Jul 30, 2015

We Don’t Have to Choose Between War and a Bad Deal

One of the strongest arguments the Obama Administration has made in defense of its fundamentally flawed Iran nuclear deal is that the only alternative is war.

The reason for that belief is, according to Secretary of State John Kerry that, “If Congress rejects this, Iran goes back to its enrichment. The Ayatollah will not come back to the table… the sanctions regime completely falls apart.” Eventually, there will be no sanctions and Iran will get a bomb, so the story goes.

In and outside of Congress, those with grave concerns about the deal have recognized that we have more than these two choices. With a President willing to take the lead, the world can double-down on the sanctions regime, bring Iran back to the negotiating table, and force a better deal.

In fact, a senior official from one of our strongest allies believes that rejecting a deal would be the best opportunity for us to get a better deal down the line. After Democratic Representative Loretta Sanchez (CA-46) met with Jacques Audibert—senior diplomatic advisor to French President Francois who led the French diplomatic team in the discussion with Iran and the P5+1—she said our allies don’t agree with Secretary Kerry’s false choice.

According to Representative Sanchez, Audibert said that if Congress votes down the deal,

“There will be some saber-rattling and some chaos for a year or two, but in the end nothing will change and Iran will come back to the table to negotiate again and that would be to our advantage…. He thought if the Congress voted it down, that we could get a better deal.”

Nobody wants Iran to have a nuclear weapon. Not Congress, not the American people, and not our allies. With American leadership, the sanctions regime can be re-imposed, meaning we have more options than war or a bad deal.

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