Tags: MidPoint | Robert Walker | Lisa Ruth | Iran deal | GOP letter

Ex-Rep. Walker: 'Desperate' Obama Prompted Senators' Iran Letter

By    |   Thursday, 12 March 2015 03:22 PM

A former congressman is urging 47 Republican senators who signed an open letter to Iran's leaders to stand their ground in the face of withering criticism and attacks on their loyalty.

The senators took a "completely acceptable" step in warning Tehran that any nuclear non-proliferation deal they sign today could be scuttled by Congress or the next president, former U.S. Rep. Robert S. Walker told "MidPoint" host Ed Berliner on Newsmax TV Thursday.

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The senators did not act out of partisan malice toward President Barack Obama, but in response to Obama's worrisome desperation to conclude a deal with an untrustworthy rogue nation, said Walker.

"The administration appears to be desperate. … The president seems absolutely focused on making this happen no matter what the outcome is," said Walker. "That's what Congress is worried about, and that's why Congress feels it is their obligation to be a part of any kind of final decision in this regard."

Democrats blasted the letter as an ill-timed political stunt in the middle of the negotiations and a gift to Iranian hardliners who want the talks to fail.

Some Obama defenders have accused the letter's author, freshman Sen. Tom Cotton of Arkansas, of treason and of violating the Logan Act, an 18th Century federal law  that bans unauthorized negotiations with foreign governments.

A handful of Senate Republican also declined to lend their signatures to the missive.

Walker said the 47 signatories did not overreach and did not strengthen Iran's hand in negotiations meant to keep the regime from turning its nuclear energy program into a nuclear arsenal.

"What they said to the Iranian government is if you do not go through a process that includes the Congress, in the end, this is an agreement that can be canceled almost with a stroke of a pen," said Walker.

"The letter was completely acceptable, in that what it did was simply make the Iranians aware that in our system, Congress has to be involved."

Walker added that Secretary of State John Kerry's testimony on Capitol Hill Wednesday was "extremely interesting" because it included the admission that any nuclear deal with Iran is non-binding.

"Well, if it's not legally binding on the United States, it's not legally binding on Iran, either," he said. "That's where we get into a really serious problem here, in that whatever it is they're negotiating, no one believes that the Iranians will, in fact, do what they say they're going to do."

Sitting across the table from Iranian negotiators is "an administration that has made it clear that they are going to try to go it alone in virtually everything that they do," said Walker.

"In foreign policy, that can lead to an absolute disaster at this point," he said. "We need to have the kind of clout the Congress is supposed to have under the Constitution in order to assure that whatever deal is made with a rogue country like Iran, that Congress is a part of the final decision."

Joined on air by former CIA intelligence analyst Lisa Ruth, Walker also discussed Iran's controversial role in fighting the Islamic State (ISIS), as the Iraqi government accepts Iranian military help to retake the city of Tikrit.

"ISIS is ultimately a manageable threat if we do the right policy, and that probably means that we at least have to put some [U.S.] Special Forces units into the fight," said Walker.

"But we also have to look at the larger picture, where we do not want a situation to arise where Iran takes over Iraq at the end of the fighting," he said. "It's very important that the United States becomes a foreign policy power that has the trust of our allies and the fear of our adversaries. We don't have that at the present time."

Ruth, of the private intelligence analysis firm LIGNET, also questioned the benefit of permitting more Iranian influence over events on the ground in Iraq, especially since a single military defeat in Tikrit will hardly be the end of ISIS.

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A former congressman is urging 47 Republican senators who signed an open letter to Iran's leaders to stand their ground in the face of withering criticism and attacks on their loyalty.
Robert Walker, Lisa Ruth, Iran deal, GOP letter
Thursday, 12 March 2015 03:22 PM
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