The President’s Nuclear Concession Deal
By Senator Mike Rounds
Sept. 11, 2015
This month, as we pause to recognize the anniversary of the September 11, 2001 and 2012 Benghazi terror attacks and remember those we lost, we are reminded of the freedoms and values we hold dear as Americans. We are also reminded just how different our country is now than it was on September 10, 2001. The threats we face today pose the most complex and uncertain international environment for the U.S. since the end of World War II. The foreign policy decisions we make today will undoubtedly have repercussions for generations to come. That is why it is unfathomable to me that any Senator would refuse his or her colleagues an up-or-down vote on the president’s nuclear concession deal with Iran – one of the most consequential issues of our time.
The Iran deal is widely unpopular – a recent poll shows only one in five Americans support it. It is also opposed by a bipartisan majority of both chambers of Congress and more than 200 retired generals and admirals announced their opposition to the deal. And it’s not hard to see why. Even my third-grade grandson understood this when he curiously asked me about it over Labor Day weekend. After telling him all that the president gave to Iran in the deal, he asked, “what do we get?”
Iran continues to be the leading state sponsor of terror – the president’s own State Department admits as much. It also continues to promulgate hatred for the U.S. and our allies. Earlier this month, Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei called America the “Great Satan” and is responsible for the deaths of thousands of Americans from Beirut to Iraq and is currently holding four Americans hostage – the fate of whom weren’t even considered as part of the negotiated deal. Its leaders also continually vow to obliterate Israel, our longtime friend and ally.
Contrary to what you may hear from the deal’s supporters, this deal does not end Iran’s nuclear program and because it allows them to continue research on nuclear weaponry, essentially conceding that it will get a nuclear bomb after a 10 year period. It fails to require “anytime, anywhere” inspections and will allow Iran to access tens of billions of dollars that can be used to fuel more destruction and instability around the world. Iran will also have access to nearly one million more barrels of oil that they can now legally sell and profit from. We are giving Iran a windfall of capital that they can use to increase terrorism, grow their military and strengthen their economy. According to the Wall Street Journal, Iran has been preparing for the economic boost this deal will provide them and increased their defense budget by 32.5 percent last year.
Previously, President Obama told the American people that no deal with Iran would be better than a bad deal. I couldn’t agree more. Unfortunately, he has doubled down on this bad deal by stiff-arming Democrats in the Senate to filibuster it so that we cannot even vote on the deal.
America faces very real threats that deserve serious, meaningful debate in Congress. Unfortunately, Democrat leadership and President Obama are playing politics with the Iran deal, essentially robbing the American people of a voice in one of the most consequential issues of our time. If the U.S. is going to give the Iranian regime access to nuclear warheads and nuclear research, new markets for their oil and tens of billions of dollars in cash which officials have admitted could be used to advance terrorism, the American people deserve to know where their elected officials stand on the issue.