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Risch on Fox News Sunday: We Need to Project Strength with Iran and Russia

BOISE, Idaho – U.S. Senator Jim Risch (R-Idaho), ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, today joined Bret Baier on Fox News Sunday to discuss the administration’s efforts to rejoin JCPOA and U.S. efforts to support the Ukrainian people in defending themselves against Russia.

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To watch the full interview on YouTube, click here . 

On administration efforts to rejoin JCPOA:

“You know, sitting here listening to this, I feel like the administration is living an alternative universe from where we are. I mean, I heard [Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman] try to excuse the Iranians, that they didn't really intend to shoot at our embassy there in Iraq. What else were they shooting at? They fired seven missiles out of Iran into Iraq that hit near the new construction they're doing on an embassy there. I mean, this is nonsense.”

“And then it sounds like it had exactly the effect that the Iranians wanted. They fired these missiles at a U.S. installation, and now Wendy is saying we need to get [JCPOA] signed as quick as possible. That got them exactly what they wanted. This is nonsense.”

On the lack of congressional support for JCPOA:

“Look, [the administration] knows they are out of touch with Congress. It’d be nice if they would brief us, but this was an awful deal when it was made the first time around. What we are hearing, and we are getting only leakage, it’s going to be worse this time than what it was.”

“[The administration] refuses, just as the Obama Administration did, to submit it to Congress, as required by the constitution, to be submitted as a treaty. If indeed it was submitted as a treaty and we voted on it, there would be a deal. There is no deal. Even if the Biden Administration signs, they have what's called an executive agreement with Iran. It will not last past the next Republican that's elected, just as the last deal didn't last the minute that the Republicans took over.”

“Look, if you're going to get this done, everybody needs to get together on this and we need to have a deal that is livable and a good deal. This isn't even close.”

On the administration’s weakness on the war in Ukraine:

“The administration has projected weakness throughout this. It's been too little, too late from the beginning. Remember, everything that we've tried to do, they’ve said no and then eventually they say yes. That started with the sanctions, it started with giving them Stinger missiles – they said no, and then when our allies stepped up and gave Stingers, then they said okay. The same thing with the Javelin antitank weapons – they said no and then when our allies stepped up, they said yes. They’re just dragging their feet.”

“Look, when you’re dealing with these people, if you project weakness, you’re going to have a real problem. That’s going on with both Iran and with Russia right now, and it is a serious situation. We need them to project some strength.”

These remarks have been lightly edited for clarity. To download the full interview on Google Drive, click here .