On the table is the most dangerous agreement with an avowed enemy of the United States and our most faithful allies to come before the U.S. Senate in a generation. In the White House is a President who fundamentally believes that the apocalyptic Iranian regime can be trusted to keep their word. At stake is no less than the national security of the American people today and throughout future generations.
History will remember what Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell does right now.
Will he follow the U.S. Constitution, handle the Iran nuclear deal as a foreign treaty as required, hold an up-or-down vote on the President’s accord, and then dismiss the treaty as null and void when it does not garner 67 votes?
Or will he surrender and allow this insane agreement to be implemented without a real fight?
In recent days, Andrew McCarthy of National Review, among others, has laid out the case for exactly why and how the leadership of the Senate can and should deem this agreement as a treaty and move forward with an immediate vote.
Now that President Obama has rounded up at least 41 votes to defend his deal, no other option other than handling the agreement as a foreign treaty is truly available to the Senate.
So this now comes down to who Sen. McConnell really is, and how seriously he takes the Constitution and the national security of the American people.
What’s particularly interesting to me as a dual U.S.-Israeli citizen, as I watch this debate unfold from my home in the State of Israel — on the front lines of the war with Radical Islam and Apocalyptic Islam — is how clear four leading Senate Democrats have been about why this Iran deal is so dangerous, and why they believe it must be blocked.
“Ultimately, it depends on how one thinks Iran will behave,” Sen. Chuck Schumer, the New York Democrat and next leader of the Senate Democrats, recently explained. “If one thinks Iran will moderate, one should approve the agreement. But if one feels that Iranian leaders won’t moderate and their unstated but very real goal is to get relief from the onerous sanctions, while still retaining their nuclear ambitions and their ability to increase belligerent activities in the Middle East and elsewhere, then one should conclude that it would be better not to approve this agreement.”
Schumer added: “To me, the very real risk that Iran won’t moderate and will, instead, use the agreement to pursue its nefarious goals is too great. Therefore, I’ll vote to disapprove the agreement, not because I believe war is a viable or desirable option, nor to challenge the path of diplomacy. It is because I believe Iran won’t change, and under this agreement it will be able to achieve its dual goals of eliminating sanctions while ultimately retaining its nuclear and non-nuclear power. Better to keep US sanctions in place, strengthen them, enforce secondary sanctions on other nations and pursue the hard-trodden path of diplomacy once more, difficult as it may be.”
I don’t usually say this about statements by Sen. Schumer, but on the Iran issue I couldn’t agree more. This comes down to a question of motive and behavior. I don’t for a moment believe the Iranian regime can be trusted, for reasons I have explained at length in books, articles and on this blog over the years. Thus, I believe this treaty is not just dangerous but insane.
- Set aside my arguments for the moment and the arguments of the Republicans
- Read the arguments four leading Democrat Senators are making as they oppose the deal.
- Share their views with others.
- Then contact Senate Majority Leader McConnell and insist that he handle the Iran accord as a foreign treaty and bring it to an immediate vote of the Senate as a treaty.
NOTE: I have written this column and similar ones in recent days as an individual, private citizen, not in my capacity as Chairman of The Joshua Fund. TJF is a non-profit organization and does not involve itself in political or legislative issues whatsoever.
HERE IS WHY FOUR LEADING SENATE DEMOCRATS NOW OPPOSE THE IRAN DEAL:
- Sen. Manchin (D-West Virginia) will vote against Iran deal — 58th Senator, Member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, to oppose the deal (Politico, September 8)
- Leading Jewish Senator Ben Cardin (D-Maryland) Says He Will Oppose Iran Deal — The top Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee said he would offer legislation to reimpose sanctions should Iran break its part of the deal (Haaretz/JTA, September 4)
- Bob Menendez (D-New Jersey) becomes second Senate Democrat to oppose Iran deal — former ranking Member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee breaks with the President (CNN, August 18)
- New York Sen. Schumer Joins Opposition to Iran Nuclear Deal — next Senate Minority Leader breaks with the White House (Wall Street Journal, August 7)
“The JCPOA [Joint Comprehensive Plan Of Action] legitimizes Iran’s nuclear program. After 10 to 15 years, it would leave Iran with the option to produce enough enriched fuel for a nuclear weapon in a short time.
“The JCPOA would provide this legal path to a country that remains a rogue state and has violated its international nonproliferation obligations for years. It would provide Iran with international endorsement of an industrial-scale nuclear program. Worse, Iran would be economically strengthened by frighteningly quick relief from sanctions and international economic engagement. If Iran violates the agreement, building international support for new sanctions would take too long to be effective. A military response in this scenario would be more likely, although disastrous.
“The agreement talks about normalization of economic relations with Iran and states that the parties shall “implement this JCPOA in good faith . . . based on mutual respect.” But there cannot be respect for a country that actively foments regional instability, advocates for Israel’s destruction, kills the innocent and shouts ‘Death to America.’
“I remain troubled that we agreed to a challenge period of up to 24 days for International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) inspections should Iran deny access to an undeclared, suspicious site. And I cannot support lifting the U.N. arms embargo and ballistic missile sanctions.
“This agreement leaves resolution of the possible military dimensions of Iran’s nuclear program to the IAEA. The bottom line is that we know Iran was developing a nuclear weapon, and we must understand how far it went down the weaponization path before we can move forward with the JCPOA. After numerous hearings and briefings, I am still not confident that we will fully resolve outstanding concerns on this topic.
“What happens if Congress rejects the JCPOA? No one can predict with certainty the consequences. Our European partners understand that they cannot effectively act without the United States. Iran understands that if it accelerates its nuclear program it will ignite international action against it. And Iran needs U.S. sanctions relief. Ultimately, it is in everyone’s interest to reach a diplomatic solution….
“We must stand firm in our determination to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon. We must agree to counter Iranian support for terrorism and confront Iranian violations of ballistic missile protocols and international human rights obligations. Congress and the administration cannot dwell on past disagreements; together we must find a functional, bipartisan approach to Iran. I stand ready to work with my colleagues and the administration to achieve such a result.”
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