Five Points on the Iran Deal

I've received several inquiries asking me to spell out some implications of this week's editorial. Here goes:

  1. No deal is better than a bad Iran deal. And a bad Iran deal is not just a foreign policy setback. It's a foreign policy disaster. 
     
  2. The administration is heading toward a bad deal (see Kissinger-Schultz, and now even James Baker).
     
  3. The Corker bill only helps, if it does, after a deal has been signed—and then 67 votes in the Senate and 290 in the House are needed to overturn a deal. That's unlikely. And a lot of damage in the region (just from signing the deal) will have been done. So Congress can't pass the Corker bill and feel it's done its duty.
     
  4. To the contrary, Congress has to spend the next weeks and months urgently raising questions, demanding clarifications, requesting reports, and trying to insist on various conditions for a deal. Even if such legislation doesn't become law, it can make a bad deal more difficult for the administration to achieve (perhaps by inducing the Iranians to walk away), or to sell to Congress and the public. 
     
  5. The best way to defeat a bad deal is to prevent one. Prevention means, for the time being, questioning and challenging and obstructing. And delay is now our friend.

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