United States Senator Bob Sasse of Nebraska has written a letter to President Obama urging him to keep the burden of proof on Iran with regard to its nuclear program. Sasse, who is a member of the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, also cautioned the president not to give away UN sanctions on Iran.
In the letter, Sasse cited President Obama’s own words:
“On April 17, 2015, you stated: “Our main concern here is making sure that if Iran doesn’t abide by its agreement that we don’t have to jump through a whole bunch of hoops in order to reinstate sanctions.” That standard cannot be met if the Council enacts resolutions that merely declare Iran’s obligation to comply proactively, but provide no practical, automatic consequences if any dispute over Iran’s compliance remains unresolved. If a dispute over Iran’s compliance arises, and the consequence is merely votes and referrals to the Security Council and more votes, then the burden of proof, for all practical purposes, will be on the United States to demonstrate Iran’s noncompliance. Iran will then have a strong incentive to manufacture disputes over its compliance as a way to escape its obligations under the agreement. That is a recipe for failure.”
Sasse refers to Iran as a “dangerous state-sponsor of terrorism” and also points to a letter Senator Bob Corker sent to the president on June 15th which pointed out that members of Obama’s administration have said that sanctions relief could be used by Iran to support terrorism. Sasse goes one to say that the message being sent to other countries is that they can cheat the international community with no repercussions.
Obama himself has said that he would walk away from Iran if it’s a bad deal for the United States. Sasse addresses this claim head on:
“No deal is better than a bad deal. Unless Iran agrees to anytime-anywhere inspections and verification measures, full disclosure of previous weaponization efforts, gradual and conditional sanctions relief, and automatic snap-back of sanctions, Congress should reject the deal and ensure that both sanctions and military action remain on the table to stop Iran’s nuclear ambitions. The ultimate goal must be for Iran to dismantle its nuclear facilities, facilities built in secret and in violation of international law, facilities that it defends like military targets and doesn’t need for anything except nuclear weapons. We cannot let the world’s most dangerous weapons fall into the hands of the world’s most dangerous state-sponsor of terrorism.”
The senator suggests that U.S. and UN sanctions can be used effectively in the long term against state-sponsors of terror and offers North Korea as an example. He also makes a strong case about the dangerous precedent set by the alternative:
“Despite the enormous long-term leverage the sanctions give U.S. policy, your administration is lifting them under a deal that appears to legitimate the essential elements of Iran’s nuclear weapons program. You are telegraphing to the world that if a rogue regime really wants nuclear capabilities, the U.S. has no diplomatic or military way of stopping them. That is a deplorably irresponsible, reckless, and false message, and it can only increase the risk of instability, armed conflict, and widespread nuclear proliferation in the long run.”
The Obama administration has long claimed that the end goal of the deal is to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon but the goal posts have been moved and the terms have changed so often that the U.S. seems to have forgotten the ideal outcome.
“Please do not deprive our country of the few remaining diplomatic options that remain for resolving the Iran nuclear standoff peacefully. The burden of proof must be on Iran to demonstrate its compliance with the terms of the dangerous nuclear deal your team is negotiating.
I look forward to reviewing the terms of any nuclear agreement as provided by the Iran Review Act, including the terms of any related Security Council resolution. There is no more important national security issue than ensuring Iran does not obtain a nuclear weapon.”