The Trump administration has allowed the Iran Deal to continue with only minor sanctions added — but with an important caveat. This is the last time.
As with immigration, the president has thrown the proverbial ball back into Congress’s lap, hoping to obtain from the legislators a bill requiring a rewrite of the deal before he must certify again. Trump has made his bottom line clear on this new bill in a statement published Friday:
First, it must demand that Iran allow immediate inspections at all sites requested by international inspectors.
Second, it must ensure that Iran never even comes close to possessing a nuclear weapon.
Third, unlike the nuclear deal, these provisions must have no expiration date. My policy is to deny Iran all paths to a nuclear weapon—not just for ten years, but forever.
If Iran does not comply with any of these provisions, American nuclear sanctions would automatically resume.
Fourth, the legislation must explicitly state in United States law—for the first time—that long-range missile and nuclear weapons programs are inseparable, and that Iran’s development and testing of missiles should be subject to severe sanctions.
Will Congress have the courage to pass such a bill? The last time around, at the instigation of Sens. Bob Corker and Ben Cardin, they enacted a proposal that allowed Obama’s widely criticized (let’s be honest and say absurd) agreement to circumvent the normal requirement of ratification by the legislature as a treaty.
The result: chaos and death. Iran, enriched to the tune of a hundred billion or so, almost two billion in untraceable cash, was able to run rampant across the Middle East through its drug-dealing terrorist client Hezbollah, the equally homicidal Hamas, the Houthis and its own Revolutionary Guard Corps of bloodthirsty fanatics.
It’s also clear — as we have seen recently via the protests in 80 or so Iranian cities — that little or none of these billions were spent on the Iranian people themselves. They all went into the accounts of the corrupt mullahs or to manufacture weapons to kill more people, extending the Syrian civil war and changing the character of Europe forever via the unprecedented refugee crisis.
This was so predictable it’s hard to believe someone with an IQ in triple digits would have believed it could have been otherwise — yet Corker, Cardin and almost the entire Democratic Party did. They all fell in line with Obama’s monstrous deal, believing, despite decades of evidence to the contrary, that people like Iranian officials Hassan Rouhani and Javad Zarif were actually “moderates.” To put it bluntly — how stupid can you get.
Nowhere in all this does anyone have any real idea if the deal’s putative intention, seriously delaying Iran’s nuclear ambitions, was achieved even partly. It’s impossible to know because Iran (per the IAEA) does not permit inspection of its military sites and, even if it did, they refused to reveal the state of their nuclear development before the agreement was made in the first place, so no comparison can be made. (Incomprehensibly, the deal allowed them to do this.) Beyond that, the Iranians are buddies with the North Koreans. How much of the NORKs’ technology, or nuclear material for that matter, has already changed hands we don’t know.
In other words, this is an agreement only a fascist ayatollah and or some politician lusting for a fake peace prize could love.
Now the challenge is with Congress. Not surprisingly, the House is ahead of the Senate on this, with Rep. Peter Roskam working on a bill that is closer to what is required.
Whatever happens, the Europeans — particularly the Western Europeans — will be difficult. They are loathe to admit that Donald Trump, of all people, might be right about a crucial point of foreign policy, making them, once again, the weak appeasers of fascism. Also, they’re greedy and want to keep their business with the Iranians going.
And so, Sens. Corker and Cardin, our nation, indeed the world, turns its eyes to you. Are you ready to rescue your reputations with history?
Roger L. Simon is an award-winning novelist, Academy Award-nominated screenwriter and co-founder of PJ Media. His latest book is I Know Best: How Moral Narcissism Is Destroying Our Republic, If It Hasn’t Already.