Senator Ben Sasse of Nebraska reports on the four central questions he's been getting from constituents on Iran:
The questions are:
1) Didn’t we decide we wouldn’t tolerate state sponsors of terrorism?
2) Why change 36 years of bipartisan policy consensus that prohibited Iran’s nuclear weapons?
3) What is the administration’s best case scenario for a nuclear Iran?
4) What really happens if we lift the sanctions and Iran cheats?
Sasse concedes the questions are hard to answer. “The one topic that came up every single place we went was the President’s attempted Iranian nuclear deal. . . Not one time did we hear anybody who thinks the administration’s plans with regard to Iran are in the U.S.’s long-term interests. It seems like every conversation could be summarized in four questions people had.”
“Frankly, it’s really hard to answer any of these four questions that folks were asking. So we thought we’d just throw them out there for President Obama’s consideration.”
“Isn’t Iran still the world’s largest state sponsor of terror and, if so, what are we doing? Wasn’t the fundamental lesson of 9-11 that we would never just turn a blind-eye toward rogue regimes that sponsor terrorism and try to breed instability, try to support and fund those that would attack the U.S. homeland and try to destabilize our main allies around the world? Nebraskans believe that’s the main thing we learned about 9-11 and somehow the administration appears to be deciding to forget it.”
“Why has the administration decided to change not only its position but 36 years of U.S. foreign policy about not allowing Iran to become a nuclear state? It’s been a bipartisan policy consensus—not just Republicans but all Republicans and all Democrats—going back to the Iranian hostage crisis of 1979-1980 that we never wanted Iran to become a nuclear threshold power. And even this administration, a year and a half ago, said the same thing—that they were not going to allow the Iranians to be enriching uranium. Now, they seem to have pivoted to a place where they’re willing to allow Iran to have 6,000 centrifuges enriching uranium. The people of my state want to know: why this change?”
“Nebraskans want to know: what does the administration really believe the best case scenario is? Because folks have heard on TV the president saying he’d like to see Iran become a successful regional power. We don’t know why a regime that spews the hatred they do toward the U.S.—and says that it has as a national objective the annihilation of Israel—why we would possibly want them to become a successful regional power?”
“What really happens now once we lift the sanctions—if that’s where the administration indeed takes us—what happens next if the Iranians cheat? Because the people of my state assume that Iran is going to cheat and they don’t know what happens after that, once the administration has allowed all these other nations to unravel the international inspections regime and the Russians have announced just in the last week that they’re going to sell weapon systems to Iran. So the people of my state think that once you allow the Iranians to take this step and get access to all of the sanctions dollars that are overseas—they don’t understand how you ever put Humpty Dumpty together again.”
“There are so many regimes in that part of the world that, if they have nuclear weapons, it’s hard to imagine how they wouldn’t ultimately be used. And the people of the heartland want to ask you, Mr. President: would you please re-think this? Because they think this is a really dangerous step that makes the Middle East and, therefore, the entire world less safe.”
Secretary of State John Kerry will be meeting with Cuba's foreign minister tonight. The meeting will occur in Panama.
".@JohnKerry will meet with Cuban Foreign Minister Rodriguez tonight in Panama City, where they're both attending the Summit of the Americas," State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf announced this evening on Twitter.
.@JohnKerry will meet with Cuban Foreign Minister Rodriguez tonight in Panama City, where they're both attending the Summit of the Americas.
President Obama has long known that the real decision maker in Iran is Ayatollah Khamenei, the so-called supreme leader. While other Iranian officials have negotiated with Western powers over the mullahs’ nuclear program, Khamenei’s opinion is the only one that really counts. It is for this reason that Obama began writing directly to Khamenei early in his presidency.
Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, is going to cause big trouble for the Obama administration. In a speech today, Khamenei denounced the White House’s spin tactics—according to the rahbar, there is no nuclear deal.
Vice President Dick Cheney had harsh criticism for President Barack Obama in an interview last night with radio host Hugh Hewitt.
Hewitt asked the former vice president, "Is he naïve, Mr. Vice President? Or does he have a far-reaching vision that only he entertains of a realigned Middle East that somehow it all works out in the end?"
Governor Scott Walker has responded to a shot taken at him by President Obama with his own strong statement.
“President Obama’s failed leadership has put him at odds with many across the country, including members of his own party, and key allies around the world," Walker says in a statement emailed to the press.
In an interview with National Public Radio, President Obama said that it would be a "fundamental misjudgment" to require that Iran recognize the Jewish state of Israel as part of the nuclear deal. The condition, rejected by Obama, was one that Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu requested: A "clear and unambiguous Iranian commitment of Israel's right to exist," as Netanyahu framed it.