Another Iran Deal Vote?

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With another senate vote on the Iran deal promised for this week. I received a letter from Senator Toomey. Recently, I contacted Senator Toomey concerning the Iran Agreement. The Senator's response by mail was to parrot the one-sided, Republican Party talking points denigrating the agreement. Senator Toomey's letter even went so far as to claim that; "The Iranian government is probably the most dangerous regime in the world."

Iran possesses no nuclear weapons and has conducted few operations outside its region. Meanwhile, China and Russia possess nuclear weapons and delivery systems to gravely damage the United States. Other nuclear regimes exist as threats to our forces, if not our homeland. Hysterics such as Senator Toomey voiced in his reply clearly are not only incorrect but fantastical.

The paragraph in Senator Toomey's letter that drove me to my keyboard was this:

"Contrary to the President's false claims, there are alternatives to a bad deal that are not war. There is a third course - namely, we must pass a motion of disapproval and defeat this deal. After it has been rejected, American and International sanctions would remain in place as they have been since 2013. From there, the United States may need to toughen sanctions even further to convince the regime in Tehran that it is better off without a nuclear arms program than with one. Once this trade-off is clear to the Iranians, I believe that a negotiated agreement can be reached whereby Iran will not obtain a nuclear weapon and our national security interests are fully protected."

Senator Toomey's paragraph is so inaccurate as to qualify as a belief in magic. International sanctions cannot, and will not, be maintained following a Republican defeat of the Iran agreement. Indeed, five other nations, Britain, France, Germany, Russia and China, already announced that they will support the agreement with Iran.

Further, Senator Toomey's reply confused the goal of the Iran Deal, which is to deny a nuclear weapon to Iran, with the broader regional threat that Iran poses to US interests. The Senator is a smart man and knows better than to present this kind confusion but yet, he did.

In a Philly.com blog, Senator Toomey wisely refrained from exposing his 'international sanctions can be restored' meme to the reading public. Instead, the Senator attacked Iran for its past sins all the way back to the hostage taking at the embassy. Of course, Iran is hostile towards the United States.

However, remember that the United States this century declared three countries "evil". Iran was one nation. A year later, the United States invaded Iraq, another member of this axis, while ignoring the third member, nuclear capable North Korea. Iran, now pressured from either side and on its southern coast by U.S. forces actively engaged in combat operations, had reason for concern. It does not take a military strategist to know that the U.S. would hesitate to attack Iran if it possessed nuclear weapons. While the U.S. waged war throughout the region, Iran began to develop a nuclear capability.

Now, the issue is that without this agreement, Iran is very close to a nuclear weapon. All our other disagreements and challenges remain. The senate has two choices. The Senate can approve the agreement and deny Iran nuclear weapons for at least a decade. Or, the senate can disapprove the agreement and Iran will most likely have a nuclear weapon in a few months unless the US launches a unilateral attack on Iran with very uncertain outcomes.

Senator Toomey notes the bipartisan senate opposition to the Iran Deal. Democratic Senators are voting based upon what they see as best for the nation. For many, their recent votes were the toughest of their careers and they offered solid reasons for their positions either way. Senator Toomey and his fellow Republican senators offer only a solid, apparently blind opposition supported by carefully cherry picked data and magical thinking.

Republicans are playing politics with the nuclear safety of the nation and deserve the highest level of disdain and condemnation to reflect the great shame and discredit they bring upon their party, the Senate and America.