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Rejecting the Iran Deal Would Be GOP Suicide

From first reactions, it appears that Hill Republicans will be near unanimous in voting a resolution of rejection of the Iran nuclear deal. They will then vote to override President Obama’s veto of their resolution. And if the GOP fails there, Gov. Scott Walker says his first act as president would be to kill the deal.

But before the party commits to abrogating the Iran deal in 2017, the GOP should consider whether it would be committing suicide in 2016.

For even if Congress votes to deny Obama authority to lift U.S. sanctions on Iran, the U.S. will vote to lift sanctions in the UN Security Council. And Britain, France, Germany, Russia, and China, all parties to the deal, will also lift sanctions.

A Congressional vote to kill the Iran deal would thus leave the U.S. isolated, its government humiliated, unable to comply with the pledges its own secretary of state negotiated. Would Americans cheer the GOP for leaving the United States with egg all over its face?

And if Congress refuses to honor the agreement, but Iran complies with all its terms, who among our friends and allies would stand with an obdurate America then? Israel would applaud, the Saudis perhaps, but who else? And as foreign companies raced to Iran, and U.S. companies were told to stay out, what would GOP presidential candidates tell the business community?

Would the party campaign in 2016 on a pledge to get tough and impose new sanctions? “Coercive diplomacy,” the Wall Street Journal calls it. If so, what more would they demand that Iran do? And what would they threaten Iran with, if she replied: We signed a deal. We will honor it. But we will make no new concessions under U.S. threat.

Would we bomb Iran? Would we go to war? Not only would Americans divide on any such action, the world would unite—against us. And would a Republican president really bomb an Iran that was scrupulously honoring the terms of the John Kerry deal? What would we bomb? All the known Iran nuclear facilities will be crawling with U.N. inspectors.

“Either the issue of Iran obtaining a nuclear weapons is resolved diplomatically through negotiation or it’s resolved through force,” said the president, “Those are the options.” Is that not pretty much where we are at, even if the GOP does not like it?

Republicans seem to be unable to grasp the changes that have taken place in this century. With the Arab Spring, the fall of half a dozen regimes, the rise of al-Qaeda and ISIS, civil wars in Libya, Syria, Yemen, and Iraq, we have a new Middle East. Our principal enemies are now al-Qaeda and ISIS. And while both have been aided by our old allies, Turkey, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia, both are being resisted by Iran.

But, we are reminded, Iran’s regime is founded upon ideological hatred of America. But, so, too, were Mao’s China and Stalin’s USSR. Yet Nixon forged a detente with Mao and FDR partnered with Stalin. And Ronald Reagan negotiated a strategic arms deal with the “evil empire” of his time.

Bibi Netanyahu and AIPAC, the Saudis and Gulf Arabs, will demand that Congress kill the Iran deal that Lindsey Graham says is a “death sentence for the State of Israel.” But one trusts that, this time, the GOP will add a dose of salt to what the hysterics are bellowing.

After all, it was Bibi’s rants—Iran is hellbent on getting a bomb, is only months away, and military action is needed now to smash the whirling centrifuges—that teed up the talks for Tehran. All Iran had to do was prove it had no bomb program, which was not difficult, as U.S. intelligence had repeatedly said Iran had no bomb program.

Then the Iranians proved it. They agreed to cut their centrifuges by two-thirds, to eliminate 98 percent of their uranium, to halt production of 20 percent uranium at Fordow, to convert the heavy-water reactor at Arak that produces plutonium to a light water reactor that produces one kilogram a year, and to let cameras in and give U.N. inspectors the run of their nuclear facilities.

And how is Israel, with hundreds of atom bombs, mortally imperiled by a deal that leaves Iran with not a single ounce of bomb-grade uranium?

What does Iran get? What Iran always wanted. Not a bomb which would make Iran a pariah like North Korea and could bring down upon her the same firestorm America delivered to Iraq, but a path to become again the hegemon of the Persian Gulf.

Remarkable. Iran agrees not to build a bomb it had already decided not to build, and we agree to lift all sanctions. And they pulled it off. What is one or two atom bombs you can’t use, without committing national suicide, compared to $100 billion in freed assets and a welcome mat back to the community of nations.

Patrick J. Buchanan is the author of The Greatest Comeback: How Richard Nixon Rose From Defeat to Create the New Majority. [1] Copyright 2015 Creators.com.

21 Comments (Open | Close)

21 Comments To "Rejecting the Iran Deal Would Be GOP Suicide"

#1 Comment By Fran Macadam On July 17, 2015 @ 1:36 am

Maybe, unknown to us, some politicians made a pact with the Devil to get where they are, and they confer nightly to hear his new orders, which are always the old orders, promote war, always war. They would not be the first to do so in history. Heaven knows, they are not listening to us.

“Things… are in the saddle, and they ride mankind.”

#2 Comment By Gus On July 17, 2015 @ 7:19 am

“Either the issue of Iran obtaining a nuclear weapons is resolved diplomatically through negotiation or it’s resolved through force,” said the president, “Those are the options.” Is that not pretty much where we are at, even if the GOP does not like it?

Must disagree with that statement. The GOP loves that. They choose force.

#3 Comment By Dan Phillips On July 17, 2015 @ 9:43 am

Yes, Gus, that is a false dichotomy. The choice that should have been made all along is America minding our own business and not trying to play global gun controller.

#4 Comment By Majumder On July 17, 2015 @ 10:38 am

“But before the party commits to abrogating the Iran deal in 2017, the GOP should consider whether it would be committing suicide in 2016.”


Depends on which party wins the 2016 presidential election, there’s a strong possibility of another American war in Middle East in 2017.

If American voters choose Scott Walker and Marcos Rubios or Jeb Bush and Lindsey Graham, there will be war!

Donald Trump will not go to war with Iranians, because Trump is a builder of wealth, not a destroyer of American wealth.

#5 Comment By Eric On July 17, 2015 @ 5:07 pm

So your argument is a treaty does not in fact need to be ratified – as the Constitution requires. We simply need a president who wants something and is willing to make a horribly bad deal to get it. And the people’s representatives get no check and balance.

Yes…yes…what could possibly go wrong.

Better idea: bipartisan rejection of a bad deal.

#6 Comment By LBlake On July 17, 2015 @ 5:35 pm

Huh, so if I had to have the choice between Iran developing nuclear weapons with money v. developing weapons without money, I would choose the latter. They are going to continue to develop nuclear weapons. I don’t believe for a minute that they won’t and I don’t care if the Congress “appears” in isolation; they represent me and I stand against giving Iran the money, the United Nations be damned (and they will be). PJB, your logic is usually better.

#7 Comment By Lancelot Lamar On July 17, 2015 @ 6:10 pm

I usually agree with you Pat. (I supported you when you ran for President and I wish you had gotten the nomination that year.)

But I am much more skeptical of this deal. There is that strong strain of Islamic apocalyptic theology in the ideology of Iran’s rulers. I don’t think the Iranian people buy most of it–by all accounts they are wonderful people–but they don’t run the show.

These rulers in the past–in the long war with Iraq–were willing to sacrifice a quarter million of their young men, some of them barely in their teens, in a pointless war of attrition. (This number relative to their population would be the same as if around 1,250,000 Americans had been killed in Vietnam, instead of roughly 60,000)

If the celebration of martyrdom and an apocalypse leading to the return of the mahdi is so central in their ideology and theology, why should we risk them becoming a nuclear power, (or lift conventional arms embargos, as the deal also does) at all?

Should we not accept that they truly believe what they say they believe, and not assume–as the president seems to–that they are really just like us, mostly interested in economic growth and conventional power politics?

Maybe that’s true, but if it’s not there will be literally hell to pay, a possible nuclear holocaust, in the middle east. If I lived in Israel, or in Saudi Arabia, I would certainly perceive Iran as an existential threat.

#8 Comment By EliteCommInc. On July 17, 2015 @ 8:12 pm

I think the deal is no great Earth shattering moment in US history. But I do think that it is accurate to say,

“We should honor our agreements.”there is plenty of nuance that may prove a demonstration of what the concerns are. And there are plenty of reasons to be concerned.

But such is the case with any agreement. It demands the parties behave in a trusting manner. That all of the parties act accordingly, that includes the ability of Euopeans and Russians (both reasons have been circumventing sanctions anyway) to act to hold the Iranians accountable for any subtrafuge or noncompliance and restate sanctions, etc.

Sanction circumventions:




Given the money involved, that’s a tough bet. But that is where we are.

As vague as it is, the old stand by, “clear and present danger” has its merits. I am not a fan of Al Queda or ISIS, but it is high time we allow the region to work out who they are and how they intend to be it as per their choices. Our founders engaged war over far less.

I would add that those who oppose the deal are not neccessairly being obstructionists.
I found the following informative:


I am reminded that Congress rejected the League of Nations, so it certainly will not be the end of the world should Congress reject it.

#9 Comment By Myron Hudson On July 17, 2015 @ 8:48 pm

It is telling point that if Congress manages to scuttle the deal or a future President reneges on it, we would be isolated. Not Iran. All this “leadership” that conservative talking heads rattle on about has just happened. Other governments agreed to impose or live with sanctions at cost to themselves, and major powers negotiated a deal in partnership with us.

Not a single country would follow the “leadership” of a US that acted unilaterally. The international sanctions now in place would disappear. What would we do then – sanction everybody? These guys don’t have a clue. And who would help us if we attacked Iran? Our Mideast “allies”? Not a chance. Our real allies? No.

Unless one or more of this current crop pulls their heads out of where the sun don’t shine, we are indeed looking at political suicide. Their donors would be AIPAC et al, arms manufacturers, and that’s it. The business world will not invite disaster upon itself. And, hopefully, too many of us don’t buy the lies and hysteria coming from the hawks.

#10 Comment By Inevitable On July 18, 2015 @ 12:13 am

Either way there will be war. The only decision left to negotiate is when it will be and where it will be. The Right wants to fight it in the Middle East and the left wants it closer to home so the soldiers can come home every evening.

#11 Comment By timmuggs On July 18, 2015 @ 12:50 am

Thanks for crystallizing this:

“…we have a new Middle East. Our principal enemies are now al-Qaeda and ISIS. And while both have been aided by our old allies, Turkey, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia, both are being resisted by Iran.”

I have not seen this put so succinctly. It shines a streetlight on the path we must follow.

#12 Comment By Emilio On July 18, 2015 @ 11:28 am

Ehud Barak, while slamming the deal for eventually giving space for Iran to develop a nuclear weapon if it really wants to, also stated that hell, it doesn’t matter anyway, because even a nuclear Iran is no threat to Israel, the strongest and most resolute power in the region.

A nuclear Iran would be adding a headache to an already blazing migrane, like in Pakistan’s case. Is a nuclear Pakistan now stronger and even worse than it was before, due to nuclear weapons? Is it handing out nukes to any of its jihadist and terrorist clients? Has its dynamic with India changed in any way due to the weapons, save for actually reducing the chances of war, fearing (rightly) nuclear escalation?

The mullahs aren’t suicidal nor unmanageable. Are they further removed from reality than North Korea? Even crazy North Korea is manageable. They can destroy Seoul _without_ nuclear weapons if they really want to get suicidal. Why don’t they do it? And now, with nukes, why don’t they brandish the nukes, why don’t they use the nukes to turbo-charge their geopolitical dreams, like Iran is supposedly going to do? Could it be because having nukes changes nothing, that it’s merely a suicide pact unless you’re the only one with nukes?

Why would any state pass its greatest, most destructive and valuable secret weapon to a stateless terrorist agent, who would be hopefully untraceable, and thus unaccountable to it? Under what logic does that work? If he’s accountable, he must be traceable. Hence, CIA and Mossad might find the source of the blast. And then that source nation, who failed to secure its weapons, nay, passed them out knowingly to terrorists, will face unfathomable yet certainly regime changing retaliation. Is that not a guarantee? Why would any nation risk this?

#13 Comment By wrw On July 18, 2015 @ 7:17 pm

Clinton promised us the North Koreans would dismantle their nuclear program and allow inspectors in the deal he signed with them.

#14 Comment By SmoothieX12 (aka Andrew) On July 19, 2015 @ 12:39 pm

Rejecting the Iran Deal Would Be GOP Suicide

It is a bit late for that–GOP is in the process of decomposition and it did commit suicide long ago.

#15 Comment By david helveticka On July 19, 2015 @ 12:53 pm

For once I am in disagreement with Pat. Obama is easing sanctions on Iran because he thinks it “will prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon”. BOLONEY! What he’s trying to do is replace Russian gas with Iranian gas in order to hurt Russia. He wants to steal Moscow’s best customer, slash its revenues, weaken it economically, and push NATO further eastward hoping to foment regime change in the capital.

It’s all about the pivot to Asia, the plan to break up Russia, control China’s growth and dominate the world for the next hundred years. And it all starts by blocking the flow of Russian gas to the EU, which means sabotaging Gazprom’s pipeline strategy (South Stream), arming and supporting Russia’s enemies on its western border, demonizing Putin in the media, and doing everything it can to prevent further economic integration between Europe and Asia.

NO Pat, you are DEAD wrong about the Iran deal.

#16 Comment By cameyer On July 19, 2015 @ 1:47 pm

This is without a doubt one of the best arguments and well-written commentaries in support of the Iran deal I’ve read. (I read as many as I can!) A lot of people believe if the US votes the deal down, that ends the deal!
No one has written so clearly on the international implications and especially on the impact on American businesses. Both are part of the ‘check list’ of why support is crucial, but Mr. Buchanan has foreseen where the opponents argument breaks down completely for hawks and conservatives who chose to believe it. The entire issue has been boxed in as an Iran-Israel or Iran-America thing for much too long. This article shows the way to break that box. Thank you

#17 Comment By Serge On July 20, 2015 @ 7:09 pm

“Clinton promised us the North Koreans would dismantle their nuclear program and allow inspectors in the deal he signed with them.”

And what has North Korea done since then with its nuclear/atomic bombs? Has it been able to achieve more with them than without? Has South Korea been obliterated from the face of the earth? Has Japan? I have lived in South Korea (and visited Japan) there is no evidence that the lives in those countries have changed an iota because of North Korea’s nuclear program.

#18 Comment By Mr. Libertarian On July 20, 2015 @ 11:35 pm

New poll shows 41% of GOP support the deal; I haven’t heard one GOP member of Congress support it so far. [6]

#19 Comment By Johann On July 22, 2015 @ 1:58 pm

Eric, the deal is not a treaty.

Lancelot, Iraq attacked Iran. Should they have surrendered?

#20 Comment By Katy On July 22, 2015 @ 6:48 pm

OMG. This is the second time I agreed with Pat.

#21 Comment By cityeyes On July 23, 2015 @ 3:20 pm

Pat was right with “Whose war?” Now he is right again. We cannot afford to give a blank check to Israel on use of our military. Their enemies are not always our enemies.As Ron Paul said if they wish to duke it out with Iran – let them, but keep U.S. out.