The Iran Deal: Two Years In

The debate around the Iran Deal is a funny thing. Most political debates revolving around foreign policy focus on typical partisan divides. As a conservative, I may have ideologically been opposed to much of the Obama-era (and Trump-era) policy. From the sequence of withdrawal in Iraq to military sequestration, I wholeheartedly believe that former-President Obama’s foreign policy was a complete and utter disaster.

My opposition to the Iran Deal goes far beyond ideology. It is the single most evil thing Obama did during his eight year tenure. This deal makes America less strong, Israel far less safe, and emboldens terrorists. For those of you who have forgotten, let’s briefly review the main contents of this travesty. The Obama administration had tried to paint the agreement as a means to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons. Here’s the problem: the agreement sunsets in 10-15 years. Additionally, it gives us no insight into past Iranian nuclear activity.  Even worse, Iran has the ability to halt or block inspections at any given time. UN Ambassador Haley has called on the IAEA to try to seek access to Iran’s military bases.

Despite recent statements from President Trump, the deal clearly is not working. Just as I’m writing this, a report how come out saying Iran claims they can create enriched uranium within five days. Iranian VP Salehi claims, “If we make the determination, we are able to resume 20 per cent-enrichment in at most five days.” Iranian President Rouhani said that, “In an hour and a day, Iran could return to a more advanced level than at the beginning of the negotiations.” It is also worth noting the growing Iranian threat in the region. Israeli officials have recently raised concern of Iranian influence in regions of Iraq and Syria where ISIS has been defeated. Mossad Director Yossi Cohen gravely stated, “Iran is acting to encroach on any territory relinquished by ISIS.” He also reiterated the JCPOA Deal has been ineffective, worsening the situation and strengthening the Iranian economy.

One could say Obama and Democrats were naively optimistic, and they should not be blamed for trying.  The most nefarious element of the deal, however, is the billions of dollars given in sanction relief to the American enemy: Iran, the number one state sponsor of terror.  It is hard to fathom the rationale of Obama and his aides when negotiating this monstrosity. According to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Iran will receive “hundreds of billions of dollars to fuel their terror and military regime.” And this truth has since been corroborated. Just last August, details emerged of an apparent scheme between Secretary Kerry’s State Department and Iran, with approximately $1.3 billion in sanction reliefs delivered by plane to Tehran at the same time four American hostages were released.  

No one is disputing the fact that likely over one hundred billion dollars are expected to be dished out to Iran under the Iran Deal. What is the significance of this? In 2016, the US State Department declared Iran the number on state sponsor of terrorism. This should surprise no one, as for decades the brutal Islamic Republic has waged war against America and Israel.  Secretary Kerry himself admitted, back in January 2016, that “some of it will end up in the hands of the IRGC or other entities, some of which are labeled terrorists.” Anti-semitic (and anti-American) terrorist groups such as Hamas and Hezbollah, which are insistent on waging destruction against the Jewish people and our state, are heavily funded by Iran. In Syria, Iran works with Bashar Al-Assad, the rogue nation’s genocidal dictator, as well as Assad ally Hezbollah in neighboring Lebanon. It is estimated that the Iranian government, under the leadership of supposedly “moderate” president Hassan Rouhani, funnels $100 million per year into the Hezbollah terror regime.  Hezbollah is a Jihadi militant organization that is dedicated to the destruction of the Jewish state, a common goal shared with Iran.  Iran is also heavily involved in the funding of Hamas, a group whose charter is full of anti-Semitic canards. It is clear that the Iranian government’s only intentions are war and destruction. They support genocidal leaders including Assad and the now deceased Saddam Hussein, while participating in Holocaust denial and blatant antisemitism back at home. Now you must ask yourself: who on Earth would be stupid, or evil, enough to give one hundred billion dollars to these villains?

All the blame cannot be placed on Obama. Significant fault lies on Senate Democrats unwilling to oppose this deal. Back in 2015, the GOP controlled Senate concocted a resolution of disapproval that would be passed and would have stopped the deal. However, since Obama would veto it, 67 votes of disapproval (⅔ of the Senate) would be needed to override a veto.  All 54 Republicans voted to oppose the deal, while only four Democrats did such. To this day, I commend Senators Schumer, Cardin, Manchin, and my very own Senator Menendez for their courageousness. Yet, 40 Senate Democrats and 2 Democrat-caucusing Independents voted for approval. With far few votes to override a veto, the resolution was killed.