Menendez on Iran: Failure Theater, or not?

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Menendez on Iran: Failure Theater, or not?

Bob Menen­dez (D-​NJ), senior mem­ber of the Sen­ate For­eign Rela­tions Committee:

let’s remind our­selves of the stated pur­pose of our nego­ti­a­tions with Iran: Sim­ply put, it was to dis­man­tle all — or sig­nif­i­cant parts — of Iran’s illicit nuclear infra­struc­ture to ensure that it would not have nuclear weapons capa­bil­ity at any time. Not shrink its infra­struc­ture. Not limit it. But fully dis­man­tle Iran’s nuclear weapons capability.”

Instead,

This deal grants Iran per­ma­nent sanc­tions relief in exchange for only tem­po­rary – tem­po­rary — lim­i­ta­tions on its nuclear pro­gram – not a rolling-​back, not dis­man­tle­ment, but tem­po­rary lim­i­ta­tions. At year ten, the UN Secu­rity Coun­cil Res­o­lu­tion will dis­ap­pear along with the dis­pute res­o­lu­tion mech­a­nism needed to snap­back UN sanc­tions and the 24-​day manda­tory access pro­vi­sion for sus­pi­cious sites in Iran.

The deal enshrines for Iran, and in fact com­mits the inter­na­tional com­mu­nity to assist­ing Iran in devel­op­ing an industrial-​scale nuclear power pro­gram, com­plete with indus­trial scale enrichment.”

The above is from Menendez’s speech at Seton Hall University’s School of Diplo­macy and Inter­na­tional Rela­tions yes­ter­day, which I urge you to read in full (the speech is also avail­able on YouTube). Get past the oblig­a­tory put­down of Repub­li­cans and praise of Obama, and you have, as Ace calls it, a speech that is all but unanswerable.

Today Menen­dez has an op-​ed on the NYPost reit­er­at­ing his pro­posal for a bet­ter Iran deal. He lists six points, and asserts that talks should con­tinue to “allow the re-​consideration of just a few, but a crit­i­cal few issues”, and he lists six essen­tial points, while

At the same time we should: Extend the autho­riza­tion of the Iran Sanc­tions Act, which expires in 2016, to ensure that we have an effec­tive snap­back option; con­sider licens­ing the strate­gic export of Amer­i­can oil to allied coun­tries strug­gling with sup­ply because Iran­ian oil remains off the mar­ket; imme­di­ately imple­ment the secu­rity mea­sures offered to our part­ners in the Gulf Sum­mit at Camp David, while pre­serv­ing Israel’s qual­i­ta­tive mil­i­tary edge.

Menen­dez is keenly aware that Iran­ian Pres­i­dent Has­san Rouhani flew to Rus­sia to con­sult with Vladimir Putin last week while two Russ­ian war­ships docked in north­ern Iran for naval train­ing exer­cises.

Rouhani, you may recall, is still under an Inter­pol Red Notice for his alleged role in the deci­sion to bomb the AMIA (Aso­ciación Mutual Israelita Argentina or Argentine-​Israelite Mutual Asso­ci­a­tion) build­ing in Buenos Aires, Argentina, in 1994. More recently, Argen­tin­ian pros­e­cu­tor Alberto Nis­man was killed by a sin­gle shot to his head in his apart­ment the day before he was to tes­tify to con­gress about Iran’s deal(s) with pres­i­dent Cristina Fer­nan­dez for sup­press­ing evi­dence, deals in which Nis­man alleged Rouhani was involved (you can go to my blog and scroll down).

And yet, “Rouhani, Blunt and Charm­ing, Pitches a Mod­er­ate Iran” when he’s not attend­ing Death to Amer­ica events.

As Ted Cruz says, “If there’s one prin­ci­ple that his­tory has taught us, it is that if some­body tells you they want to kill you, believe them.”

Sec­re­tary of State John Kerry, who last Fri­day stood like patience on a statue while Cuba’s Min­is­ter of For­eign Affairs Bruno Rodríguez Par­rilla brazenly lied about Cuba and insulted the U.S. dur­ing their joint press con­fer­ence, demon­strated his con­tempt for Con­gress dur­ing his Iran testimony

by mak­ing cause with self-​proclaimed ene­mies of his nation against a branch of his own government.

Not only with his words, but also in

the way the admin­is­tra­tion is seek­ing to bypass the Con­gres­sional role in approv­ing treaties through the com­bi­na­tion of an exec­u­tive agree­ment and a UN Secu­rity Coun­cil resolution.

Does it all amount to Fail­ure The­ater, or will Menen­dez and the Sen­ate Democ­rats who oppose the deal achieve their goal?

I don’t know.

But I’m call­ing my Sen­a­tor to oppose the Iran deal.

Fausta Rodriguez Wertz writes on U.S. and Latin Amer­i­can pol­i­tics, news and cul­ture at Fausta’s Blog.

Bob Menendez (D-NJ), senior member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee:

“let’s remind ourselves of the stated purpose of our negotiations with Iran: Simply put, it was to dismantle all — or significant parts — of Iran’s illicit nuclear infrastructure to ensure that it would not have nuclear weapons capability at any time. Not shrink its infrastructure. Not limit it. But fully dismantle Iran’s nuclear weapons capability.”

Instead,

“This deal grants Iran permanent sanctions relief in exchange for only temporary – temporary — limitations on its nuclear program – not a rolling-back, not dismantlement, but temporary limitations. At year ten, the UN Security Council Resolution will disappear along with the dispute resolution mechanism needed to snapback UN sanctions and the 24-day mandatory access provision for suspicious sites in Iran.

“The deal enshrines for Iran, and in fact commits the international community to assisting Iran in developing an industrial-scale nuclear power program, complete with industrial scale enrichment.”

The above is from Menendez’s speech at Seton Hall University’s School of Diplomacy and International Relations yesterday, which I urge you to read in full (the speech is also available on YouTube). Get past the obligatory putdown of Republicans and praise of Obama, and you have, as Ace calls it, a speech that is all but unanswerable.

Today Menendez has an op-ed on the NYPost reiterating his proposal for a better Iran deal. He lists six points, and asserts that talks should continue to “allow the re-consideration of just a few, but a critical few issues”, and he lists six essential points, while

At the same time we should: Extend the authorization of the Iran Sanctions Act, which expires in 2016, to ensure that we have an effective snapback option; consider licensing the strategic export of American oil to allied countries struggling with supply because Iranian oil remains off the market; immediately implement the security measures offered to our partners in the Gulf Summit at Camp David, while preserving Israel’s qualitative military edge.

Menendez is keenly aware that Iranian President Hassan Rouhani flew to Russia to consult with Vladimir Putin last week while two Russian warships docked in northern Iran for naval training exercises.

Rouhani, you may recall, is still under an Interpol Red Notice for his alleged role in the decision to bomb the AMIA (Asociación Mutual Israelita Argentina or Argentine-Israelite Mutual Association) building in Buenos Aires, Argentina, in 1994. More recently, Argentinian prosecutor Alberto Nisman was killed by a single shot to his head in his apartment the day before he was to testify to congress about Iran’s deal(s) with president Cristina Fernandez for suppressing evidence, deals in which Nisman alleged Rouhani was involved (you can go to my blog and scroll down).

And yet, “Rouhani, Blunt and Charming, Pitches a Moderate Iran” when he’s not attending Death to America events.

As Ted Cruz says, “If there’s one principle that history has taught us, it is that if somebody tells you they want to kill you, believe them.”

Secretary of State John Kerry, who last Friday stood like patience on a statue while Cuba’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Bruno Rodríguez Parrilla brazenly lied about Cuba and insulted the U.S. during their joint press conference, demonstrated his contempt for Congress during his Iran testimony

by making cause with self-proclaimed enemies of his nation against a branch of his own government.

Not only with his words, but also in

the way the administration is seeking to bypass the Congressional role in approving treaties through the combination of an executive agreement and a UN Security Council resolution.

Does it all amount to Failure Theater, or will Menendez and the Senate Democrats who oppose the deal achieve their goal?

I don’t know.

But I’m calling my Senator to oppose the Iran deal.

Fausta Rodriguez Wertz writes on U.S. and Latin American politics, news and culture at Fausta’s Blog.