Republican US presidential candidate Mike Huckabee has criticised the Iran nuclear deal as marching the Israelis “to the door of the oven”, a reference to the Holocaust.
The former Arkansas governor denounced President Barack Obama for his role in the agreement reached by the United States and other world powers.
Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz said Mr Huckabee’s statement was “grossly irresponsible” and called on him to apologise.
But a Huckabee spokeswoman said his comments reflect a long-standing position that “the Iran deal is a bad deal, bad for America and bad for Israel”.
Mr Huckabee called on Congress to reject the nuclear deal.
“This president’s foreign policy is the most feckless in American history,” he said in an interview with Breitbart News.
“He’s so naive he would trust the Iranians and he would take the Israelis and basically march them to the door of the oven.”
The candidate said: “This Iran deal should be rejected by both Democrats and Republicans.
“We forget Iranians have never kept a deal in 36 years under the ayatollah. There’s no reason to think they will suddenly start doing it.”
His comments come as the Republican presidential candidates struggle to break through with 16 already in the crowded field, and one of those, New York businessman Donald Trump, getting more attention than most.