“Log Cabin Republicans has long held the position that any deal with Iran that does not include consideration of human rights abuses against women, religious minorities and gays is a bad deal,” said Gregory T. Angelo, the group’s executive director. “This is a bad deal.”
Angelo issued his statement hours after Secretary of State John Kerry and other negotiators from the U.S., U.K., France, Germany, Russia and China announced in Vienna they had reached an agreement with the Iranian government over its nuclear program.
The Associated Press reported that Iran must dismantle the majority of its nuclear program in exchange for a reduction in sanctions that have crippled the country’s economy. The news agency said Tehran agreed to allow a U.N. arms embargo to continue for up to five more years and restrictions on ballistic missiles for up to eight years.
“This deal demonstrates that American diplomacy can bring about real and meaningful change,” said President Obama on Tuesday during a statement he delivered from the White House.
Iran is among the countries in which homosexuality remains punishable by death.
The State Department in its 2014 Human Rights Report notes Iranian authorities over the last year harassed and arrested “individuals they suspected of being gay.” Advocates also reported that officials sometimes required LGBT Iranians to undergo sex-reassignment surgery in order to avoid what the report describes as “legal and social consequences due to their gender identity ambiguity.”
A senior administration official told the Washington Blade on Tuesday the White House was “careful to make clear that these negotiations” that took place over 20 months “were about Iran’s nuclear program — nothing more, nothing less.” The senior administration official said the U.S. still has “profound differences” with Tehran over its human rights record and other issues.
“We’ve made those grave concerns known on the sidelines of the talks, but these discussions have always been about ensuring Iran could not gain access to a nuclear weapon,” the official told the Blade. “And with this deal, we’ll continue to do what we can where we can to protect and promote human rights in Iran.”
Log Cabin Republicans in March ran a full-page ad in Roll Call that urged Kerry not to broker a deal with Iran over its nuclear program. The spot featured a silhouette of what appears to be a dead man hanging from a rope attached to a gallows and two legs hanging in the air.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Jimmy LaSalvia, former executive director of GOProud, are among those who also criticized the deal.
WATCH AND SHARE: Statement by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu regarding the P5+1 nuclear deal with Iran. https://t.co/HtbbDDkqdu
— PM of Israel (@IsraeliPM) July 14, 2015
“Log Cabin Republicans shares the grave concerns about this deal expressed by our allies in Congress, and will continue to stand in solidarity with our gay brethren in Iran and Israel — even if the Obama administration will not,” said Angelo.