Ames, Iowa A smoldering policy dispute over the Iran deal between two frontrunners for the Republican nomination caught fire over the weekend, as the campaigns of Wisconsin governor Scott Walker and former Florida governor Jeb Bush traded accusations of bad faith and the candidates themselves engaged in a pointed back-and-forth about how a newly elected president should handle the deal.
Secretary of State John Kerry defended the Obama administration's decision to take the Iran deal to the United Nations before the U.S. Congress votes on it. Kerry made the remarks in an interview this morning on ABC News:
The ABC reporter, Jon Karl, asked, "But the bottom line, the UN is going to vote on this before Congress gets to vote on this?"
Two big deals were signed this week, with one thing in common – can-kicking. The Eurozone countries, more precisely Germany, kicked the Greek debt can down the road for three years by lending the already over-indebted country another €86bn.
In his first Inaugural Address, President Obama offered an open hand to the Iranian regime. On July 14, announcing the nuclear deal that is the culmination of that overture, he shook a closed fist at the American people. The president came out swinging—not at the regime in Tehran but at his predecessors in the Oval Office and in Congress who for decades imposed an increasingly tough sanctions regime on Iran.
President Obama had a moment of impressive moral clarity at his Iran press conference Wednesday. It was when he was asked about Bill Cosby.
“I’ll say this: If you give a woman—or a man, for that matter—without his or her knowledge, a drug, and then have sex with that person without consent, that’s rape.” And, Obama continued, “I think this country, any civilized country, should have no tolerance for rape.”
‘Without this deal,” said President Obama on Tuesday, “there is no scenario where the world joins us in sanctioning Iran until it completely dismantles its nuclear program.” That was nothing new. Throughout the negotiations with Iran, “the world” has been one of the president’s favorite defenses against criticism. “Nothing we know about the Iranian government suggests that it would simply capitulate under that kind of pressure,” he continued. “And the world would not support an effort to permanently sanction Iran into submission.”
One might think that after the last Iraq war Democrats would be wary of allowing intelligence to dictate policy. Yet that is effectively what Barack Obama has done with the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action signed in Vienna on July 14. The agreement with Iran is strategically premised on the notion that greater commerce will transform the virulently anti-American, antisemitic, terrorism-fond, increasingly imperial Islamic Republic into something more pleasant. Tactically, the agreement depends on Western intelligence against the Iranian nuclear target.
It's not hard to figure out why the Obama administration is lashing out at critics of the deal it signed with Iran last week. The White House has been pretending it’s a nuclear deal but knows that it really isn’t. Everyone from the president to the secretary of state and his negotiating team is selling it as a historic achievement. The White House, Obama said, “has achieved something that decades of animosity has not: a comprehensive long-term deal with Iran that will prevent it from obtaining a nuclear weapon.”
Susan Rice, President Obama's national security advisor, said on CNN that at least some money that Iran will receive from the nuclear deal will be used by the regime to support terrorism.
"We should expect that some portion of that money would go to the Iranian military and could potentially be used for the kinds of bad behavior that we have seen in the region up until now," Rice admitted on CNN.
As part of their attempt to sell the Iran deal as something other than a catastrophe for American and international peace and security, President Obama and John Kerry are now invoking the United Nations. The Obama administration raced straight from Vienna to the Security Council, awaiting nothing from Capitol Hill. What’s going on?