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Howard Dean to Newsmax TV: Don't End Iran Sanctions

Howard Dean to Newsmax TV: Don't End Iran Sanctions
Former Gov. Howard Dean, D-Vt. (Robyn Beck/AFP/Getty Images)

By    |   Friday, 12 June 2015 10:44 PM

Former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean tells Newsmax that the United States ought to be working to keep the strong position it has with Iran through sanctions and not give up that leverage in the current deal.

"There are many of us on both sides of the aisle that are very concerned about what's happening in the negotiations," Dean told "Newsmax Prime" host J.D. Hayworth on Newsmax TV on Friday.

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The former Democratic candidate for president is in Paris to participate in a rally with groups that oppose Iran to show solidarity against the regime. Over 600 political dignitaries are expected to attend along with 120 parliamentarians, a bipartisan delegation from the U.S. Congress, and representatives from European and Muslim countries, the Digital Journal reported. 

Dean told Newsmax that one of the big issues on the table is the current negotiations with Iran over its nuclear program.

"We believe that America has the strong hand, not the weak hand," he explained. "We think that if you ever gave up the sanctions, it'd be very hard to put them back again, and we're very concerned that what may end up in this deal at the end of the day would still be a significant threat to the United States."

Dean said that he doesn't understand "how you make a deal and still leave the Iranians with the capacity to develop nuclear weapons."

"To have a bargain and get rid of the sanctions, simply in return for more notice in case they develop a usable nuclear weapon, it doesn't seem to me to be a terribly good deal for our defense," he told Newsmax.

"The United States has the upper hand. The Iranian people very much want to be friends with the United States. They'd like a deal to go forward," the Vermont Democrat said.

"This government, which is the second most repressive on the face of the earth, other than North Korea, is a government that is not in a strong suit, not in a strong place," he explained. "I don't believe we should be making significant concessions to them."

Dean tells Newsmax that Iran has done nothing but wrought havoc on the Middle Eastern world.

"What Iran has done in Yemen is despicable. They basically undermined a stable Arab country," Dean explained.

"Yemen was a success story. It's the poorest country in the Arab world. It had a stable government. It had a pro-United States government, and because they are next door to Saudi Arabia, the Iranians were playing the game inside the Middle East where they compete with the Saudis," he said.

In addition, "they're still propping up Bashar al-Assad, who is one of the biggest butchers on the face of the earth, who drops barrel bombs full of gas and explosives on his own civilians on a daily basis," Dean told Newsmax.

"The only thing that people in the Middle East, especially these kinds of rogue governments, respect is strength, and I've always preferred to use strength," he contends.

"I was against the Iraq war, and I still think it was a mistake, but that does not mean I don't believe we ought to use strength and show strength at the negotiating tables, particularly in the Middle East," he added.

Dean says that the White House will "have to listen" to these concerns "eventually" because the Senate will bring them up when it gets a chance to approve the Iranian deal.

The former head of the Democratic National Committee says he is very skeptical about what will happen with Iraq as the fight against the Islamic State (ISIS) plays out.

"Because we dismantled Iraq when we went in in 2003, we now have an Iraq which is in three places, and I personally believe Iraq will never be a real country again," he said.

"Western Iraq will be controlled by some sort of Sunni group. I don't think it will be ISIS in the end, but we have to stop it from being ISIS," he explained.

"The Kurds will be independent. They will be our best allies in the region. The eastern Iraqis will be dominated by Iran. We set that up," he said.

The Iraqi troops can't be trained. They run away at every juncture," he contends.

Dean thinks the United States should "put more emphasis on training the Kurds — they have a stake in the region. They have been good fighters."

"I do not think American foreign policy should be based on the idea that we're going to fight for people who won't fight for themselves, and the Iraqis have shown no real interest in fighting ISIS," he added.

Dean also revealed his thoughts on Hillary Clinton's campaign for president and what he thinks about fellow Vermont Democrat Bernie Sanders.

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Former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean tells Newsmax that the United States ought to be working to keep the strong position it has with Iran through sanctions and not give up that leverage in the current deal.
howard dean, sanctions, iran, iraq, isis
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2015-44-12
Friday, 12 June 2015 10:44 PM
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