With congressional Democrats providing the crucial votes President Obama will need to sustain any veto of Republican-led action to undo the Iran nuclear agreement, former Democratic Rep. Patrick Kennedy made clear his views on the deal.
Speaking to the 50th anniversary celebration Saturday of the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI)—known formerly as MEK, in Washington, D.C., Kennedy delivered a scathing denunciation of the rogue regime.
Describing the regime as “fascistic,” Kennedy, son of the late Sen. Edward Kennedy, said that the government in Tehran is “the largest sponsor of state-sponsored terrorism at home and around the world. It is No. 1 in terms of the massacre of its own people.”
Kennedy, who served in Congress from 1994-2010, hushed the crowd as he invoked his father’s name and recalled how the elder Kennedy never hesitated to write letters on behalf of Iranian dissidents persecuted by Iran’s theocratic government.
“He always stood with the Iranian exiles, just as he stood with Nelson Mandela,” said Kennedy.
He also singled out for praise the MEK, the oldest of Iranian exile groups, for helping expose Iran’s secret nuclear program. Originally formed to fight the shah of Iran, the MEK is now in the forefront of opposition to the present regime in Iran. A spokesman said that since they were founded in 1965, more than 120,000 MEK members have given their lives in fighting the last two Iranian governments.
In an interview with me following his remarks, Kennedy, an early supporter of Barack Obama’s presidential candidacy in 2008, left no doubt of how strongly he felt that the nuclear deal championed by the president was a bad one and that he would oppose it if still in Congress.
Dealing with Iran now is, he told me, “a case of fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me. It government has consistently lied about its nuclear ambitions. The only thing we can trust about them is that they will continue behaving as the ATM machine for the largest state sponsors of terrorism in the world.”
Kennedy added that trusting the present regime in Iran is “akin to putting us back in the late 1930s and saying we can do a deal with Hitler after he’s taken Poland. It would be like saying he’s allowed to become entrenched in what he’s taken, but let’s give him a ten-minute coffee break and he’ll be a different person.
“I wouldn’t be inclined to go allowing a deal like that to go through then, and I certainly wouldn’t be inclined to let a deal go through with Iran today.”
John Gizzi is chief political columnist and White House correspondent for Newsmax.
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