Tags: Iran | Ilan Goldenberg | iran | nuke deal | Obamacare

Too Big To Fail? Mideast Expert Compares Iran Deal To Obamacare

By    |   Wednesday, 18 March 2015 12:20 PM

In an op-ed for Politico Magazine, Middle East expert Ilan Goldenberg writes that any deal struck with Iran regarding its nuclear program could be similar to Obamacare in that it might be too big to fail.

In his piece, Goldenberg argues an agreement with Iran would be difficult to overturn because President Barack Obama "will hold most of the cards."

"Any agreement with Iran will not require congressional action for years because Congress does not have to approve a deal and will not be asked to permanently lift sanctions until much later in the process, and initially the president will be able to waive the relevant sanctions that are part of a sanctions relief package," Goldenberg writes.

"Also, much of the early lifting of sanctions will come from Europe. All indications are that congressional removal will constitute the very last step of sanctions relief coming after Iran has a years long demonstrated track record of following through on its commitments."

Goldenberg draws parallels between a potential Iran deal and the Affordable Care Act by saying they would both "cause the equivalent of a death spiral."

"In the case of the Affordable Care Act, this would involve massive and unpredictable chaos in the health insurance markets," Goldenberg writes. "In the case of an Iran agreement, the consequences could be even graver."

Goldenberg goes on to explain that if a deal between Iran and the group of six countries, including the U.S., were to be erased, Tehran could immediately resume its nuclear program without any constraints.

Further, Goldenberg argues that Iran could then escalate its "covert war" with Israel. That would raise the potential for more cyber and terrorist attacks, and also the "assassinations of Iranian nuclear scientists."

And by erasing a deal with Iran that's already in place, the U.S. would hurt its image with the other nations on the pact — China, Russia, Britain, France and Germany.

"It would be completely antithetical to the precedent set by other executive agreements signed by the U.S. President such as the Shanghai Communique, which paved the way for normalization of relations with China," Goldenberg writes. "Indeed, such action would probably be the most profound foreign policy defeat executed by Congress against a sitting President since the Senate rejected the Treaty of Versailles nearly a century ago."

Goldenberg attempts to write off the argument against the potential deal with Iran, which includes a "sunset clause" that would end many of the restrictions on the Iranians' nuclear program in 10-15 years. This clause, he writes, should not necessarily be the determinant for calling it a bad deal.

"There are a number of arguments against this, including the fact that we will likely see a leadership change in Iran over the same period of time, and that even military options buy significantly less time," Goldenberg writes.

And if a deal is struck, Goldenberg thinks U.S. lawmakers would be wiser to spend their time trying to improve it, not simply strike it down.

"Washington can follow the precedent of the Obamacare debates with partisan rancor and attempts to slow implementation weakening the agreement and turning a potentially adequate deal into a bad one," he writes. "Or Congress and the administration can instead ask how they can work together to turn a mere sufficient agreement into a much better one."

Republican lawmakers have not been satisfied with the potential deal with Iran, which prompted several of them to send a letter to Iran and threaten to erase the deal in the future.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has called the pending agreement "a very bad deal," and said Obama does not want to involve Congress so he can press forward with it.

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In an op-ed for Politico Magazine, Middle East expert Ilan Goldenberg writes that any deal struck with Iran regarding its nuclear program could be similar to Obamacare in that it might be too big to fail.
Ilan Goldenberg, iran, nuke deal, Obamacare
Wednesday, 18 March 2015 12:20 PM
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