Chuck Schumer Comes Out Against Obama’s Terrible Iran Deal

People have been wondering whether Schumer will or won’t support the Iran deal, and his support or opposition is big. He’s one of the biggest Democrats in the Senate and his opinion matters

(USA Today) Sen. Chuck Schumer came out against the Iran nuclear agreement Thursday night, making him the most prominent Democrat to oppose one of the biggest foreign policy initiatives of the Obama presidency.

Rep. Eliot Engel, D-N.Y., came out against the deal shortly afterward. He is the ranking Democrat on the House Foreign Relations Committee.

“Ultimately, in my view, whether one supports or opposes the resolution of disapproval depends on how one thinks Iran will behave under this agreement,” Schumer said in an essay on the web site Medium. “To me, the very real risk that Iran will not moderate and will, instead, use the agreement to pursue its nefarious goals is too great.”

Schumer writes

In making my decision, I examined this deal in three parts: nuclear restrictions on Iran in the first ten years, nuclear restrictions on Iran after ten years, and non-nuclear components and consequences of a deal. In each case I have asked: are we better off with the agreement or without it?

In the first ten years of the deal, there are serious weaknesses in the agreement. First, inspections are not “anywhere, anytime”; the 24-day delay before we can inspect is troubling. While inspectors would likely be able to detect radioactive isotopes at a site after 24 days, that delay would enable Iran to escape detection of any illicit building and improving of possible military dimensions (PMD) — the tools that go into building a bomb but don’t emit radioactivity.

Furthermore, even when we detect radioactivity at a site where Iran is illicitly advancing its bomb-making capability, the 24-day delay would hinder our ability to determine precisely what was being done at that site.

He notes the problems with the inspections, with the so-called “snapbacks” of sanctions, and notes that the deal fails after ten years, leaving Iran in a better financial position to fund terrorism and build nuclear weapons.

Those who argue for the agreement say it is better to have an imperfect deal than to have nothing; that without the agreement, there would be no inspections, no snapback. When you consider only this portion of the deal — nuclear restrictions for the first ten years — that line of thinking is plausible, but even for this part of the agreement, the weaknesses mentioned above make this argument less compelling.

That’s a direct slap in the face at Obama using political speak. It’s like when an elected official says “my esteemed colleague from X” in the heat of a debate: they really mean “the a-hole from X”.

Will this opposition give cover to other elected Democrats in not just the Senate, but the House? They have to remember than Obama is gone come January 20, 2017, but quite a few will still be in office, and many want to still be there. Do they really want to be on the hook for their vote when Iran starts cheating and nothing can be done? Do they want to be on the hook when Iran is using all those extra funds for even more terrorism?

Admittedly, no one can tell with certainty which way Iran will go. It is true that Iran has a large number of people who want their government to decrease its isolation from the world and focus on economic advancement at home. But it is also true that this desire has been evident in Iran for thirty-five years, yet the Iranian leaders have held a tight and undiminished grip on Iran, successfully maintaining their brutal, theocratic dictatorship with little threat. Who’s to say this dictatorship will not prevail for another ten, twenty, or thirty years?

To me, the very real risk that Iran will not moderate and will, instead, use the agreement to pursue its nefarious goals is too great.

He understands it’s not just a choice between this bad deal and war, a disingenuous line Obama likes to throw out. We can get a better deal, one which doesn’t give the house away to the hardcore Iranian regime.

Crossed at Pirate’s Cove. Follow me on Twitter @WilliamTeach.

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