BATON ROUGE - Reacting to the President’s speech on the Iran Deal today Governor Jindal said:
"Today, President Obama asked members of Congress to vote for a bill which he admits will fund Iran's efforts to kill our troops, destroy Israel and destabilize the Middle East.
“It would be a relief to hear this President say what he really means for once, if the implications weren’t so frightening.
“He has finally admitted what the rest of us already knew: that the deal he has struck with Iran will give the world’s leading state sponsor of terror over $50 billion to fund its ongoing proxy wars against the United States and our allies.
“This isn’t acceptable to Israel, nor should it be acceptable to us. Members of Congress should know that if they vote for this bill, they risk being called to account for over $50 billion worth of consequences.
"Before we sign any treaty, we must demand that Iran release our hostages and lay down their arms against the U.S. and our allies."
Obama administration officials have previously admitted that money from sanctions relief may go to sponsor terrorism:
The President’s full remarks can be found here:
Relevant lines from the president’s speech are below:
OBAMA: Third, a number of critics say the deal isn't worth it, because Iran will get billions of dollars in sanctions relief.
But the notion that this will be a game-changer with all this money funneled into Iran's pernicious activities misses the reality of Iran's current situation.
Partly because of our sanctions, the Iranian government has over half a trillion dollars in urgent requirements, from funding pensions and salaries to paying for crumbling infrastructure.
Iran's leaders have raised expectations of their people, that sanctions relief will improve their lives. Even a repressive regime like Iran's cannot completely ignore those expectations, and that's why our best analysts expect the bulk of this revenue to go into spending that improves the economy and benefits the lives of the Iranian people.
Now, this is not to say that sanctions relief will provide no benefit to Iran's military. Let's stipulate that some of that money will flow to activities that we object to.
We have no illusions about the Iranian government or the significance of the Revolutionary Guard and the Quds Force. Iran supports terrorist organizations like Hezbollah. It supports proxy groups that threaten our interests and the interests of our allies, including proxy groups who killed our troops in Iraq.
They tried to destabilize our Gulf partners. But Iran has been engaged in these activities for decades. They engaged in them before sanctions and while sanctions were in place. In fact, Iran even engaged in these sanctions in the middle of the Iran-Iraq war, a war that cost them nearly a million lives and hundreds of billions of dollars. The truth is that Iran has always found a way to fund these efforts, and whatever benefit Iran may claim from sanctions relief pales in comparison to the danger it could pose with a nuclear weapon.