removal from office. Even Better would be to Wall off the State of Texas and let them fend for themselves outside of the United States. If they want to act like asshats, then let them pay for it themselves. We the Taxpayers are sick and tired of the behavior of this State and its lunatic politicians.

  • Benjamin Gruder

    Seems like a whole lot of grandstanding on the Texas governor’s part. States do not make their own foreign policy, just as they don’t print their own currency. Of course, the governor also enabled a hoax panic concerning federal troop exercises in his state as well.

  • Leon Sturman

    Dear Governor Abbott:

    Thank you for your kind words and support.

  • wish more people would think clearly as governor abbott of texas. our president has continued to put our country at risk. much credit and respect goes to the governor of texas!

  • Steve Firestone

    Thank you for your strongly worded opposition to the unworkable deal with Iran and your support of Israel.

  • Jeffery Saddlemire

    Bravo Governor Greg Abbott from the great state of Texas.

  • Myron Slater

    I agree with the Texas governor, it is a mistake to trust the Iranians. I am a Obama supporter except for this matter. The government should reevaluate the agreement based on the actions of the Iranian government since the signing.

  • George Haas

    Outstanding and appreciated!!!!

  • citizenstat

    I LIKE this guy!

  • judorebbe

    Abbott for President !!!

  • Yaakov

    Don’t mess with Texas/Israel.

  • Max Genghis Cohen

    The deal with Iran made by Barack Obama has only one explanation: