Tags: Exclusive Interviews | Iran | MidPoint | iran | nuclear | deal | talks

Special Ops Vet on Iran Negotiations: 'These Are Our Enemies'

By    |   Thursday, 09 April 2015 07:38 PM

Trying to bomb Iran's nuclear research program out of existence might not be the ideal first step for preventing a Middle East nuclear arms race, but neither is negotiating with an enemy state that has the blood of U.S. soldiers on its hands, says a decorated Army Special Operations veteran who served in Iraq.

And hanging on the words of Iran's top cleric to try to divine if the U.S. has cut a good nonproliferation deal misses the point, retired Master Sgt. Jason Beardsley of Concerned Veterans for America told "MidPoint" host Ed Berliner on Newsmax TV Thursday.

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"The truth is we're in the wrong position," Beardsley said of the U.S.-led push for caps on Iran's nuclear program in exchange for an end to economic sanctions.

World powers struck a deal in principle with Iran last week, with terms to be finalized before July, but key figures including Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei are already calling the pact non-binding and accusing the White House of misrepresenting what Iran has agreed to.

"If we're looking to the Iranian mullahs to help us determine whether this is a good deal or not — these are our enemies," said Beardsley. "We have blood in the sand from Iranian Shia militia who have killed U.S. forces [in Iraq]. We have soldiers — I have friends — that have died at the hands of the Iranian enemy."

"We ought to be taking a look at what will work well for America, not what works well for Iran," he said. "And, oh, by the way, any deal with Iran is one we ought not trust from the outset."

Beardsley did not fully endorse the view of another Iraq veteran, Sen. Tom Cotton of Arkansas, who has argued that airstrikes against Iranian nuclear sites must remain on the table and that such strikes would be surgical enough to not trigger a wider regional air and ground war.

But Beardsley said that "someone's going to end up having to do it if they get the weapon."

"Right now we're waiting for the Israelis to take the lead on that," he said, adding, "If [Cotton] wants to call for bombing, that should be something that the Congress in general agrees to and that the military backs."

For now, said Beardsley, "There's other ways to go at this."

"Listen, what he's right about is, first of all, we need to take a leadership role," Beardsley said of Cotton. "Does it mean bombing? Let's talk about how great America is and what America has for the region."

He said the United States should be "leading allies like Saudi Arabia and Egypt into a fight, whether it's through bombing or air campaigns or on-the-ground political campaigns," a reference to the conflict in Yemen, where Houthi rebels backed by Iran have forced a U.S-supported leader to flee.

Beardsley called Yemen another instance of U.S. retreat under President Barack Obama and "our enemies taking advantage on the field."

"What we're watching now is not a surprise," he said. "We've watched the Iranian influence spread and grow throughout the region as the U.S. policy has been one of leading from behind.

"This leaves our troops in harm's way and it also leaves our allies in harm's way," he said. "While we're treating our allies with contempt — allies like Israel and Saudi Arabia — meanwhile we're cutting deals with the Iranian mullahs."

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Trying to bomb Iran's nuclear research program out of existence might not be the ideal first step for preventing a Middle East nuclear arms race, but neither is negotiating with an enemy state that has...
iran, nuclear, deal, talks, enemy
Thursday, 09 April 2015 07:38 PM
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