Tea Time for Iran Debate
Tea Time For Iran Debate
President Obama’s nuclear deal with Iran got the Tea Party treatment [Wednesday]. Americans concerned about our security and Israel’s turned out on Capitol Hill [yesterday] afternoon for a huge rally warning against this terrible deal. It featured Glenn Beck, Ted Cruz, Mark Levin, Sarah Palin, Phil Robertson, Donald Trump and many others.
I also spoke at the rally and did a live interview with the Fox Business Network as the event was getting underway.
You should know that many members of Congress are just as frustrated as you are by this deal and how it is being handled. They are pursuing a variety of options to stop it. For example:
Rep. Louie Gohmert offered a resolution declaring the deal to be a treaty and demanding it be considered as such.
Rep. Peter Roskam offered a resolution declaring that the president is not in compliance with the Iran Nuclear Review Act, as we discussed in [Tuesday’s] report. Ted Cruz has introduced a similar resolution in the Senate.
Members of the House Freedom Caucus are considering other options to delay the House vote.
Meanwhile, Senate leaders are fighting over procedure. Senate Democrat Leader Harry Reid objected to scheduling a vote and is now making additional demands.
But keep this in mind: The Senate voted 98-to-1 for the Iran Nuclear Review Act. The purpose of that law was to ensure that members of Congress would have the opportunity to review the deal and vote their conscience.
Given that, it is unconscionable that some senators are now threatening to filibuster the resolution of disapproval, thereby preventing a full debate and vote on the deal.
Governors Push Back
The fight against the Iran deal is not just taking place in Washington, D.C. Because President Obama decided to bypass the normal constitutional process for considering treaties, the deal has a major weakness — it lacks the full force of law and is not binding on the states.
[Tuesday], 15 governors, led by Indiana Governor Mike Pence, sent a letter to the White House informing the president that they intended to ensure that “various state-level sanctions that are now in effect remain in effect.”
In addition, a coalition of current and former state treasurers announced a new campaign to put state-level Iran sanctions on the ballot in a dozen states next year.
These efforts guarantee that no matter what happens in Congress, the issue will remain front and center in the minds of the American people. The politicians who support this deal will have to keep defending it throughout 2016, even as public support continues to fall.
The People Vs. The Politicians
Even as more members of Congress embrace the Iranian nuclear deal, the latest poll by the Pew Research Center finds that support among the American people is falling dramatically. Consider these findings:
In July, Pew found that 33% of Americans approved of Obama’s nuclear agreement with Iran. Today, only 21% support it. That’s a loss of 12 points over the past few weeks.
Among Democrats, support fell eight points, while it dropped 11 points among independents from July to September.
Only 20% of Americans have any confidence that Iran’s leaders will honor the terms of the deal.
Iran’s Supreme Leader Speaks
Why would the American people question this deal and Iran’s leaders? I suspect it has something to do with the regime’s repeated calls to destroy Israel and America. Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Khamenei, went on another anti-Israel, anti-U.S. Twitter rant [Wednesday]. He once again called the United States “the Great Satan,” and declared that Israel would not exist in 25 years. The ayatollah also rejected a central argument made by deal supporters that this agreement would strengthen moderates in Iran and open the door to improved relations in the future. Khamenei wrote, “We approved talks with the United States about [the] nuclear issue specifically. We have not allowed talks with the U.S. in other fields and we [do] not negotiate with them." Politicians who support this deal are now the ayatollah’s hostages. Those who vote to give this radical regime billions of dollars in sanctions relief will share responsibility the next time Iran engages in terrorism, either directly or through Hamas or Hezbollah. Here’s something else to keep in mind: Russia is now establishing a major military presence in Syria. Russia supports the Assad regime, which Obama insists must go. Within days of the Iranian deal being announced, General Qassem Suleimani, commander of Iran’s special operations forces, flew to Moscow — in violation of international sanctions — to meet with the Russian defense minister. As Syrian civil war rages on, millions of refugees are flooding into Europe.
When the deal was signed and critics pointed out the obvious — that it did nothing to check Iranian aggression in the Middle East — the administration said that was irrelevant. This was a nuclear deal only and that Iran’s behavior would have no effect on the deal.
But the deal has had an effect on Iran’s behavior — it has emboldened Iran and its allies and now they are becoming more aggressive.