The Iranian nuclear deal is a big step toward world peace, and Republicans would be praising it if one of their own had negotiated it, former Texas Rep. Ron Paul told Newsmax TV's
"The Hard Line."
Paul told host Ed Berliner that the deal echoed Ronald Reagan's deal with the Soviets in the 1980s. Paul's biggest problem with the deal was that the United States had to work under the confines of the United Nations and NATO.
"There's something to be said about moving in the direction of at least talking to people instead of saying, 'All right, you're scoundrels, we'll keep our $100 billion we've taken from you and all options are on the table, like if you don't do what we tell you, we're allowed to use our nuclear weapons against you,'" Paul said. "The tone has been changed. It's to our benefit; it's to the benefit of world peace."
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Paul, dubbed an isolationist during his presidential runs in both the Republican and Libertarian parties, argued that Iran doesn't have troops stationed in other countries and hasn't invaded anyone like the United States has.
Republicans – and quite a few Democrats – would take issue with him, since Iran has been cited by President Barack Obama's administration as the world's top state sponsor of terrorism. It also is funding proxy wars across the Middle East.
"Our foreign policy is basically driven by the military industrial complex, and if they can sell something, they will keep stirring the pot, " Paul said.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called the deal
a "stunning historic mistake," citing Iran as an existential threat to his country, since Iran's leaders have vowed to erase Israel from the map.
Paul said that was "misinterpretation."
"As a matter of fact, the Iranians have never been found in violation of a nonproliferation treaty and they have never been followed in sanction by the United Nations," he said.
"There's a lot of misinformation out there."
Former CIA analyst Fred Fleitz countered that it is Paul who is misinformed.
"Frankly, Republicans are for talking to Iran," Fleitz said. "They're not for talking to Iran with an agreement that will legitimate a nuclear program of a state's sponsor terror that is consistently cheated on this nuclear obligations. Iran will continue to enrich uranium under this deal."
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