September 2, 2015
With the decision by Sen. Barbara Mikulski of Maryland to support the Iran nuclear deal, President Obama now has the required 34 votes to sustain his veto against a GOP filibuster. After a deal was reached this summer with Iran to halt its nuclear aspiration, the GOP controlled Congress, vowed to block any attempt by the Obama administration to proceed with the agreement.
By gaining Sen. Mikulski’s support, the President has secured a potential green light to make his goal of settling the nuclear issue before he leaves office in 2016, a reality. Skeptics of the deal have long claimed the idea of an agreement would set up weak standards for the monitoring regime to be implemented, while some believe the deal, could allow Iran to achieve its goal of a nuclear weapon within years.
Since the Iran hostage crisis of the 70s and 80s, the United States and Iran, have engaged in a diplomatic crisis that continued for decades until the recent efforts by the Obama administration to reach a reasonable agreement with the support of the P5+1 – The U.S., U.K., France, Germany, China and Russia.
While it is true that no deal is perfect especially, when dealing with a nation many think is an enemy of the United States, what opponents of the deal are failing to see is the danger of doing nothing by allowing what experts in the field including the European Union, believe is the best way forward. The agreement remains the best available option to curb Iran’s desire for a bomb and so far, critics of the deal have failed to present a workable alternative.
Any attempt to ignore the opportunity presented by the deal reached, will not only make it harder to reach future agreements with Iran but also, pave the pathway to a bomb and make the world less safe. The decision by the P5+1 to support the deal, gave the United States, a powerful leverage to secure the kind of global support that would make Iran less likely to renege on the conditions in the nuclear deal.
If the U.S. Congress decides to filibuster the agreement, majority of European nations will sign on to its provisions, making American sanctions less powerful to have damaging effects on Iran’s economy. Any unilateral move by the U.S. to freeze Iran’s growth will lack global support, making such attempt completely irrelevant.
Failure to secure a deal now, will give Iran a reason to boost its nuclear arsenal, to defend the nation in the event of an attack by the United States or Israel if the agreement falls apart.
Even with major EU nations now signed to the nuclear instrument, Iran may choose to pullout completely from the deal, if the government in Tehran feels its interests would be jeopardized by the absence of U.S. endorsement. Such decision means Iran could do whatever it wants including moving on with its nuclear program.
A move like that may force the U.S. or Israel to respond with an attack likely to devastate the Middle East and disrupt any peace process in the region. Any attack by Israel or the U.S., will trigger a wave of terror activities, ISIS and Al Qaeda will experience a surge in recruits and Iran would be left with no other choice but to increase its support for a global Jihad.
Any attempt to continue the sanction regimes as proposed by the opposition to current deal, will have no effect. Sanctions never worked in North Korea and with major EU nations now willing to relax the aggressive sanctions on Iran, a unilateral imposition of another regime by the U.S., would lack the envisioned biting effect.
The United States Congress must learn from the results in North Korea. Despite decades of the most aggressive sanctions in the history of civilization, the regime thrived and rather than collapse from sanctions, it survived and the nation is today a nuclear state.
Without proper care, Iran may follow suit if threatened with global isolation. The United States Congress must give diplomacy a chance by endorsing the deal. The monitoring initiative established for the purpose of verifying Iran’s compliance must be allowed to carry out its duties. Peace is desperately needed in that part of the world and any failure to pass this deal as proposed by critics, will have no productive impact but make Iran nuclear.