Protracted nuclear talks with Iran have devolved into a "dangerous series" of concessions, and Congress needs to finally step in ensure Iran's complete disarmament, says Republican Sen. Tom Cotton, an Iraqi war veteran.
In commentary for The Wall Street Journal,
the Arkansas lawmaker, a member of the Senate Banking and Intelligence committees, mounted a blistering attack on Iran's terror track record, and questioned the Obama's administration's slow-go negotiations as a way to avoid "any deadline for itself or congressional review of its actions."
"This makes congressional action all the more necessary," Cotton writes.
"Our negotiating 'partner,' Iran, is not a rational or peaceful actor," he argues, adding: "[I]t is a radical, Islamist tyranny whose constitution explicitly calls for jihad. Iran’s ayatollahs have honored the call: Iran has been killing Americans for more than three decades."
"During my tour in Baghdad leading an infantry platoon, Iran supplied the most advanced, most lethal roadside bombs used against coalition forces," Cotton writes. "My soldiers and I knew that Iranian-supplied bombs were the one thing our armored vehicles couldn’t withstand. All we could do was hope it wasn’t our day to hit one. My platoon was lucky; too many others were not."
He also notes more recently, "Iranian-aligned Shiite militants have seized the capital of Yemen," Iran "continues to prop up Bashar Assad ’s outlaw regime in Syria," and that Iran "signed a new defense pact with Russia."
President Barack Obama, he writes, asks that Congress postpone new legislation dealing with the Iranian threat, citing "the sensitivity of nuclear negotiations and Iran’s continuing participation."
"One has to ask: If this is the cooperation that our forbearance has achieved, can America afford any more cooperation from Iran? The answer is no."
Cotton says legislation
approved by the Senate Banking Committee on Thursday would "would impose new conditional and prospective sanctions on Iran if nuclear negotiations fail," and calls for Congress' approval of any nuclear agreement.
"[W]hat began as an unwise gamble has descended into a dangerous series of unending concessions, which is why the time has come for Congress to act," he writes.
"Many Senate Democrats oppose the proposed legislation, agreeing with President Obama that it might cause Iran to 'walk away' from negotiations. Yet sanctions brought Iran to the table in the first place. … The regime in Tehran could easily avoid new sanctions by making a deal."
"Congress must protect America from a bad deal," he insists.
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