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The GOP's Iran Dilemma
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From first reactions, it appears that Hill Republicans will be near unanimous in voting a resolution of rejection of the Iran nuclear deal.

They will then vote to override President Obama’s veto of their resolution. And if the GOP fails there, Gov. Scott Walker says his first act as president would be to kill the deal.

But before the party commits to abrogating the Iran deal in 2017, the GOP should consider whether it would be committing suicide in 2016.

For even if Congress votes to deny Obama authority to lift U.S. sanctions on Iran, the U.S. will vote to lift sanctions in the U.N. Security Council. And Britain, France, Germany, Russia and China, all parties to the deal, will also lift sanctions.

A Congressional vote to kill the Iran deal would thus leave the U.S. isolated, its government humiliated, unable to comply with the pledges its own secretary of state negotiated. Would Americans cheer the GOP for leaving the United States with egg all over its face?

And if Congress refuses to honor the agreement, but Iran complies with all its terms, who among our friends and allies would stand with an obdurate America then?

Israel would applaud, the Saudis perhaps, but who else?

And as foreign companies raced to Iran, and U.S. companies were told to stay out, what would GOP presidential candidates tell the business community?

Would the party campaign in 2016 on a pledge to get tough and impose new sanctions? “Coercive diplomacy,” The Wall Street Journal calls it.

If so, what more would they demand that Iran do? And what would they threaten Iran with, if she replied: We signed a deal. We will honor it. But we will make no new concessions under U.S. threat.

Would we bomb Iran? Would we go to war? Not only would Americans divide on any such action, the world would unite — against us.

And would a Republican president really bomb an Iran that was scrupulously honoring the terms of the John Kerry deal? What would we bomb? All the known Iran nuclear facilities will be crawling with U.N. inspectors.

“Either the issue of Iran obtaining a nuclear weapons is resolved diplomatically through negotiation or it’s resolved through force,” said the president, “Those are the options.”

Is that not pretty much where we are at, even if the GOP does not like it?

Republicans seem to be unable to grasp the changes that have taken place in this century. With the Arab Spring, the fall of half a dozen regimes, the rise of al-Qaida and ISIS, civil wars in Libya, Syria, Yemen and Iraq, we have a new Middle East.

Our principal enemies are now al-Qaida and ISIS. And while both have been aided by our old allies, Turkey, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia, both are being resisted by Iran.


But, we are reminded, Iran’s regime is founded upon ideological hatred of America. But, so, too, were Mao’s China and Stalin’s USSR. Yet Nixon forged a detente with Mao and FDR partnered with Stalin. And Ronald Reagan negotiated a strategic arms deal with the “evil empire” of his time.

Bibi Netanyahu and AIPAC, the Saudis and Gulf Arabs, will demand that Congress kill the Iran deal that Lindsey Graham says is a “death sentence for the State of Israel.” But one trusts that, this time, the GOP will add a dose of salt to what the hysterics are bellowing.

After all, it was Bibi’s rants — Iran is hellbent on getting a bomb, is only months away, and military action is needed now to smash the whirling centrifuges — that teed up the talks for Tehran.

All Iran had to do was prove it had no bomb program, which was not difficult, as U.S. intelligence had repeatedly said Iran had no bomb program.

Then the Iranians proved it. They agreed to cut their centrifuges by two-thirds, to eliminate 98 percent of their uranium, to halt production of 20 percent uranium at Fordow, to convert the heavy-water reactor at Arak that produces plutonium to a light water reactor that produces one kilogram a year, and to let cameras in and give U.N. inspectors the run of their nuclear facilities.

And how is Israel, with hundreds of atom bombs, mortally imperiled by a deal that leaves Iran with not a single ounce of bomb-grade uranium?

What does Iran get? What Iran always wanted. Not a bomb which would make Iran a pariah like North Korea and could bring down upon her the same firestorm America delivered to Iraq, but a path to become again the hegemon of the Persian Gulf.

Remarkable. Iran agrees not to build a bomb it had already decided not to build, and we agree to lift all sanctions. And they pulled it off.

What is one or two atom bombs you can’t use, without committing national suicide, compared to $100 billion in freed assets and a welcome mat back to the community of nations.

Patrick J. Buchanan is the author of the new book “The Greatest Comeback: How Richard Nixon Rose From Defeat to Create the New Majority.”

Copyright 2015

• Category: Foreign Policy • Tags: Iran, Republicans 
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  1. Bliss says:

    Practically the whole world supports Obama’s deal with Iran with the main exceptions being the Saudi ruling family, the Israeli Likud Party and the Republican Party of the US. Should these three be considered an Axis of Evil?

    Obama has finally earned the Nobel Peace Prize he was prematurely awarded…

    • Replies: @Realist
    , @Priss Factor
  2. That the fear filled fantasies of Pansy Graham are given any media attention is astonishing.

    That it is running for President is appalling.

    • Replies: @Realist
    , @tbraton
  3. Marais says:

    Excellent essay.

    Isaac Herzog is reported to be already planning a DC trip to demand a raise in US assistance to $4-4.5 billion (±$2400 per Israeli family of four) annually for the next decade if Netanyahu’s campaign to defeat the Iran nuclear deal fails. Fearless Congress will, no doubt, scramble to inflate that figure (even if Netanyahu wins).

  4. MEexpert says:

    Pat says:

    “Remarkable. Iran agrees not to build a bomb it had already decided not to build, and we agree to lift all sanctions. And they pulled it off.”

    Iran has always maintained that its nuclear program was for peaceful purposes. The US and Israeli intelligence community agreed with it as did the IAEA. Yet, because Nathanyahu was screaming about the “Irani bomb,” every one in the Israeli amen corner (congress and the media) obediently fell in line. What puzzles me is that in spite of the alternate media (the internet) providing the facts, the Americans still believe Israeli lies. More than half the American public believes that Iran already has the nuclear bomb.

    Is there any serious candidate in the GOP list of contenders? Every one of them has sold out to Las Vegas Mogul Adelson and Israel. Here comes Hillary Clinton. God help the USA.

  5. KA says:

    GOP should learn from Saudi and Gulf. Reluctantly Saudi has lent lukewarm support to the deal. Gulf countries have sent congratulatory notes to Iran . Politics is the mother of deceptive expectation .
    Instead of trying to forecast a future in 15 yrs time (on which GOP have no control ,neither does US, ) GOP should learn from Cheney. Cheney predicted a golden era from Middle East to Minot airbase ,crowning of the neocon doctrine ,and leaders shaking in their boot from NK to Belarus . Instead world saw conviction of Libby,disgraced departure of Wolfowitz, facial fragmentation of the friend of Cheney and Toyota still selling more than Lincoln car and Cheney doesn’t travel too far from the borders.
    Even Cheney couldn’t predict the worst things like him getting a heart transplant . So why GOP is so focussed on what Iran would do in 15 yrs?

    15 yrs US may not even be asked by anybody to pass any opinion on any country . Lone superpower couldn’t tolerate the loneliness and jumped off the cliff . In 15 yrs ,it may be housed in the museum for the progenitor to see.

    • Replies: @Realist
  6. Realist says:

    “Should these three be considered an Axis of Evil?”


  7. Realist says:
    @Bill Jones

    I have heard Caitlyn is to be the ‘first lady’.

  8. Realist says:

    “Is there any serious candidate in the GOP list of contenders?”

    No, just like the last two times.

  9. Realist says:

    ” GOP should learn from Cheney.”
    The only good thing Cheney did was shoot a lawyer.

  10. Realist says:

    “Republicans seem to be unable to grasp the changes that have taken place in this century.”

    Hence the moniker ‘stupid party’.

  11. Realist says:

    The US government should demand Israel allow nuclear inspections.

    But the fact that will not happen tells you who is calling the shots in this country…. its not the electorate.

  12. tbraton says:
    @Bill Jones

    “That the fear filled fantasies of Pansy Graham are given any media attention is astonishing.”

    Did you catch the Ruth Marcus column earlier this week in the Washington Post? She apparently likes Graham because of his “responsible” positions on immigration and the budget problems, which means he would be receptive to a path to citizenship for illegal aliens and raising taxes to solve the deficit problems, just like a real Democrat. No mention of his insane foreign policy positions. Reminds me of how his traveling twin, John McCain, was a favorite of the MSM reporters until he faced off against Obama. But then the MSM fawn over Hillary Clinton, and her foreign policy positions have been nearly as bad as Graham’s and McCain’s.

    • Replies: @Bill Jones
  13. Realist says:

    “Reminds me of how his traveling twin, John McCain, ….”

    I like to look at it as male counter part.

  14. @tbraton

    I absolutely agree on a

    ” Path to citizenship for illegal aliens”

    I’d go one better: I’d make it a flight path.

    Right back to the country where they were citizens.

  15. Art says:

    The Axis of Evil – Israel – Saudi – US congress!

    These clowns would embarrass themselves and all of America to the whole world – all for Jew sugar daddy help for reelection. These people are trash.

    p.s. John Boehner speaker of the house of representatives (number 3 highest US official) acts like Netanyahu is president of US foreign policy.

  16. @MEexpert

    Like Fred Reed, you should prepare your escape plan.

    I’m sorta kinda holding out until the French finally collapse into the Euro pit.

    Then I’ll buy a place in the finest place on the planet: the Dordogne,

  17. @Bill Jones

    Very interesting take on the deal indeed! Especially since the U.S. knew that Iran didn’t have and wasn’t ever close to having a nuclear bomb. The whole thing was a kabuki dance diverting our attention from what the real goal of the Obama Administration is.

  18. Priss Factor [AKA "The Priss Factory"] says:

    “Obama has finally earned the Nobel Peace Prize he was prematurely awarded…”

    After the mess he caused in Libya, Syria, and Ukraine?

    You shitting me?

  19. Priss Factor [AKA "The Priss Factory"] says:

    “Republicans seem to be unable to grasp the changes that have taken place in this century.”

    GOP has a Jew Deficit.

    Since Jews are the most powerful people in the US, GOP is desperate to win over Jews.

    Since GOP disagrees with most Jews on social issues, the ONE ISSUE is Zionism, and so GOP goes all about in giving a rimjob to hardline Neocons and ‘far right’ in Israel.

  20. Please explain–

    the US does a deal with Iran which is enemy to Israel and Saudi Arabia

    then rewards Israel and Saudi Arabia with enhanced military assistance (money and weapons)

    answer(?) the Iran deal is a hidden attack on Russia’s pipeline plans (thanks Mike Whitney, Bill Jones link above) plus good for the business community, but US “allies” are pissed off so they need to be placated with payoffs and sh*t eating smiles

    the US supplies trainers, weaponry, air support to Iraq to fight ISIS

    but it allows weaponry to leak to ISIS in neighboring Syria (via so-called “moderates”) and does nothing to stem the support of Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and Israel for ISIS

    answer (?) it accepts Netanyahu’s ISIS is “the lesser of two evils” (versus Assad) and is using ISIS as proxy force against Assad because . . . ???

    the Iran deal is subterfuge toward regime change in Iran at which point regional balance of power will go to Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Israel, and US interests (?)

    US foreign policy = ???

  21. @MEexpert

    “More than half the American public believes that Iran already has the nuclear bomb.”

    Most Americans are naive TV watchers.

    • Replies: @TST
  22. TST says:
    @John Smith

    Reminds me of this quote from the Epilogue of Peter Janney’s book, Mary’s Mosaic.

    “Ignorance dipped in fear-mongering and dazzled by fabricated myths had become the breeding ground for official stupidity, darkness, and senseless wars.”

  23. Renoman says:

    Pat Buchanan is the only man who gives me any hope for the GOP. The rest are just an absolute clown show.

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