Today, the international community led by the United States has agreed to not only legitimize and perpetuate the Iranian nuclear program, but also to further arm and enrich the brutal theocratic regime that has oppressed the Iranian people for more than thirty years – a regime that is wrongfully holding United States citizens captive, that is sponsoring radical Islamic terrorism across the globe, and that regularly promotes the destruction of both Israel and America throughout its streets.
Despite these facts, it seems President Obama would concede almost anything to get any deal – even a terrible deal – from the Islamic Republic of Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei. Under the terms of this deal, Iran will retain all of its centrifuges, one-third of which will continue to spin. Rather than the most intrusive inspections regime in history that we were promised, IAEA inspectors must petition the mullahs to visit sensitive sites, and wait for two weeks for their permission. In a final, shocking concession, the United States will support lifting of the United Nations arms embargos that restrict the Iranian ballistic missile program and arms trafficking. And in return, billions of dollars of economic relief will flow to Tehran.
Yet, in his remarks this morning, the President glossed over the truth about Iran’s world-leading state-sponsorship of terrorism that is violently destabilizing the region, and would grow more deadly should the Iranians get a nuclear bomb. He failed to mention American citizens, Saeed Abedini, Amir Hekmati and Jason Rezaian, who continue to languish in Iranian prisons or Robert Levinson, who is still unaccounted for. For them, today is no ‘opportunity to move in a new direction’ as the President claimed. We owe it to our fellow Americans to elevate, not ignore, their plight, to demand their swift and unconditional release by the implacably hostile regime that holds them.
Even by the low standards of the Joint Plan of Action, this is a staggeringly bad deal. It is a fundamental betrayal of the security of the United States and of our closest allies, first and foremost Israel.
But thankfully, it is not a done deal. We still have an opportunity to tell the truth about what Prime Minister Netanyahu called today a ‘bad mistake of historic proportion.
Congress will have 60 days to review it, and the American people will have 60 days to tell their elected representatives just what they think of it. I urge all my fellow citizens to speak out and let their elected leaders know that even if President Obama won’t see it, we know the leaders of the Islamic Republic who lead crowds in chants of ‘Death to America’ and ‘Death to Israel’ are not our partners in peace, and must not be put on the path to a nuclear bomb.
Here’s what some other Republican presidential candidates had to say about the deal.
The Iran deal announced today with fanfare and another heaping dose of false hope is almost certain to prove an historic mistake with potentially deadly consequences.
A careful review of the 100-plus pages is in order to fully understand the lengths to which the negotiators were willing to stoop to secure a deal at any cost with the world’s leading sponsor of terrorism and a regime dedicated in word and deed to bringing death to America.
Without anywhere anytime surprise inspections, a full accounting of Iran’s past secret nuclear arms pursuits, elimination of Iran’s uranium stockpiles and the lifting of any sanctions only upon verification of Iranian compliance, this is not a good deal, but a recipe for disaster and the first fateful step toward a frenzied nuclear arms race in the Middle East.
President Obama’s nuclear agreement with Iran will be remembered as one of America’s worst diplomatic failures. The deal allows Tehran to dismantle U.S. and international sanctions without dismantling its illicit nuclear infrastructure – giving Iran’s nuclear weapons capability an American stamp of approval. In crafting this agreement, President Obama has abandoned the bipartisan principles that have guided our nonproliferation policy and kept the world safe from nuclear danger for decades. Instead of making the world safer, this deal will likely lead to a nuclear arms race in the world’s most dangerous region. What’s worse, the deal rewards the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism with a massive financial windfall, which Iran will use to further threaten our interests and key allies, especially Israel.
I call on all congressional leaders and presidential candidates, including Secretary Clinton, to repudiate this agreement. Iran’s Supreme Leader should know that a future American president will not be bound by this diplomatic retreat. Undoing the damage caused by this deal won’t be easy. But when the United States leads, and has a president who isn’t eager to embrace Iran, the world will follow. In order to ensure the safety of America and our allies, the next president must restore bipartisan and international opposition to Iran’s nuclear program while standing with our allies to roll back Iran’s destructive influence across the Middle East.
Based on what we know thus far, I believe that this deal undermines our national security. President Obama has consistently negotiated from a position of weakness, giving concession after concession to a regime that has American blood on its hands, holds Americans hostage, and has consistently violated every agreement it ever signed.
I expect that a significant majority in Congress will share my skepticism of this agreement and vote it down. Failure by the President to obtain congressional support will tell the Iranians and the world that this is Barack Obama’s deal, not an agreement with lasting support from the United States. It will then be left to the next President to return us to a position of American strength and re-impose sanctions on this despicable regime until it is truly willing to abandon its nuclear ambitions and is no longer a threat to international security.
Shame on the Obama administration for agreeing to a deal that empowers an evil Iranian regime to carry out its threat to ‘wipe Israel off the map’ and bring ‘death to America.’
John Kerry should have long ago gotten up on his crutches, walked out of the sham talks, and went straight to Jerusalem to stand next to Benjamin Netanyahu and declared that America will stand with Israel and the other sane governments of the Middle East instead of with the terrorist government of Iran.
By any reasonable assessment, the United States is losing its 36-year war with the Islamic Republic of Iran.
The surrender to Iran on sanctions and nuclear weapons will be one more stage in the American defeat by a determined, dishonest and surprisingly effective theocratic dictatorship in Tehran.
Historians will look back on the Iranian campaign against the United States and conclude that there have been few examples of a weaker power so decisively outmaneuvering, bluffing, deceiving and weakening its vastly more powerful opponent.
Sun Tzu would be proud of the strategic skills exhibited by the Iranians and their ability to lie and feign reasonableness while calmly and steadily implementing a strategy of relentless aggression.
Now, through these strategies, the Iranians are on the verge of a triple victory over the United States: an agreement that will legitimize Iran as the dominant regional power, substantially expand the amount of money it has to support terrorism and other military efforts, and smooth the path to its becoming a nuclear power.
This will be the greatest victory yet for the Iranian dictatorship in its war against America.
That war began 36 years ago, in 1979, virtually the moment Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini returned from Paris to create a religious dictatorship. Mark Bowden captures the reality of this war in his book “Guests of the Ayatollah: The First Battle in America’s War with Militant Islam.”
Beginning in November 1979, the Iranians occupied the American embassy and held 52 Americans hostage for 444 days. The regime could take two clear lessons from this illegal attack.
First, the seizure allowed the Iranians to assert their moral superiority, characterizing the crime as a “conquest of the American spy den.” It was a great political and emotional victory for the radical regime and strengthened its control of Iran.
Second, the dictatorship could treat President Carter with absolute contempt. It was unmoved by offers of financial aid and by military threats. The failure of an American military rescue effort in April 1980 just deepened Iranian hostility.
The day after the embassy was seized, Khomeini called the United States the “Great Satan.” This was not a casual remark. It expressed the depth of sincere revulsion the Iranian leadership felt – and continues to feel – for America.
As recently as last week, demonstrators burned American flags in Tehran (something that could only have occurred with the dictatorship’s approval).
Whatever good personal relations Secretary of State John Kerry thinks he is developing with the Iranian foreign minister in Geneva, there is unrelenting anti-American hostility from Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. As recently as June 4, he tweeted that “The term ‘Great Satan’ for US was coined by @IRKhomeini; when you consider… an entity as Satan then it’s clear how you should behave.”
Here is the supreme leader of the Iranian dictatorship reminding his followers that any deal in Geneva is a deal with “the Great Satan.”
The fact that this is an English language statement available for anyone (even the White House and the State Department) to read is a sign of the continuing contempt the Iranian dictatorship has for the United States.
The last 36 years of experience validates the Iranian approach.
For more than three decades the regime has funded, supplied and trained terrorists all over the world, and we have done next to nothing.
Iran has waged a proxy war against Americans using Hezbollah – including blowing up the U.S. Embassy in Beirut, killing 63, and later bombing a Marine barracks there, killing 220 Marines, 21 other U.S. personnel, and 58 French troops – and nothing happened. They captured the CIA station chief, tortured him for months, released a video of him after the torture and killed him. Nothing happened.
Iran has consistently supplied both Hezbollah and Hamas in their fight against Israel.
Iran has sheltered al Qaeda members from Americans who were hunting them.
Iran has provided bombs and other weapons used to kill Americans in both Iraq and Afghanistan.
Iran has supported Bashar Assad in Syria and now supports the Houthis in Yemen.
For all of this, there has been no significant cost to the regime. Indeed, America’s influence had declined and Iran’s power has increased.
During a long stretch of economic sanctions imposed by the West, three things have become clear:
• The dictatorship values terrorism and military action more than economic growth, and the sanctions have had little or no impact on Iranian power projection.
• The dictatorship shields its military, police and political elites from the sanctions, and they are feeling little pain.
• The dictatorship has continued building centrifuges and is more nuclear-capable today than when the sanctions began. (The great irony of the talk-talk strategy is that the regime has gone from possessing a handful of centrifuges to thousands of them while its opponents pretend its progress is frozen.)
An American surrender to Iran in the nuclear talks will have four immediate and devastating consequences.
First, as much as $150 billion in money impounded by the sanctions will be released. The regime’s history teaches us that a substantial portion of this will go to fund terrorism and military action around the world. By focusing on the nuclear program and ignoring the program of terrorism and aggression, the Obama administration is on the verge of vastly increasing the resources Iran has to use against the United States and its allies.
Second, once the sanctions are gone, the Iranians will sign very profitable contracts with German, Russian and Chinese firms. The pressure against reinstating the sanctions will be overwhelming (and two of the three countries have vetoes in the U.N. Security Council).
Third, the Iranian nuclear program will be “approved” by the international community and will accelerate. If North Korea is any example, once these negotiations conclude, the Iranians will go full-speed ahead. Inspectors will be delayed, obstructed, lied to and will pathetically whine about Iranian noncompliance. It is clear this agreement guarantees an eventual Iranian bomb. And “eventual” may be a lot sooner than we think.
Fourth, signing an agreement as a co-equal with the United States, Russia, China and the Europeans will drastically increase the prestige of the Iranian dictatorship. That enhanced prestige will be translated into an already-aggressive regime bullying its neighbors even more.
Mr. Obama will argue that the choice is a bad agreement or war.
He misunderstands the current reality.
We are already at war with Iran.
They are winning.
This deal hands them a victory while continuing our fantasy.