Republican presidential hopeful Ben Carson recently asserted that "divider-in-chief" U.S. President Barack Obama's controversial nuclear deal with Iran proves he is anti-Semitic and encouraged American citizens to demand a "better deal" from Congress.
On this week's broadcast of "Fox News Sunday," the retired neurosurgeon further elaborated on earlier comments he made criticizing Obama's decision to significantly limit Tehran's nuclear ability in return for lifting international oil and financial sanctions.
"Well, all you have to do, Chris, is, like I have, go to Israel, and talk to average people, on all ends of that spectrum. And I couldn't find a single person there who didn't feel that this administration had turned their back on Israel," Dr. Carson told host Chris Wallace. "And I think the position of president of [the] United States should be one where you begin to draw people together behind a vision, not one where you castigate those who believe differently from you. I think it's a possibility for great healing, if it is used in the correct way."
When asked what specifically is anti-Semitic "in what the president is saying," Carson, who is currently a top contender for the GOP nomination, responded, "I think anything is anti-Semitic that is against the survival of a state that is surrounded by enemies, and by people who want to destroy them. And to sort of ignore that, and to act like everything is normal there, and that these people are paranoid, I think that's anti-Semitic."
In an August op-ed for the Jerusalem Post titled "White House Employing Ugly Tactics to Sell a Rotten Iran Deal," Dr. Carson warned that the deal will enable $150 billion to "flow into the coffers of a rogue regime that systematically abuses the human rights of its own citizens, foments violence in the Middle East, funds terrorist proxies who have killed hundreds of American soldiers and whose leaders decry the United States as the 'Great Satan' and lead mass rallies featuring chants of 'Death to America.'"
He also criticized the Obama administration for failing to secure the release of four American hostages, including U.S. pastor Saeed Abedini, while negotiating with Iran, writing, "And let's not forget the American hostages who continue to suffer in captivity just as they did while talks proceeded apace and concluded with handshakes and smiles."
As Congress will vote next month on whether to approve or reject the deal, Dr. Carson encouraged the American people to "continue to demand a better deal with Iran that will dismantle Tehran's nuclear program and strengthen, rather than threaten, our nation's long-term security."
Dr. Carson is not the only Republican presidential hopeful to condemn the Iran deal: in a recent interview on CNN's "State of the Union," Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee called such negotiations "insane."
"I think it is one of the most dangerous situations that we face, not just for the Middle East but for the rest of the world in a long time," the 2016 candidate said on Sunday.
"This is essentially arming and equipping a terrorist state," added Huckabee, who will travel to Israel this week to talk about the deal with leaders there, according to the New York Daily News. "The Iranian government is not to be trusted and we're being pushed to get into a deal that gives us nothing but gives the Iranians the capacity to ultimately end up with a nuclear weapon."