President Obama on Wednesday made a powerful case for the strong and effective nuclear agreement with Iran. In a speech at American University, he directly rebutted critics like Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel and rightly warned of the damage to global security if the Republican-led Congress rejects the agreement.
“If Congress kills this deal, we will lose more than just constraints on Iran’s nuclear deal or the sanctions we have painstakingly built,” he said. “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.”
He debunked the notion that there was a better deal to be had if American negotiators and the allies — France, Britain, Germany, Russia and China — had demanded that Iran capitulate and completely dismantle all of its nuclear facilities. That was not going to happen. The truth is, if Congress rejects the deal when it votes in September, the robust web of multinational sanctions the administration persuaded other countries to impose on Iran will crumble and the only way to keep Iran from gaining a nuclear weapon will be war, he said.
Mr. Obama’s defense of the deal, which is designed to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon in exchange for relief from sanctions, was blunt and forceful. He likened Republicans to Iranian hard-liners, saying both are more comfortable with the status quo.
Congressional Republicans, Mr. Netanyahu and other opponents have mounted a multimillion-dollar lobbying campaign, including ads and a webcast on Tuesday by Mr. Netanyahu to American Jewish leaders in which he denounced the agreement as having “fatal flaws.”
Mr. Obama said he understood Israel’s security concerns and didn’t doubt the sincerity of Mr. Netanyahu’s objections, but he believes the deal is in the interests of both America and Israel. Mr. Obama also promised to redouble American support for Israel’s security.
The speech was so trenchant because Mr. Obama ably connected the opposition to the Iran agreement to recent history. “If the rhetoric in these ads and the accompanying commentary sounds familiar, it should, for many of the same people who argued for the war in Iraq are now making the case against the Iran nuclear deal,” he said.
As a presidential candidate, Mr. Obama opposed the Iraq war. Invading Iraq was a catastrophic mistake that destabilized the country and, more than anything, has enabled Iran to expand its influence in Iraq and in the region. Mr. Netanyahu, of course, was a strong supporter of the Iraq war and in September 2002 made that case in congressional testimony as a private citizen.
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Math professor 1 minute ago
Just finished watching the video of the speech. The NYTimes editorial is helpful, but I absolutely recommend to everyone interested in the…
Amoo Reza 2 minutes ago
Mr. Obama and his team are among the best teams that the Us has ever seen. Just remember Bush, who destroyed not only the US’s economy by…
Al, The Plumber of the Depths of Lunacy 4 minutes ago
No amount of Obama channeling or other propaganda can change the fact that the Iran Nuke Deal is madness! He has been a total disaster…
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After 14 years of war, thousands of American and Iraqi lives lost and many thousands more people wounded, it is appalling that so many opponents of the Iran deal either would cavalierly support military action against Iran or are willing to risk it by rejecting the deal. This is an irrational posture, since, as Mr. Obama pointed out, he and future American presidents would be able to use force if Iran tried to build a bomb in coming years.
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In putting the current situation into its proper context, Mr. Obama drew one crucial lesson from Iraq — the need to get beyond “a mind-set characterized by a preference for military action over diplomacy, a mind-set that put a premium on unilateral U.S. action over the painstaking work of building international consensus, a mind-set that exaggerated threats beyond what the intelligence supported.” Some members of Congress may not have learned that lesson after so many years of war, but surely the American public has.
After the speech, in a meeting with a small group of journalists, Mr. Obama said the possibility of war if the deal fails was a matter of logic. Though Iran may not attack the United States directly, it could threaten American troops in Iraq with Shiite militias there, threaten Israel with rocket attacks by Hezbollah or send a suicide bomber in a small craft against American naval ships in the Strait of Hormuz, he said.
Despite fierce opposition, Mr. Obama expressed confidence the deal would get through Congress, even if by the slimmest of margins. After nearly seven years in office and lots of tough decisions, he said, “I’ve never been more certain that this is sound policy.”
Culled from: http://www.nytimes.com/2015/08/06/opinion/obama-takes-on-opponents-of-the-iran-deal.html?action=click&pgtype=Homepage&module=opinion-c-col-left-region®ion=opinion-c-col-left-region&WT.nav=opinion-c-col-left-region&_r=0