Abbott Implores Governors to Reject WH Request to Lift Iran Sanctions

Texas Governor Greg Abbott took another step in his fight against the Obama administration over the Iran nuclear deal, urging the other 49 governors to follow his lead and reject the administration’s request to lift state sanctions on Iran.

“I understand the Obama administration’s April 8 letter as an attempt to fulfill another misguided promise in the Iran Deal — to convince states to lift their own sanctions,” Abbott wrote in his letter on Tuesday. “Congress already made clear that state and local sanctions play a vital role in controlling Iran when it passed the Comprehensive Iran Sanctions, Accountability, and Divestment Act of 2010. Now more than ever, Texas agrees. I write today to urge you to join me and demonstrate support for our allies in Israel by establishing, maintaining or strengthening your state’s sanctions against Iran.”

Two weeks ago, the Texas Governor informed the Obama administration that the state of Texas would reject the administration’s request, sent to all states on April 8, 2016, to “review” its economic sanctions against Iran in order to abide by the terms of the international accord. “Because the Iran deal is fundamentally flawed and does not permanently dismantle Iran’s nuclear capability, Texas will maintain its sanctions against Iran,” Abbott wrote in a letter directed at President Barack Obama. “Further, because your administration has recklessly and unilaterally removed critical sanctions, I have called on the Texas Legislature to strengthen the Iran sanctions that Texas already has in place.”

Abbott made the announcement during a media roundtable with Jewish reporters in New York. At the roundtable, Abbott told Jewish Insider that he would issue a letter as well as have his chief of staff reach out to other governors to join him in defying the administration on sanctions relief.

The Texas Governor also signed a letter on Tuesday “rejecting efforts to demonize and delegitimize Israel through the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement.” The letter is part of an initiative, Governors Against BDS, circulated by the American Jewish Committee (AJC Global).

Abbott met with Israeli Ambassador Ron Dermer on Tuesday, according to Dallas News.


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