September 2, 2015 | Quote

Obama’s Pyrrhic Victory on Iran

Reaction to the 34th vote in favor of upholding a veto of a disapproval of the Iran deal (cast by a retiring Democrat, by the way) has been noteworthy for its high-mindedness. 

As Senate statements go, that is among the most admirable I have read in a long time.

Michael Makovsky, chief executive of JINSA, which worked in a bipartisan manner to warn the public and lawmakers about the deal, tells Right Turn that “whatever parliamentary defeat was suffered, it stands in contrast to the significant victory we have achieved on the merits of the deal, which is reflected in public opinion. An overwhelming amount of Americans oppose the deal, despite a highly divisive public campaign — that was very partisan and bordered on the anti-Semitic — by the President and Secretary of State Kerry.” He suggested “that should provoke immediate serious reflection among those Members of Congress who remain undecided. Do they really want to vote for a momentous deal that the American people resoundingly oppose, and thus lacks political legitimacy? Substance aside, that seems a politically very risky bet.”

The only discordant notes come from the angry right, which would blame Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), without whom there would have been no debate of this intensity, no vote and no evidence of widespread, bipartisan opposition to the deal which will serve as the basis for undoing it. This is typical of the crowd that blames constructive Republicans, not the egregious actions of Democrats. That same crowd — which applauds xenophobic calls to round up illegal immigrants and American-born relatives, ripping up the 14th Amendment and shutting down the government — has consistently discredited itself.

At any rate, the next steps are clear. Cliff May of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies advises, “Among other things, Congress should pursue additional sanctions on Iran and on Iranian entities — not least the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps — that are involved in terrorism and the holding of American hostages. Congress should make clear that more sanctions will be forthcoming if the funds that Iran will be receiving under the deal are used to support terrorist groups.” He observes, “President Obama has said that such sanctions will be considered separately since they do not directly involve Iran’s nuclear weapons program. I’m skeptical. I can imagine Mr. Obama blocking non-nuclear sanctions. I can imagine him arguing that any additional sanctions might jeopardize his deal. That would contradict statements he’s made in the past but such contradictions must, by now, be anticipated.” As he points out, “Objectively and effectively, this would put the administration in the position of protecting and facilitating Iranian support for terrorism and hostage-taking.”


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