Rick Perry on Monday promised that President Barack Obama’s recent agreement with Iran will go down in flames if the former Texas governor becomes commander-in-chief in 2016.
The Republican, who has not yet made an official bid for the Oval Office, made the pledge to the Citadel Republican Society in the early voting state of South Carolina.
“Should I run for president, and be so fortunate to be elected, one of my first actions in office would be to invalidate the president’s Iran agreement, which jeopardizes the safety and security of the free world,” said Perry, adding the deal “enables” a nuclear Iran.
“No agreement is better than a bad agreement,” he also told cadets at the historic military college.
Several potential GOP presidential candidates, including Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, and Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida, have also criticized the deal. The negotiations between the U.S., allies and Iran resulted in a framework that will allow reductions in sanctions on Iran in exchange for the country relinquishing the means to make nuclear weapons. The countries set a June 30 deadline to hammer out the details.
Perry’s remarks come as 47 Republicans signed an open letter to Iran warning that any deal over nuclear weapons would be temporary and would last only as long as Obama is president.
The president has defended the deal, saying he’s “absolutely committed” to Israel’s security and arguing in his weekend radio address that diplomacy is the only solution to military action against Iran. “International inspectors will have unprecedented access to Iran’s nuclear program because Iran will face more inspections than any other country in the world. If Iran cheats, the world will know it,” said Obama.
During his remarks at the Citadel, Perry made another reference to his potential bid, saying the next president will “inherit the chaos of the current administration.” Perry added, “If I were president today, I would reframe the entire defense debate — from what do we have leftover to spend on defense to what must we spend to keep America safe.”