Idaho’s Risch says Secretary Kerry moving toward ‘collosal blunder’ on Iran

As Secretary of State John Kerry arrived in Geneva on Friday to discuss a possible deal with Iran over nuclear development, Idaho Sen. Jim Risch reacted with swift and blunt criticism.

The freshman Republican lawmaker is a member of the Senate’s Foreign Relations and Intelligence committees. Risch issued his statement at 8:30 a.m. Mountain Time, as media reports suggested Kerry’s presence in Switzerland means an interim deal may be near.

Risch, a reliable friend of an Israeli government that deeply distrusts Iran, said, “The idea of a temporary deal is a broken record we have listened to before.”

His full statement follows:

Risch Statement on deal with iran

The Obama Administration is making a colossal blunder

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Jim Risch issued the following statement amid reports of an emerging nuclear deal between the Obama administration and Iran.

“I am deeply troubled that Secretary Kerry would rush to Geneva to enter into a deal with the Iranians, which by all accounts is temporary, incomplete, and a bad deal,” said Risch. “The idea of a temporary deal is a broken record we have listened to before.

“Ten years ago, Rouhani, who is now president, used negotiations to buy time for Iran to develop its nuclear weapons program. Since then, the United States and its allies have imposed crippling sanctions on Iran that Iran desperately wants lifted.

“In the absence of a permanent deal, where they fully disclose and verifiably cease weapons related activities, any “deal” will fall disastrously short, give Iran what it desires, guarantee the West will have to live with a nuclear Iran, and abandon our closest ally – Israel. The Obama administration is about to make another colossal blunder in the Middle East.”


Dan Popkey came to Idaho in 1984 to work as a police reporter. Since 1987, he has covered politics and has reported on 25 sessions of the Legislature. Dan has a bachelor's in political science from Santa Clara University and a master's in journalism from Columbia University. He was a Congressional Fellow of the American Political Science Association and a Journalism Fellow at the University of Michigan. A former page in the U.S. House of Representatives, he graduated Capitol Page High School in 1976. In 2007, he led the Statesman’s coverage of the Sen. Larry Craig sex scandal, which was one of three Pulitzer Prize finalists in breaking news. In 2003, he won the Ted M. Natt First Amendment award from the Pacific Northwest Newspaper Association for coverage of University Place, the University of Idaho’s troubled real estate development in Boise. Dan helped start the community reading project "Big Read." He has two children in college and lives on the Boise Bench with an old gray cat.

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