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GOP Slams Pro-Iran Deal Hassan for Embracing Obama’s ‘Radical Policies’

Dem Senate hopeful ‘has a fundamental misunderstanding of foreign affairs’

Democratic Gov. Maggie Hassan
Democratic Gov. Maggie Hassan / AP
• October 6, 2015 11:30 am

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New Hampshire Republicans are calling Democratic Senate hopeful Gov. Maggie Hassan "reckless" for endorsing President Obama’s nuclear deal with Iran.

State GOP leader Jennifer Horn said this shows that Hassan is following the Democratic Party’s line rather than protecting America and its regional allies.

"Governor Hassan’s support for President Obama’s dangerous deal with Iran shows that she has a fundamental misunderstanding of foreign affairs and is clearly the wrong choice to represent our state in the United States Senate," Horn said in a Monday evening release.

Hassan announced her candidacy via a YouTube video on Monday and soon after granted a television interview with Manchester-based WMUR. She was asked whether or not she supported the agreement reached between Secretary of State John Kerry and Iranian negotiators.

"I’ve concluded that this imperfect agreement is the best possible option to prevent Iran from having a nuclear weapon," she said.

Hassan was accused of dodging controversial foreign policy issues as she weighed a run to challenge first-term U.S. Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R., N.H.). Horn said the governor’s quick endorsement of the deal demonstrated the priorities she would follow if elected.

"On her first official day as a Senate candidate, Maggie Hassan is already demonstrating that she is willing to march in lock step with President Obama’s reckless agenda instead of standing up for commonsense values," she said.

While President Obama and the White House have managed to corral support from Democratic lawmakers to avoid a filibuster, the majority of senators and the public oppose it, including some members of the president’s own party. Sens. Chuck Schumer (D., N.Y.), Joe Manchin (D., W.Va.), Ben Cardin (D., Md.), and Robert Menendez (D., N.J.) have all come out against the deal.

Hassan’s opponent, Ayotte, is one of the fiercest opponents of the agreement. The first-term GOP senator, who sits on the Homeland Security Committee, condemned the deal when it was announced in July, saying it could spur "more nuclear proliferation throughout the Middle East."

"The deal falls dangerously short of protecting our national security interests in several critical areas and ultimately fails to dismantle Iran’s nuclear program," Ayotte said in a July statement. "The agreement appears to be an historic capitulation on Iran’s nuclear program and support for terrorism in that it fails to fully guarantee unfettered ‘anytime, anywhere’ inspections at any suspect site—including military bases—necessary to confirm Iran’s compliance; lifts the U.N. arms embargo and missile sanctions based on arbitrary dates; and legitimizes Iran’s enrichment program—potentially spurring more nuclear proliferation throughout the Middle East."

The final version of the agreement grants Iran $100 billion in unfrozen assets and removes the ballistic missile embargo and other weapons embargoes within several years. It gives Iran the right to self-inspect its own nuclear facilities rather than allow independent or third party inspections. Companies and officials previously implicated in terrorism will be taken off sanctions lists.

Hassan told WMUR that she would work to take steps outside of opposing the deal to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons. She said she would support expanded intelligence operations in the region to ensure that Iran did not violate the terms of the agreement.

"As long as I have anything to do with it, Iran will never have a nuclear weapon," she said.

Horn said that such rhetoric would do nothing to challenge the White House’s "radical policies" that give Iran leeway to pursue its nuclear ambitions.

"New Hampshire deserves serious and independent leaders instead of partisan, out-of-touch politicians like Maggie Hassan who will serve as a rubberstamp for President Obama’s radical policies," she said.