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World opinion on Iran nuke deal does not matter

World opinion on Iran nuke deal does not matter

Americans have never outsourced our moral decisions to Europe, much less China and Russia. This is not the time to start.

The day after Secretary of State Kerry finished negotiating his disastrous nuclear agreement with Iran, President Obama asserted that, “ninety-nine percent of the world community” supports it.

Like so many of the President’s statements on this topic, this one is both false and irrelevant.

Our culturally closest friend, Canada, has already stated that it intends to keep its own sanctions on Iran in place. India’s defense establishment, meanwhile, is concerned and preparing for a Middle East arms race.

Saudi Arabia may be the only Arab state that has openly opposed it, however, the other Persian Gulf nations have also indicated their disapproval. In Israel, opposition comes not only from Prime Minister Netanyahu, as Obama would have us believe, but from across the political spectrum.

In the US, moreover, four Democratic former senators and one Democratic former Representative have formed Citizens for a Nuclear-Free Iran, which opposes this agreement. Sitting Democrats Senator Bob Menendez and Representative Juan Vargas have both spoken out against the deal.

The administration is blind to legitimate opposition to the deal, especially from those Middle Eastern countries most directly affected by this.

When Obama spoke of “99% of the world community,” in truth, he was referring primarily to his negotiating partners in the P5+1, specifically the UK, France, Germany and the EU. (In any other context, liberals would call such a conflation “Euro-centric.”)

Secretary Kerry reinforced this view in Senate hearings on Thursday, when he argued that the US Congress should now accept the failed result of a process that we initiated out of consideration for the views of the other members of the P5+1.

European support for the deal, however, is not a persuasive rationale for Congress to move forward.

Americans have never outsourced our moral decisions to Europe. This is not the time to start.

Europeans are hardly objective brokers in this process, as the President would have us believe. The EU and its member states have a long-term financial stake in the removal of sanctions.

As for China and Russia, they hardly have the interests of the U.S. and our allies in mind. That they went along with the deal in no way shows that it is a good deal.

In January, Brenda Shaffer at the Washington Institute explained that, “since the Russia-Ukraine crisis erupted last year, Tehran has tried to position itself as a reliable alternative to Russia as a [natural] gas supplier to Europe.” Turkey, Shaffer reports, “is preparing its pipeline infrastructure to enable transit of Iranian gas to Europe once sanctions are removed.”

To underscore the point, Thursday morning Reuters reported that Iran’s Minister of Industry, Mines and Trade, Mohammad Reza Nematzadeh is already seeking to export oil and gas to Europe.

Only the most naïve would believe that Europe’s position in the negotiations has not been compromised by financial motives. Even if Europe is ready to give Iran a hundred and fifty billion dollars in sanctions relief and a nuclear bomb in exchange for Iranian gas exports, this does not mean that we should follow along.

For the sake of argument, let’s assume the truth of the fanciful premise that Iran will comply with the terms of the deal and wait a decade to produce its nuclear bomb. Even still, the US has ethical obligations that go beyond assisting Europe in its quest for natural gas.

Under the very best possible scenario, as not only Susan Rice but the President himself has admitted, we know that Iran will use sanctions relief to fund the genocidal Assad regime in Syria, the murderous Hamas government of Gaza, the terrorists of Hezbollah, and the destabilization of Yemen. We also know that this deal will prop up a dictatorial regime that imprisons journalists and political dissidents, and that abuses the human rights of its own citizens in the worst possible ways.

Ending the freeze on Iranian assets and allowing cash to flow to Assad, Hamas, Hezbollah and Yemen’s Houthis, would be a tremendous failure on our part. From a moral standpoint, it would be no different than if we funded those groups ourselves.

It’s not a given, as is frequently claimed, that the international sanctions regime is about to crumble no matter what we do. The US can still use both diplomacy and secondary sanctions to pressure Europeans to keep sanctions on Iran in place.

Even if we can’t convince Europe, however, the US must still uphold our own ethical code with respect to Iranian assets that are held in banks subject to the US regulatory scheme.

Congress must make the principled choice to stop this deal from going forward, and not succumb to international and administration pressure. The opinions of the governments in Europe should have no influence on American decision-making.

[Featured Image source: Wikimedia Commons]

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Mirabelle is a non-practicing lawyer and blogger, writing about Israel, the US-Israel relationship, and media bias at Israellycool.com. On twitter: @MiraWard375

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Comments

Irrelevant.

Only countries that are in some way affected by the not-a-treaty oppose it.

All the countries that aren’t affected give it their shrugging support as they go back to issues they really care about.

As I understand the Constitution (something al-Chicagi prefers to use as toilet paper) a Treaty which has received Senate approval has the force of law. This “It’s not a treaty it’s a Plan of Action Agreement” cannot have the same stature. I submit to better minds than mine any Treaty we have with Israel, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, etc. would supersede the PoA Any UN-american paper is also not enforceable as a Treaty.

Please, let’s see we can put this into context and formulate a rational response.

FrankNatoli | July 25, 2015 at 3:31 pm

Europeans are so smart that w/o the United States, the Ludendorff offensive of early 1918 would have overwhelmed the French and British and all of Western Europe would have answered to Berlin, kind of like Greece today.

Europeans are so smart that w/o the United States, the Russians would have considered Berlin a waypoint on the way to the Pyrenees, and even that assumes they’d consider Franco and Salazar not worth the effort.

Europeans are so smart that they’re committing ethnic suicide.

But they do support Barack Hussein and his twice gigolo Secretary of State, and that’s all that matters.

LukeHandCool | July 25, 2015 at 4:22 pm

The Iran Deal is to Peace what Your Anus is to Astronomy.

“Americans have never outsourced our moral decisions to Europe. This is not the time to start.”

Americans HAVE outsourced German psychology, atheism and nihilism from Europe.

That is why we are in this position.

And, we are 100% responsible for the decisions we have made.

Consensus does NOT build truth. It builds the tower of Babel.

Europeans are more concerned with immediate economic benefits for their own stagnant economics than security, since they seem to remain convinced we will cover their defenses.

Of course we should never listen to them. We should be considering our own interests. Iran doesn’t need ballistic missiles to reach Europe, except perhaps Norway and Iceland.

But we blew our last chance to watch out for our interests by reelecting the weak sissy Obama. 544 more days to pay penance.

    Not A Member of Any Organized Political in reply to Estragon. | July 27, 2015 at 7:32 pm

    “Europeans are more concerned with immediate economic benefits for their own stagnant economics than security”

    hmmm…..seems as though that is what started WWI and WWII….

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