A nonprofit group is blasting Sen. Michael Bennet (Colo.) for voicing "phony concern" about the Iran missile test, accusing the Democratic incumbent of seeking political cover for his support of the Iran nuclear agreement.
Bennet, along with 10 other Democrats, signed onto a letter to Secretary of State John Kerry on Wednesday to "express profound concern" about Iran's ballistic missile test earlier this month. All but two of the senators voted to support the Iran deal.
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"We are concerned about the military significance of this test, which is part of a long-term Iranian program that seeks to improve the range and capabilities of its ballistic missiles," the Democrats said. "We are also convinced that the launch is an attempt to test the world's will to respond to Iranian violations of its international commitments."
Advancing Colorado, a free market oriented nonprofit, said the letter is meaningless after Bennet and his fellow Democrats supported the deal.
"Bennet’s delayed concern is phony and disingenuous at best because he ignored all the signs and the writings on the wall on this issue," said Jonathan Lockwood, Advancing Colorado’s executive director. "Coloradans are furious with outrage he supported our lawless president’s nuclear deal with a terroristic, theocratic thug."
"Calculated letters won’t protect Americans from the Ayatollah and terrorists, so it is worthless," he said.
Iran test fired a domestically produced long-range ballistic missile on Oct. 11. U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power has said the missile test violated U.N. Security Council resolutions, though the Obama administration contends it did not violate the nuclear accord.
Nuclear experts and members of Congress criticized the administration for failing to condemn Iran or threaten repercussions for the test, which they believe violated the nuclear agreement.
"The ink isn’t even dry on President Obama’s nuclear agreement and Iran is already breaking rules," Sen. David Perdue (R., Ga.) said last week. "This should not come as a surprise to anyone since Iran has cheated on every deal."
Along with Bennet, Sens. Ben Cardin (Md.), Charles Schumer (N.Y.), Richard Blumenthal (Conn.), Chris Coons (Del.), Jeanne Shaheen (N.H.), Mark Warner (Va.), Ed Markey (Mass.), Ron Wyden (Ore.), Chris Murphy (Conn.), and Cory Booker (N.J.) signed the letter sent to Secretary Kerry on Wednesday.
All but Cardin and Schumer supported the deal.
Lockwood said the senators are "playing politics with real American lives and safety."
"Instead of writing letters and sponsoring show-bills Bennet should have stood up for his constituents and fought against equipping Iran with nuclear weapons," he said.