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Tags: Obama | Iran | Deal | nuclear

Obama Gets Desperate to Save Iran Deal

Fred Fleitz By Wednesday, 05 August 2015 03:30 PM EDT Current | Bio | Archive

President Obama’s nuclear agreement with Iran took a beating during congressional hearings last week when Congressmen from both parties asked tough questions about secret side deals, why the agreement lifts sanctions on Iranian terrorists, and whether $100 billion in sanctions relief will be used by Iran to fund terrorism and destabilize the Middle East. Several Congressmen contended the Obama administration got “fleeced” and “bamboozled” since they claimed the nuclear agreement will actually bolster Iran’s nuclear weapons program.

Democratic members who expressed serious reservations about the deal in the hearings included New Jersey Sen. Robert Menendez and Reps. Eliot Engel of New York and Brad Sherman of California.

Over the last week, Congressmen Steve Israel, D-N.Y., Nita Lowey, D-N.Y., Albio Sires, D-N.J., Juan Vargas, D-Calif., Grace Meng, D-N.Y., and Kathleen Rice, D-N.Y., expressed their opposition to the deal.

New York Sen. Chuck Schumer reportedly is leaning toward opposing. Delaware Sen. Chris Coons told Politico he is undecided but has serious reservations and said phone calls to his office are 10-1 against the deal.

Other Democrats opposing the Iran deal include former Sens. Joseph Lieberman, Evan Bayh, Mark Begich, and Mary Landrieu, and former Congressmen Gary Ackerman and Shelley Berkeley.

Polls show the American people have turned against the Iran deal. According to a Quinnipiac University poll, American voters oppose the agreement 57 to 28 percent, with only lukewarm support from Democrats and overwhelming opposition from Republicans and independent voters. A new CBS News poll found Americans oppose the deal 58 to 33 percent.

The Obama administration’s response to growing opposition to the Iran deal has been desperate and bizarre.

Over the weekend, an anti-nuclear group posted a YouTube video of actors and two former U.S. officials praising the deal. The actors included comedian Jack Black playing with a Frisbee and actor Morgan Freeman uttering obscenities. The video, which also included former Jordanian Queen Noor, former U.N. Ambassador Thomas Pickering, and former CIA officer Valerie Plame, looked more like a Saturday Night Live parody than a serious defense of the Iran agreement.

During a speech at American University today, President Obama said opposition to the Iran nuclear agreement is coming from “the same array of forces that got us into the Iraq War.” He also repeatedly attacked congressional Republicans for opposing the Iran deal.

In his American University speech, President Obama tried to liken his deal with Iran to a nuclear test ban treaty that President Kennedy promoted in a speech at this university in 1963. However, Mr. Obama failed to mention that while Kennedy submitted the Partial Nuclear Test Ban agreement as a treaty to the Senate where it was ratified on a bipartisan basis, the Obama administration refuses to submit the Iran agreement as a treaty and has tried to work around Congress and the U.S. Constitution’s language on treaties.

During his American University speech and in a conference call with liberal activists last week, the president complained about millions of dollars being spent to convince Congress to reject the deal. More than one participant in the conference call interpreted the president’s comments as not just inaccurately blaming Republicans alone for opposing the Iran deal but also as a subtle smear of American Jews. William Daroff, senior vice president for public policy of the Jewish Federations of North America, sent this tweet after the call:

"Jews are leading effort to kill #Irandeal. Same people opposing the deal led us into Iraq war."

The president and his media supporters are also pushing a false narrative to defend the Iran nuclear agreement by claiming Republicans are hypocrites to oppose the deal since it is a continuation of President Bush’s Iran policy.

The New York Times made this argument in an August 1 editorial that said the basic bargain President Obama agreed to with Iran — benefits in exchange for nuclear limits — was endorsed by the Bush administration in 2006. The Times also made the misleading claim that a 2006 Bush administration offer to Iran “did not demand that Iran totally dismantle its nuclear enrichment and reprocessing activities (as critics now do).”

The New York Times is rewriting history and distorting the facts. There is no relationship between Bush and Obama policy on the Iranian nuclear program. The Times omitted the fact that the Bush administration insisted that Iran suspend its uranium enrichment program as a condition for multilateral talks. By contrast, the Obama administration allowed Iran to enrich uranium during the nuclear talks and agreed in the final deal to let enrichment continue. Iran also will be allowed to test and build advanced enrichment centrifuges while the nuclear deal is in effect. This concession will not only shorten the timeline to an Iranian nuclear bomb, it will undermine efforts to fight nuclear nonproliferation worldwide.

The Times’ insinuation that the Bush administration would have agreed to let Iran enrich uranium in a nuclear agreement is laughable and contradicts Bush administration policy.

The Obama administration has turned to defending the Iran deal with a strange YouTube video and misleading attacks on opponents of the deal because it cannot defend the agreement on its merits and needs to distract the American people from aspects of this agreement that are impossible to defend such as lifting sanctions on Iranian terrorists, hundreds of billions in sanctions relief that Iran likely will spend on terrorism and secret side deals it is hiding from the American people.

The American people and the U.S. Congress are realizing the Iran nuclear agreement is a bad deal that endangers American and international security. Actors playing with Frisbees and hurling obscenities are not going to change their minds.

Fred Fleitz, a former CIA analyst, followed the Iranian nuclear program for the CIA, State Department, and House Intelligence Committee. He is senior vice president for policy and programs at the Center for Security Policy. Read more reports from Fred Fleitz — Click Here Now.

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The Obama administration’s response to growing opposition to the Iran deal has been desperate and bizarre.
Obama, Iran, Deal, nuclear
Wednesday, 05 August 2015 03:30 PM
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