President Obama Observes That GOP And Iranian Extremists Are United In Hating Iran Deal

President Obama took Republicans to the woodshed over their hatred of the Iran deal, noting that they have much in common with extremist Iranians who chant “Death to America.”

On Wednesday, President Obama delivered a speech at American University in Washington D.C. explaining why it is crucial that Congress votes to approve the Iran nuclear deal. But while talking about the history of nuclear non-proliferation deals the United States has reached in the past and the strengths of the current deal with Iran, he also took the time to sprinkle in some shots at Republicans who have staunchly opposed it.

President Obama pointed out that Democratic and Republican presidents have once made deals with the Soviet Union to avert the threat of nuclear war, noting that the Cold War was far worse of a threat to the world than Iran poses today. Yet, former Presidents Kennedy and Reagan both sat at the table to negotiate treaties with our arch-enemy to seek a diplomatic solution while leaving war as the last possible option.

Obama then changed gears and stated that this approach all changed when the Bush Administration valued military action more than the diplomatic approach that has served us well throughout American history:

“Now, when I ran for president eight years ago as a candidate who had opposed the decision to go to war in Iraq, I said that America didn’t just have to end that war. We had to end the mindset that got us there in the first place.

It was a mindset characterized by a preference for military action over diplomacy, a mindset that put a premium on unilateral U.S. action over the painstaking work of building international consensus, a mindset that exaggerated threats beyond what the intelligence supported.

Leaders did not level with the American people about the costs of war, insisting that we could easily impose our will on a part of the world with a profoundly different culture and history.”

And because of Bush’s decision to invade Iraq, the resulting power vacuum gave Iran more power in the region and led to the creation of ISIS.

Obama reminded the audience that Iran didn’t have centrifuges prior to Bush taking office and that US sanctions alone didn’t hinder Iran’s path to a bomb. Only with international cooperation would the United States be able to force Iran to the negotiating table and that is exactly what happened after world powers also slapped crippling sanctions on Iran.

As for the details of the deal itself, President Obama highlighted that the deal requires Iran to give most of their centrifuges and uranium supplies. They are permanently restricted from building a nuclear weapon and must submit to monitoring and inspections of their nuclear facilities. Iran must also submit to inspections of any secret bases that are suspected by any signatory nation of the deal. Furthermore, sanctions can be “snapped back” into place without delay if Iran is caught cheating. It is Iran’s effort to use nuclear power as an energy source that has a expiration date, which occurs in 15 years.

It is the strongest possible deal we could have hoped for, and Obama warned that not supporting the deal would put Iran on the fast-track to getting a nuclear weapon since Iran would have no incentive to honor the deal if we won’t lift the sanctions because of GOP stubbornness to oppose anything President Obama does.

Obama also¬†addressed Republican opposition to the deal directly. Much to the amusement of the audience, the president observed that Republicans actually have much in common with the extremist Iranians who chant “Death to America.” As it turns out, they hate the Iran deal, too, which means if Republicans kill the deal, they’ll be doing exactly what the Iranian extremists want.

But superpowers should not act impulsively in response to taunts or even provocations that can be addressed short of war. Just because Iranian hardliners chant “Death to America” does not mean that that’s what all Iranians believe.

In fact, it’s those hardliners who are most comfortable with the status quo. It’s those hardliners chanting “Death to America” who have been most opposed to the deal. They’re making common cause with the Republican Caucus.

In conclusion, President Obama asked Americans to tell Congress to support this deal because it does two things: restores American diplomacy and credibility to it’s rightful place in the world and prevents Iran from getting a nuclear weapon.

“We built a coalition and held together through sanctions and negotiations, and now we have before us a solution that prevents Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon without resorting to war.

As Americans, we should be proud of this achievement. And as members of Congress reflect on their pending decision, I urge them to set aside political concerns, shut out the noise, consider the stakes involved with the vote that you will cast.

If Congress kills this deal, we will lose more than just constraints on Iran’s nuclear deal or the sanctions we have painstakingly built. We will have lost something more precious: America’s credibility as a leader of diplomacy. America’s credibility is the anchor of the international system.”

Here’s the video of the entire speech via C-SPAN. The remarks about Republicans agreeing with extremist Iranians begin at the 40 minute mark.

For too long, Republicans have foolishly opposed President Obama at every turn because they want the first African-American president to fail. In their efforts, they have literally taken America hostage at every turn in an attempt to get their own way, and Americans have paid a heavy price for their perpetual opposition. If Republicans have their way, this deal will fail and we will have missed a grand opportunity to disarm Iran, and we will lose respect from nations around the world. In addition, President Obama is in office until January 2017, and if a Republican replaces him in the White House and this deal is not in place, nothing stops the GOP from pursuing another costly and bloody war in the Middle East in the quest to stop Iran from having a nuclear bomb. Such a war is unnecessary because of this deal, thus it is only those who want war who are against it.

In short, Americans can either get behind this deal and reject GOP war mongering in favor of diplomacy and international cooperation, or get ready to return to the cowboy policies that left 4,000 U.S. soldiers dead and put us trillions of dollars in debt. Only this time, the war would be far bloodier and way more expensive.

Featured image via Flickr