Republican Presidential Candidates Fear-Monger While Experts Support Deal
This afternoon, GOP presidential candidates Donald Trump and Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) slammed the Iran nuclear deal at a rally outside the Capitol. Other guests at the rally included former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, Glenn Beck, and Phil Robertson of Duck Dynasty fame. Unsurprisingly, Trump’s comments at the rally were colorful. At one point he said, “When Obama talks about the ‘supreme leader,’ it’s almost like he’s got total admiration for him,” apparently unaware of the fact that Supreme Leader is the official title of Iran’s head of state. Sen. Cruz, for his part, called the deal “catastrophic” and fear-mongered that “Americans will die, Israelis will die, Europeans will die.”
On the other side of 2016 presidential race and across town, Democratic presidential candidate and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton also spoke on the deal today. Clinton gave a more serious policy speech in which she outlined a five-point plan focused on building allies in the region to counter Iran. Clinton is not alone in her support for the deal. In fact, she is joined by many right-leaning experts who understand the importance of the negotiations. Here’s a list of just a few of the many bi-partisan supporters of the plan:
- Brent Scowcroft, A retired Lieutenant General in the Air Force, National Security Advisor to Presidents Ford and George H.W. Bush, Military Assistant to President Nixon, and Chairman of President G. W. Bush’s Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board: “Let us be clear: There is no credible alternative were Congress to prevent U.S. participation in the nuclear deal. If we walk away, we walk away alone.”
- Senator Richard Lugar, Served as Republican chairman of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, and served as a Lieutenant in the United States Navy: “[T]his agreement represents our best chance to stop an Iranian bomb without another war in the Middle East.”
- Nicholas Burns, A career foreign service officer who served as Undersecretary of Political Affairs under President G. W. Bush and Permanent U.S. Representative to NATO: “Let’s not give up on Obama’s diplomacy. It is still the surest path to where we should want to be with Iran after the deep freeze of the last three decades.”
- Colin Powell, Former Secretary of State under President G. W. Bush, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff for President George H. W. Bush, National Security Advisor to President Reagan and four-star general in the United States Army: “My judgment after balancing those two sets of information is that it’s a pretty good deal.”
- Paul Volcker, Federal Reserve chairman under President Reagan: “I honestly think this agreement is as good as you are going to get.”
- Thomas Pickering, A career foreign service officer who served as U.S. Ambassador to Israel under President Reagan, and U.S. Ambassador to U.N. under President George H.W. Bush: “My sense is that this is a good agreement and it has a lot of advantages for the United States and the rest of the P5+1.”
- Shlomo Ben-Ami, Former Israeli Foreign Minister and Security Minister, Current Vice President of the Toledo International Centre for Peace: “[The deal] creates a solid framework to prevent Iran from producing nuclear weapons for the next 10-15 years – and that is a very positive development.”
The consensus from each of these validators is clear: the Iran nuclear agreement is a good deal. It was reached through strong diplomacy and is the strictest, most intrusive inspection and verification agreement ever negotiated that blocks all of Iran’s pathways to a bomb. To walk away now would be irresponsible and squander important progress.
BOTTOM LINE: The Iran deal is the best option we have to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon now or in the future. It is a crucial first step that will allow the United States and its allies to more strongly oppose any destabilizing behavior in the Middle East. But in order for all the benefits of the deal to be realized, Congress must approve the deal so attention can turn to robust implementation of the agreement.
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