The Senate may not be the only ones going nuclear under the Obama administration.
This weekend, the White House rounded out its embarrassments at home with a dangerous one abroad by plowing ahead on a six-month pact whose only cheerleader is the country it aimed to subdue: Iran.
Against the advice of trusted Middle East allies, Congress, and even his own party, President Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry agreed to rollback $6 to $7 billion in economic sanctions against Iran in exchange for President Hasan Rouhani’s word that his country would curb its nuclear weapons program.
The pact, reached in Geneva with the five permanent members of the U.N.’s Security Council and Germany, has been universally blasted as a bad deal for the U.S. and Israel — whose very survival is threatened by a weaponized Iran.
In discussing the arrangement, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu didn’t hide his frustration.
“What was reached last night in Geneva is not a historic agreement, it is a historic mistake.”
The world,Â he warned, had become “a more dangerous place” under this lopsided approach — which allows Rouhani’s country the ability to keep most of its nuclear program intact while enjoying the economic freedom of lighter sanctions.
And while the U.N. may be letting Iran off the hook, Netanyahu refuses to.
“Israel has the right to defend itself, by itself,” warned Netanyahu. “Israel won’t let Iran develop military nuclear capability.”
Two weeks ago, during our meeting with Prime Minister Netanyahu in Israel, he pointed out the vast difference between the goals of denying Iran the ability toÂ deliverÂ nuclear weapons versus the goal of ensuring they can’tÂ developÂ nuclear weapons. This deal doesn’t accomplish either!
Both Israel andÂ Saudi ArabiaÂ are united in opposition to the agreement, which should tell you everything you need to know about the deal.
And those aren’t the only unlikely allies in this debate.
The pact is so widely panned here in the U.S. that it may actually succeed in reviving something this city hasn’t seen in months: bipartisanship. Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) told the press that both parties would line up against the administration’s position when Congress returns from recess.
“The disproportionality of this agreement makes it more likely that Democrats and Republicans will join together and pass additional sanctions when we return in December,”Â he admitted.
Instead of rewarding Iran’s bad behavior, leaders likeÂ Sen. Ted CruzÂ (R-Texas) are ready to push back on the President’s position of weakness.
As a result of the deal, “Not one centrifuge will be destroyed,” the Texas Republican said in a statement. “Not one pound of enriched uranium will leave Iran. Not one American unjustly detained in Iran’s notorious prisons will be released.”
That one American Sen. Cruz is referring to is Pastor Saeed Abedini.
A U.S. citizen, Pastor Abedini was arrested during a trip to an Iranian orphanage and sentenced to eight years in one of the worst prisons in the world. Known for its brutal murders, Iran sends prisoners to Evin to hide them from international human rights organizations.
While Pastor Saeed awaits his fate, the Abedini’s two young children have stayed at their home in Idaho, while his wife canvasses the country pleading with leaders to take up her husband’s cause.
Tortured and beaten for his faith, Pastor Saeed suffers internal injuries and bleeding — which the local authorities refuse to treat.
As part of the Iranian nuclear deal, President Obama could have gotten one thing right and demanded the release of this innocent man to his country and family. Instead, the Obama administration refused, abandoning another American to a vicious regime.
In leaving Pastor Abedini behind, the White House flatly ignored twoÂ House and Senate resolutions calling for the U.S. to use all of its leverage to free Saeed and help end the religious persecution in Iraq.
Had President Obama fought for Pastor Abedini’s freedom, Americans might have at least had the comfort of this one victory to offset a disastrous deal that only empowers a government bent on brutality.