Republicans have once again been made to look like the fools they are as Iran releases the Washington Post reporter they attempted to use as a bargaining chip in an effort to sabotage President Obama’s nuclear deal.
President Obama must have been laughing hysterically this morning after news broke of Iran finally releasing Washington Post reporter Jason Rezaian and several others, including pastor Saeed Abedini and former marine Amir Hekmati, from their imprisonment in exchange for the release of Iranians who were imprisoned by the United States for violating sanctions.
The release of these Iranian-Americans comes just before the nuclear deal goes into effect as the United States government prepares to lift economic sanctions that have been crippling Iran over the years.
As you’ll recall, Republicans shamelessly attempted to tie any deal with Iran to the immediate release of Rezaian and the others, demanding that President Obama make it a condition during the crucial negotiations. Marco Rubio even penned a letter to Secretary of State John Kerry in March 2015 with the same demands.
“It is unacceptable that as the United States engages with Iran, human rights violations at the hands of Iranian officials go unchecked and Americans languish in Iranian jail cells,” Rubio wrote.
“We urge you to discuss these imprisoned Americans and demand their unconditional release as you engage in discussion with Iranian officials.
The Iranian government… is unjustly punishing Mr. Rezaian, Pastor Abedini, and Mr. Hekmati… Once again, Iran’s government is showing they will spare no means to stifle dissent and use innocent Americans as political pawns.”
The letter was signed by 19 Republican senators, including Tom Cotton, who would go on to pen a letter of his own to Iran, warning them that Republicans would refuse to honor the deal if they gained control of the White House in 2016. 47 Republican senators would sign that treasonous letter and the incident has been seen as a major international embarrassment ever since.
But the Obama administration refused to bow to such demands, insisting that making unrelated demands would endanger the opportunity to keep Iran from getting a nuclear weapon and could hinder efforts to secure their release.
And in the end, President Obama has once again been proven right. Not only did he successfully negotiate an end to Iran’s nuclear program, which the Iranians turned over earlier this month, he has now secured the release of Rezaian, Abedini, and Hekmati all through the use of diplomacy without putting either effort at risk by tying them together. And he did it despite constant Republican efforts to sabotage him.
According to The Guardian:
Trita Parsi, the president of the National Iranian American Council, said the release of the prisoners was “a triumph of diplomacy that should be universally commended. “Now, the freed Americans can be reunited with their families and friends after an extraordinarily trying time for everyone involved. We hope that they find solace in their freedom from the turmoil that they endured.”
Parsi said their release was long overdue but that it was unlikely to have happened if US-Iran diplomatic relations hadn’t improved as a result of the nuclear agreement.
“The US and Iran should deepen their engagement on the serious issues that continue to separate the two countries so that further pragmatic solutions can be reached.”
This is a humiliating defeat for Republicans and proves without a shadow of a doubt that the GOP is unfit to handle American foreign policy.
Featured Image: Pete Souza