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Iran Nuclear Deal Needs To Pass Through Senate

September 8, 2015

The partisan nature of how to deal with Iran’s attempt to build a nuclear device has been most troubling to see play out over the past months.  It was unseemly to have Israel’s prime minister speak to the House under such a partisan umbrella, and it was dreadful to see the likes of Tom Cotton, while a candidate for the senate, speak in such tones one might think he actually had some inside knowledge of what the talks were producing.   Over and over again too many on the right have lost sight of the fact we need to make deals with those we have international problems with and those final deals are only as solid as the circumstances allow.

To have not fought hard for the deal that now stands in the senate would have been a dereliction of duty from this White House.    To have not pressed hard to get a document that reduces the chances of Iran getting a bomb in the next decade would have been totally unacceptable.

This is the time for the nation to unite and show resolve about what we know to be the best path forward with international relations.  Diplomacy and brain power can overcome differences, and as with this deal can make for a positive end result.   The only alternative that the likes of now Senator Cotton would find if his views were allowed to prevail would be more bloodshed in a fragile Middle East.

I thought one of the best statements to come out of the discussions over the past weeks among the senators came from Richard Blumethal of Connecticut.

“Rejecting this agreement is fraught with unacceptable risk. Our formal negotiation partners and allies have signaled clearly that they are not coming back to the table – a point confirmed in my conversations and meetings. There is no better deal available now. The present sanctions will soon become unenforceable, producing an economic windfall for Iran whether or not the United States accepts the agreement,  The United States, instead of Iran, would be isolated. Iran’s nuclear program would be unconstrained. Rejection would fracture our unified efforts with allies and greatly weaken international pressure on Iran and American leadership, especially if economic sanctions are needed.”

If everything were easy this deal–or something akin to it–would have been completed under the tenure of Bush 43.  Or at some point earlier in the Obama Administration.  But the forces that play out in slow and methodical ways only allow for windows to be opened at certain times for international relations to foster such results.  When opportunities avail themselves and allow for progress it is then incumbent upon leaders to act.

The Obama team did the work that was demanded of them.

The Senate now needs to compete the task for this country and the world.

The conservative partisans need to step aside.

5 Comments
  1. September 10, 2015 4:24 PM

    Time will tell. I think the power of the market to bring changes can not be dismissed. –China being one example where it is working slowly–and that makes for the case as to why we work with those we disagree with. No doubt about the religious intolerance in Iran but lest we forget Israel is also intolerant. No nation is going to lob a nuclear missile as that would be complete suicide. I think too much fear has been ginned up and that was by design, of course. This deal is what could be obtained at this time and the buy-in from those at the table with us allow for my comfort zone on this matter to be such that I support the deal. The alternatives to this deal is allowing Iran to have the missile or going to war.

  2. tom permalink
    September 10, 2015 11:21 AM

    Iran is a totalitarian system by definition. The government exerts control through the economy, the media, the mosque, and through force of arms. I would love to believe that the wonderful dentist you mention was typical, but human nature and the terrible consequences of getting this wrong are too grave to enter a very stupid deal and “hope for the best.” Please note your dentist does not live in Iran. Does she plan to return now that they can get nuclear weapons? No, she is most likely revolted by the culture there–but many are not. The first lesson to learn from Iraq–I throught–was that it was a mistake to assume that these countries were open democracies (like Israel actually IS) with a thin layer of totalitarian crazy on top that might be easily scraped away. I doubt a little bump in the Iranian stock market is going to do the trick.

    Your position depends on some revolution which even in the smallest sense has not occurred. You will also note that the “arab spring” has resulted in nothing but suffering and chaos. But you assume it would be different in Iran? Perhaps you could provide an example of another country in a similar region where this has happened? I do love unicorns, after all.

    This also ignores the fact that the current leaders of Iran–who have not been overthrown yet–have said time and again that they have no intent to allow inspections. I don’t think any nation in the world would–under these conditions–live up to the treaty. Certainly not one that sees itself struggling aggressively for control and influence in a region.

    Too bad that you view the iranians with less cynicism and less skepticism than you do Republicans. Wow. The big picture you mention might be accurate, sure. But I would give it slim odds and would never risk the lives of millions to do so.

  3. September 10, 2015 9:39 AM

    Tom,

    They have said those things in the past and some will do so in the future. There are many apples in the air in Iranian politics as in every other country. But such statements are even more of a reason to have this deal to limit any nuclear threat.

    But you are missing the larger picture.

    As an example, my dentist for the past 15 year is a woman who lived in Iran for two decades. She is the modern face of what so many in Iran are today and where the nation is heading—especially if they can get the steam in their economic engines. The removal of sanctions will allow for growth and the new generations do not want more war but success. Iran is the world’s 18th-largest economy, they have a well-educated population and the Tehran stock exchange is the second-biggest in the Middle East.

    By making this deal we play not only to a military arrangement but place a large bet on this nation moving forward in the world of nations.

  4. tom permalink
    September 9, 2015 10:18 PM

    Just today there are stories of Iran’s latest threats and refusal to allow inspections.

  5. tom permalink
    September 8, 2015 9:27 PM

    No. There is no reason to merely rubber-stamp this deal. If Senators believe this deal does not ensure strict monitoring of Iran’s nuclear facilities–and the comments of Iran’s leaders ensure us it does not–then the “agreement” is not worth anything. Why is it that we can insist on verification with the Russians and not the Iranians?

    I understand all the rhetoric about making treaties with those we don’t like, but there is little benefit in making treaties with those who can’t be trusted. The Russians, the Chinese, the Europeans–all of them are just motivated by greed and the idea of cheap oil, markets for their weapons, and influence peddling; we cannot make their appeasement the standard of American action. Their reasons for returning or not to the table are not our concern.

    So while it might be reasonable in the long run to vote for the treaty if nothing better is available, to dismiss objections and concerns as merely partisan games is totally bogus. There is a powerful and reasonable set of arguments which a fair minded person might pause to consider here.

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