The Iranian government would prefer four more years of President Barack Obama, whose administration allowed them time to develop their nuclear weapons program, former chairman of the House Intelligence Committee Pete Hoekstra tells Newsmax TV.
Hoekstra, currently the GOP candidate for the U.S. Senate in Michigan, was responding to speculation that Iran might return to the negotiating table before the November elections. He said “there’s no doubt in my mind that the Iranian government would very much prefer to keep President Obama in office.”
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“Remember, it was President Obama in 2009 that when people were rioting in the streets in Iran demanding a governmental change and overthrow the government that it was the Obama administration that was slow to react and to be supportive of the people on the streets,” he said.
“This president has really given them four more years to move their nuclear program forward. What I’m reminded of as you hear this talk about Iran is now going to begin negotiating and those types of things. When is America going to learn? We did this how many times with North Korea? “
Hoekstra said the United States should not let up on sanctions until there’s an actual, specific change in behavior. He said if Iran truly wants the sanctions lifted they need to give the United States access to their nuclear sites, turn over any nuclear materials they’ve developed and to stop their program.
“The number one priority in the Middle East is to stop their enrichment program, to stop their weapons program and to make sure that Iran does not get nuclear weapons,” he said. “So those are the kinds of things and the kinds of steps they should take right now before we do anything else.”
Hoekstra, who just returned from a trip to Israel, noted the country is apprehensive about the U.S. presidential election.
“They feel alone, they feel isolated and they feel threatened,” he said. “They’re very concerned about what’s going on in the Middle East and they believe that their relationship with the United States right now is probably as weak as it has been in a long time. So they’re seeing two things: their relationship with the United States isn’t as strong as what they want it to be and they see a greater level of threats than what they’ve seen in a long time.”
In other news, Hoekstra said:
- On Libya: The bottom line is that “what happened in Benghazi was a premeditated, planned attack to coincide with the anniversary of 9/11. They saw a weak America that did not have the security in place necessary to protect its resources and to protect the people that were working at that consulate and the ambassador was a target of opportunity. It was premeditated, planned terrorist attack and that’s all we really need to know as we move forward and respond to it.”
- On "Green Jobs:" That battery maker A123’s bankruptcy filing in his home state of Michigan is another symptom of President Obama’s failed policies. “His economic policy is in shambles as are the policies of the person I’m running against, Debbie Stabenow. It’s one of the reasons that she is afraid to debate. They don’t have a good record. She recognizes that their agenda and record is so weak and they have no vision for moving forward. I feel sorry for the people at A123. They are people who are working hard. They’re trying to do the right thing. But the federal government and Debbie Stabenow should not be trying to pick the winners and losers in a market economy wasting taxpayers’ money.”
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