by Jasmin Ramsey
The following is what President Barack Obama had to say about the US’ Iran policy during his Jan. 28, 2014 State of the Union Speech. In saying that he will veto new sanctions passed by Congress, the President is of course referring to what Jim calls the Kirk-Menendez-Schumer Wag the Dog Act of 2014, which we have been covering extensively here at LobeLog:
And it is American diplomacy, backed by pressure, that has halted the progress of Iran’s nuclear program – and rolled parts of that program back – for the very first time in a decade. As we gather here tonight, Iran has begun to eliminate its stockpile of higher levels of enriched uranium. It is not installing advanced centrifuges. Unprecedented inspections help the world verify, every day, that Iran is not building a bomb. And with our allies and partners, we’re engaged in negotiations to see if we can peacefully achieve a goal we all share: preventing Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon.
These negotiations will be difficult. They may not succeed. We are clear-eyed about Iran’s support for terrorist organizations like Hezbollah, which threaten our allies; and the mistrust between our nations cannot be wished away. But these negotiations do not rely on trust; any long-term deal we agree to must be based on verifiable action that convinces us and the international community that Iran is not building a nuclear bomb. If John F. Kennedy and Ronald Reagan could negotiate with the Soviet Union, then surely a strong and confident America can negotiate with less powerful adversaries today.
The sanctions that we put in place helped make this opportunity possible. But let me be clear: if this Congress sends me a new sanctions bill now that threatens to derail these talks, I will veto it. For the sake of our national security, we must give diplomacy a chance to succeed. If Iran’s leaders do not seize this opportunity, then I will be the first to call for more sanctions, and stand ready to exercise all options to make sure Iran does not build a nuclear weapon. But if Iran’s leaders do seize the chance, then Iran could take an important step to rejoin the community of nations, and we will have resolved one of the leading security challenges of our time without the risks of war.
In a speech that was rather thin on foreign policy, it is good to see that President Obama made such a strong and persuasive statement on Iran. As another article on LobeLog today shows, all the hype about Iran’s nuclear program is “a manufactured crisis”. Congress should be made to see that it is pushing against an open door and all the AIPAC propaganda about Iran’s nuclear weapons is nothing but propaganda. It is time for Congress to fall in line and support the rapprochement with Iran.
It’s too bad the President feels compelled to be politically correct about the reasons for, and effect of sanctions, even when the narrative on which it is based is wrong. At least he has been forceful in his words about pursuing diplomacy. In the end, it is results that count, and up to now this and prior Administrations have been more effective at missing opportunities than seizing them. So, it is not only Iran that is ‘under probation’, it is the U.S., and not only with its Iran policy, but also its Syria policy. As for impact of the sanctions, for someone in the Bronx who has to pay over $4.00 a gallon for #2 heating oil, the sanctions seem to have been very effective…..in shooting the 99% in the foot. That’s a tax on Americans for a subsidy for the Israelis and Israeli foreign policy that has been hard to swallow.
Well, at least we know what’s up, as far as the “O” is concerned vs the opposition. It’s about time, the “O” spoke to both Congress and the American people as to where things are today, what’s at stake, and who might be thinking otherwise. After ll, isn’t he the CiC in this time of “war on terrorism”? No one said it would be easy, but the option of failure is too much of a price to pay.
If Israel and Pakistan have nukes, why ban Iran from having them, Iran has not invaded another country in over 200 years, can’t say that for Israel
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