The Unraveling of Obama's Iran Deal
Paul Ryan outlines the failure as Obama's propaganda is revealed.
House Speaker Paul Ryan penned an op-ed Monday laying out the unraveling of Barack Obama’s cherished Iran deal and arguing for a stronger approach to dealing with Tehran. Ryan cites just some of the actions taken by Iran since the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action went into force. Here are the key charges:
Everything the administration told us about the deal is starting to unravel. The administration assured us that it could reimpose — or “snap back” — sanctions if Iran cheated. That seems more improbable now that other countries and even American companies are racing back into the Iranian marketplace.
We were told that Iran would never get access to the dollar or the U.S. financial system. The administration now appears to be reconsidering, and a few weeks ago it purchased millions of dollars of heavy water from Tehran. This follows an apparent $1.7 billion ransom paid earlier this year in exchange for five Americans unjustly detained in Iran.
They also told us that, if we just dealt with the nuclear problem, America would be in a stronger position to combat Iran’s other destabilizing activities. Instead, the defiant and emboldened regime in Tehran continues to sponsor terrorism across the region, test-fire ballistic missiles inscribed with “Death to Israel,” and abuse the basic human rights of its citizens.
In the hours before the State of the Union, we learned that Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps arrested ten American sailors, and photographed and videotaped them in captivity for propaganda. The administration’s reaction? Secretary of State John Kerry thanked the regime for its cooperation in eventually releasing the sailors, hailing an incident that should’ve never happened in the first place as a diplomatic success.
We would add to that list: threatening to close an international waterway in what would be an act of war; deploying a de facto army of Revolutionary Guard Corps forces to prop up Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad; and continuing its rhetoric about destroying Israel.
Readers will recall that Obama himself predicted this behavior from Iran even as he argued for his legacy-shaping deal:
“This deal is not contingent on Iran changing its behavior,” Obama said. “We’ll still have problems with Iran’s sponsorship of terrorism, its funding of proxies like Hezbollah that threaten Israel and threaten the region. … My hope is that building on this deal, we can continue to have conversations with Iran that incentivize them to behave differently in the region, to be less aggressive, less hostile, more cooperative, to operate in a way we expect nations in the international community to behave.”
“But we’re not counting on it,” he added.
What Obama should have been counting on was Iran continuing its hostility, its support for terrorism, and general misbehavior. Now that we no longer need to speculate about how Iran might act post-JCPOA, Ryan and like-minded Republicans are trying to limit any further damage during the remainder of Obama’s presidency and set the stage for a future change of course, one that does not start from a position of weakness.
Most notably, Ryan stated, “We [Republicans] are also committed to renewing the Iran Sanctions Act by the end of this year.” This act, passed in 2006, is due to expire in 2016. It is one of the few advantages left to the United States in managing the Iran problem, the JCPOA having thrown away most similar points of leverage. It remains to be seen if the Republican-controlled Congress can get a renewed Iran Sanctions Act into law during a highly contentious election year, but we urge them not to delay in the attempt.
Interestingly enough, Ryan crafted his article just before news broke that Obama adviser Ben Rhodes had boasted of misleading the nation regarding the narrative for the deal. And then the State Department deleted an admission of lying from YouTube. We suppose at least no one could then blame a YouTube video.
The Weekly Standard’s Lee Smith summarizes, “For the last seven years the American public has been living through a postmodern narrative crafted by an extremely gifted and unspeakably cynical political operative whose job is to wage digital information campaigns designed to dismantle a several-decade old security architecture while lying about the nature of the Iranian regime. No wonder Americans feel less safe — they are.”
Obama’s deal with Iran is a foreign policy travesty, and in some ways it cannot be undone. Heaven forbid his precious legacy doesn’t include a bright flash over a major U.S. urban center.