Texas Governor Explains Impetus for Waging War on Nuclear Deal, Urging Counterparts Across US to Oppose Obama, Increase State Sanctions on Iran (INTERVIEW)
The governor of Texas explained on Friday the impetus behind the war he is waging against the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) — familiarly known as the Iran nuclear deal — and his simultaneous condemnation of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel.
Governor Greg Abbott told The Algemeiner that he hopes to “guarantee two things” through a letter he sent to his counterparts across the United States on Wednesday, urging them to join him in rejecting President Barack Obama’s request to lift state sanctions imposed on the Islamic Republic — and the connection between this move and his simultaneous signing of a “Governors Against BDS” statement issued by the American Jewish Committee.
“First, that taxpayer dollars from Texas do not flow to the world’s leading state sponsor of terror that has repeatedly called for the destruction of Israel while chanting ‘death to America;’ and second, that the antisemitism we have seen emanate from the Iranian regime does not find a foothold on college campuses through the BDS movement.”
Governor Abbott, who also met with Israeli Ambassador to the US Ron Dermer on Tuesday to discuss the strong ties that exist between Texas and Jerusalem, said that both the Iranian regime and the BDS movement “actively engage” in attempts to delegitimize the Jewish state.
Abbott’s letter, addressed formally to “All Governors,” came mere weeks after he responded harshly to an April missive from Obama asking that he “review” his stance on Iran sanctions following the signing of the JCPOA. As The Algemeiner reported last month, Abbott refused the president’s plea, on the grounds that Iran continues to be a the greatest state sponsor of global terrorism; is still America’s sworn enemy; and tested missiles emblazoned with a threat – in Hebrew – to annihilate Israel.
In his appeal to his fellow governors, Abbott highlighted the danger of enabling Tehran to proceed on its course, unhindered by economic restrictions.
“With its proven funding of terrorist activities in the region and across the globe, Iran is and will continue to be a global threat to the peace and security of all nations, particularly when unhindered by economic sanctions,” Abbott told The Algemeiner. “The Obama administration’s insistence on striking this misguided deal ignores geopolitical realities. For Israel and the United States, the threat of a nuclear Iran is even more imminent, as the regime and its top officials routinely call for ‘death to America’ and for Israel to be ‘wiped off the map.’ I take this threat seriously, and will do everything in my capacity as governor to ensure that the Iranian regime does not receive the resources needed to achieve its expressed goal of destroying both Israel and the United States.”
Abbott said he hopes that the other 49 governors will “impose or strengthen economic sanctions on Iran. As of right now, over half of the states have policies in place directing the divestment of public funds from companies doing business in Iran. My goal is not only to encourage the remaining states to implement similar divestment policies, but also for those states that already have policies in place to strengthen their current policies, as Texas is doing.”
Asked by The Algemeiner about his meeting with Dermer, who was accused of instigating last year’s invitation by former Speaker of the House John Boehner to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to address Congress ahead of the Israeli elections and the signing of JCPOA, Abbot said, “I’ve established a close partnership with Netanyahu, who graciously hosted me when I visited Israel earlier this year. When dealing with an issue like the nuclear deal, it is crucial that all stakeholders be given a place at the negotiating table. I applaud Speaker Boehner for inviting the Israeli prime minister to speak before Congress.”
As the American election campaign reaches a fever pitch – with establishment Republicans questioning presumptive candidate Donald Trump’s positions, and Democratic presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders’ appointment of anti-Israel activists James Zogby and Cornel West to the Democratic Platform Committee – Abbott expressed dismay that “our nation’s closest ally in the Middle East is being turned into an issue divided along partisan lines.”
“I am concerned that Senate Democrats are jeopardizing this decades-long trust between Israel and the United States by pushing a foolish and misguided deal in an attempt to secure part of Barack Obama’s disastrous foreign policy legacy,” Abbott said.