Thune on Iran: “We had our foot on the throat, and we let them up.”

If you missed it the other day in the Argus, Senator Thune had some pointed comments about what the administration is doing regarding the Iranian nuclear deal:

Thune criticized details of the plan following an announcement by the Obama administration that a framework between Iran and six other countries had been developed to regulate Iran’s nuclear program. The deal, if it comes to pass, would change America’s policy of stopping Iran from getting nuclear weapons to containing a nuclear Iran, Thune said.

In exchange for concessions on its nuclear program, including international inspections and a reduction in its capacity to enrich uranium, western countries would ease sanctions on Iran. Thune said that’s a mistake.

“These sanctions were working,” he said. “We had our foot on the throat, and we let them up.”


Thune says the deal doesn’t force Iran to undo its nuclear infrastructure and it doesn’t allow snap inspections of Iranian facilities. He also said that he doubts the so-called “breakout period,” the time in which Iran could develop highly enriched uranium for nuclear weapons, is a year, saying he thinks experts will conclude it’s much less.

The issue came up when Thune was asked about signing a letter that went to Iranian leaders warning them about making a deal with the Obama administration. Thune and Sen. Mike Rounds were among 47 Republican senators to sign the letter. Democrats have accused them of committing treason.

Read it all here.

Anyone think the world is going to be a safer place once President Obama is done negotiating?  Or is this appeasement along the lines of Neville Chamberlain?

32 thoughts on “Thune on Iran: “We had our foot on the throat, and we let them up.””

  1. Good overview of the “appeasement” argument here:

    The upshot is, if one chooses to see it that way, they are essentially arguing that we should start a war with Iran. Haven’t we already been down that road recently, with disastrous results?

    The other questions for Mr. Thune perhaps are these: Once you have your foot on someone’s throat, what is your next move? And, why is your foot there in the first place?

    Reagan put his foot on Gorbachev’s throat. But he never subsequently nuked the Soviet Union. Was he an Chamberlain-esque appeaser?

    1. Bill, we do not need to declare war. Are you suggesting this is a good thing for the US? Sanctions are keeping Iran in financial trouble. There are frozen assets that will give their economy a shot in the arm. If you believe this is a good idea, I am not sure why you think it is a good idea to make a deal with these people. They have made plain that their goal of eliminating Israel is off the table. Yet our President says he has their backs. Maybe a knife. Iran is one of the major supporters of terrorism. Why would we want to make it easier for them to support terror? Their leadership has repeatedly said “death to America”. They are making life miserable for people in places such as Yemen. Do you think making a deal with them is a good idea? How can you make a deal with people you know to be liars. But then, they can say the same thing. They have already said our President is lying when he told the American people what was in the deal. I really do not know who is lying the most because both sides have a history of untruths.

        1. Who said anything about declaring war? I am talking about continuing the sanctions. I would also be willing to back blockading the narrow port that Iran gets its refined gasoline through. The “this” I was referring to is the deal that may or may not be completed.

          1. The article I linked to made it pretty clear, DuggerSD. The sanctions were to bring Iran to the bargaining table. That’s why they worked. If there’s no bargain to be had, the probability of war is increased to a near certainty. “Not making a deal” isn’t an option that works in the long run, because it ends in war. Anyone who thinks otherwise is most likely kidding themselves.

            1. As with most people I so not take the time to read every article you link. If I did, it is all I would have time to do. I trust that you accurately present a synopsis of what is said. Regardless, the article is an opinion by someone who may or may not be correct. Regardless, perhaps you have missed the fact we are already at war with Iran. They are fighting us in a proxy war in several countries. Also, you ignore or miss the point that their government and ours so nor agree on what was agreed to. You ignore or miss the point that the leaders of Iran still chant “death to America” you ignore or miss the point that you cannot trust them. I do not like the idea of war, but would you rather face them before or after they build a nuclear device? Or perhaps you believe they have peaceful intentions and no longer WA t to destroy Israel?

              1. When you have time, duggerSD, I’ll discuss this you further. Suffice it for now to say that it’s not my responsibility to do your homework for you or to help you find a few spare moments in which to think and reflect. I’m not into one sided arguments.

                1. OK, I have read it. It is as I expected. It is an opinion piece. The guy says hawks want war and apparently we are in a position of taking this bad deal because Iran has no reason to negotiate. I missed the part in the article that says the sanctions brought Iran to the bargaining table. I believe it has been certain conservatives who have been saying this. BTW, I do not use the Munich analogy. However I could not help but notice Churchill’s quote when he told Chamberlain “You were given the choice between war and dishonor. You chose dishonor and you will have war.” This guy has a false choice. Could the US have gotten a better deal? Probably. Keeping the sanctions in place are killing Iran’s economy. As near as I can tell, the Obama Administration has made all of the concessions. My main points still stand. And now perhaps you could answer the questions I posed to you? One-sided arguments, indeed.

                  1. First, I don’t think Iran wants to destroy Israel. I think it’s a game they play (or have been playing) with Israel to control the Sunnis. (Read Trita Parsi’s “Treacherous Alliance.”)

                    Second, if the pact delays the development of nuclear weapons indefinitely, it’s a good arrangement. Without a deal, there is noting to stop them from developing one immediately. Israel almost certainly has nukes, and Pakistan and India do too, and about 7 other countries. To date, the only country that has ever deployed them is the USA. The focus should be on pulling all of that back, not exacerbating the condition.

                    None of us have seen the agreement, so I won’t comment on it. Let’s see what it says first, and then discuss.

                    1. I do believe Iran wants to destroy Israel. They will if they get the chance. That is one of the reasons they support Hezbollah. I also believe Iran wants to destroy the US. That might be a little more difficult. President Obama said he took Netanyahu at his word during the Israeli election yet he does not take Iran at their word when they chant “death to America”? That seems naive to me. We have not seen the agreement, but both sides have told us some of what is in it. That is what the “fact” sheet is for. Thune’s point is that the US had the ability to negotiate from a point of strength and instead negotiated like Republicans in Congress and gave away the store.

                    2. mr fleming if you don’t think iran really wants to destroy israel, you have missed the point of all of the bus bombers, cafe bombers, mall bombers, car bombers and hoards of isil operatives moving in that region. i don’t know how to hold the conversation on the treaty now if you think that.

    2. Thune said the sanctions were a foot on the throat of Iran. Next move? Keep the foot there so they cannot lash out at the rest of the world. Our foot was there because Iran is run by a bunch of psychopaths and they only understand aggression.

      Comparing Reagan to Obama is laughable, so you lost all credibility with that one.

      1. Anyone who posts anonymously has no credibility to begin with. Sorry, that’s just the way it is.

        1. Comparing Reagan to Obama is laughable so you lost the argument on that one. BTW, Reagan did not need to appease the Soviets. He had the cojones to walk away from a bad deal. THAT is what a leader does.

    3. “he upshot is, if one chooses to see it that way, they are essentially arguing that we should start a war with Iran”

      And an open mind would suggest that, if one chooses not to look at it that way, we are not arguing that we should start as war with Iran.

      Sorry, Billy, but disagreeing with your president on Iran does not mean that the dissenters want to start a war. You’ve adopted Obama’s mentally deficient “false dichotomy” approach to policy disagreements.

  2. another difference is that hitler met the world with a massive charm offensive, and sold his improved germany as a benefit to mankind. chamberlain had every reason to love him. now, iran has hated us for a century or more, and the jewish state for crimes against allah going back a thousand years and beyond. they treat their own dissidents with brutality, actively sponsor terror in the region and across the globe, they want Israel vaporized, and are using nuclear processing equipment we sold them in the first place which could conceivably result in a wmd. you’re right, it’s not munich 1938 at all. it’s worse.

    1. some days i wonder if anwar sadat would redo some things if he could reconsider his life’s work. taking jimmy carter’s phone calls might not have ranked so high.

      1. obviously chamberlain had no right to ‘sign away’ parts of the czech republic to appease hitler, and it did not stop hitler. against the backdrop of history that is far worse obviously. the president didn’t overtly sign away some territory that had been falsely taken. what is worse: the u-s’ role in creating this mess to begin with, and our utter failure to show consistency in the administration of policy in the middle east region. just to be clear. everything hinges on whether the treaty works “if fully implemented” which was the president’s caveat for bludgeoning republicans. we can ask hans blix how easy ‘full implementation’ of compliance is.

        1. To be clear, what is Israel’s move if the agreement is signed? Seems to me, Netanyahu is as much of a wildcard in this diplomatic mix as anyone else is. If all the members of the UN Security Council sign an agreement, and the US Congress agrees with it, then theoretically, there is a deal in place, yes? So what happens if Israel follows through with his current line of rhetoric and attacks Iran, expecting us to back him up? That to me seems to be where the real questions lie.

          Talk me out of it.

          1. If you think the PM of Israel is as much of a wild card as the Iranians you’re a fool.

          2. in the midst of an election cycle, netanyahu didn’t let political pressure to knuckle under stop him from owning the national security issue, and he easily could have followed the president’s request not to interfere with the treaty, which would have allowed the president’s proxies and the main election opponent have the appropriate fear-free space to defeat netanyahu on a pocketbook issue. pocketbook voters always want to blame this guy and see if the next guy can fix things. netanyahu defied the pressure to relent, and you can think he’s a maniac all you want, but if he launches a strike, you have to know that iran is far along on a bomb that we’re not monitoring.

            1. and if it’s a matter of iran having a working bomb on an approaching deadline, Israel won’t care if we back them up or not, they’re going in hot and a significant percentage of this nation’s people will support that even if the government won’t.

              1. enquirer, I watch you post here and have noticed that you are usually fairly sensible. Your two posts above are an exception and I’m surprised to hear you endorse Netanyahu’s obvious political hackery and astonishing recklessness. My fervent hope is that he turns out to be wiser and more sensible than you and some of your fellows here appear to be about this circumstance.

                1. thanks for your previous support. and i regret disappointing you now. i’m not advocating netanyahu or opposing him, just explaining him based on history and the certainty of his own words. i know it flies in the face of modern u-s fashion, which wants to casually shame israel for their evident disregard for the downtrodden palestinian state whose intimate existence they’re preventing. there’s a vein of anti-semitism growing out of that bit of social consciousness in the west right now which should be found more shameful but it won’t be. the u-s has a horrible history of aiding then deserting its allies and all an enemy has ever had to do is wait for the winds here to change and it never fails. netanyahu has considerations for his own people that go beyond appeasing u-s governmental directives in an adverse wind.

                  1. Clearly, you don’t see him (Netanyahu) as I do then… a craven, shameless, political hack. It’s okay. We can disagree on that. We won’t be the only ones who do. 🙂

                    1. it’s just that, if netanyahu is imagining or lying about the scope of the danger to israel, then i will grant you he’s a political hack. until the parade of muslims lays their flowers at his stomping churlish feet in a show of peace, i’ll withhold a verdict. i don’t like what the islamists are doing and i happen to take them at their word regarding attitudes toward israel.

          3. “Seems to me, Netanyahu is as much of a wildcard in this diplomatic mix as anyone else is”

            I agree…

            Obama is as unpredictable,unreliable and hateful of Israel as the Ayatollah Khomeni.

  3. Wow so Iran tougher than Germany,Pat Buchanan told Hannity U S could take Iran out in half a day listerning to Thune is better than a sleeping aid .

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