Three days ago, New York Democrat Senator Charles E. Schumer ended his silence on his position regarding the President’s promotion of the Iran nuclear pact under the JCPOA announced on July 14th and uanaimously endorsed by the UN Security Council on July 22nd. Congress has held hearings that have highlighted both Administration arguments for the pact’s adoption ,as well as, arguments and evidence of its serious deficiencies. We commend this Medium publication of Senator Schumer’s statement:
He has thoughtfully responded to the swirl of issues surrounding the Iran nuclear pact that the President and his negotiating team incorrectly suggest represents is the best alternative to their contention the only other option being war.
Schumer goes through the nuclear and non-nuclear issues, questions the fundamental assumption that the leadership of theocratic totalitarian Iran could change and decease from active funding and support of state sponsored terrorism via proxies in the region and globally. While granting a measure of commendation for President Obama’s and Secretary Kerry’s efforts to pursue diplomacy with world powers to reign in Iran’s objective of industrial nuclearization of weapons and development of weapons that might be used in a conventional military strike on Iran’s infrastructure, he suggests that the answers he has secured through his due diligence lead him to one conclusion; he will vote yes to a Congressional resolution rejecting the JCPOA in mid-September after Congress reconvenes.
But more than that he suggests that there is a better way by maintaining sanctions along with those of our allies and bringing Iran back to the table to negotiate better terms, perhaps relying on Congress as the proverbial “bad cop” to cut off appeasement of incessant concession demands of the Supreme Leader and hard line IRGC commanders who control the country’s economy and what passes for its parliament, the majlis.
Here are his conclusions:
But if one feels that Iranian leaders will not moderate and their unstated but very real goal is to get relief from the onerous sanctions, while still retaining their nuclear ambitions and their ability to increase belligerent activities in the Middle East and elsewhere, then one should conclude that it would be better not to approve this agreement.
Admittedly, no one can tell with certainty which way Iran will go. It is true that Iran has a large number of people who want their government to decrease its isolation from the world and focus on economic advancement at home. But it is also true that this desire has been evident in Iran for thirty-five years, yet the Iranian leaders have held a tight and undiminished grip on Iran, successfully maintaining their brutal, theocratic dictatorship with little threat. Who’s to say this dictatorship will not prevail for another ten, twenty, or thirty years?
To me, the very real risk that Iran will not moderate and will, instead, use the agreement to pursue its nefarious goals is too great.
Therefore, I will vote to disapprove the agreement, not because I believe war is a viable or desirable option, nor to challenge the path of diplomacy. It is because I believe Iran will not change, and under this agreement it will be able to achieve its dual goals of eliminating sanctions while ultimately retaining its nuclear and non-nuclear power. Better to keep U.S. sanctions in place, strengthen them, enforce secondary sanctions on other nations, and pursue the hard-trodden path of diplomacy once more, difficult as it may be.
For all of these reasons, I believe the vote to disapprove is the right one.
EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared in the New English Review.