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David Sadler
04-15-2015, 07:17 PM
This can be a thread dedicated to Rand Paul's stated, written and voted policies regarding Iran. I'll add to it over time. Others are free to contribute.

In the meantime, here's a good article on the Iran situation.



A Really Bad Idea: A 'Limited' War with Iran (http://nationalinterest.org/feature/really-bad-idea-limited-war-iran-12623)
Ted Galen Carpenter
nationalinterest.org
April 14, 2015

... Kristol, Cotton, and Graham are not reticent about the alternative they prefer. Unless Tehran is willing to capitulate on the nuclear issue, renouncing any right to uranium enrichment and dismantling all aspects of its nuclear infrastructure, those hawks and their ideological allies favor resorting to military action.

Indeed, it appears that even such unrealistic demands regarding Iran’s nuclear program are little more than a pretext. When pushed even slightly, the neoconservatives bring up other, unrelated demands. To avoid a U.S. military assault, Tehran would apparently have to end its support for Hezbollah and other clients, greatly improve its domestic human rights record, and recognize Israel. The chances of an Iranian government accepting any of those demands, much less all of them, are midway between slim and none.

cindy25
04-17-2015, 12:49 AM
he signed the stupid Cotton letter

GunnyFreedom
04-17-2015, 01:07 AM
he signed the stupid Cotton letter

That thing was kind of a rorschach blot though. not to defend it, just to point out that it was a glob of play dough rather than a declaration of war.

ETA - and no, I do not defend it. It may have felt important to show a willingness to work with the Cotton people, and a glob of play dough felt like a good opportunity to do that, but in the end I think it was ill conceived.

David Sadler
04-17-2015, 07:25 AM
I actually don't have a problem with the Cotton letter, other than the fact that the Senate has not seen fit to write similar letters to the Executive and to the bureaucratic machinery warning them of the fact that it is the Legislature that makes the laws and it is the Executive that enforces them. Many issues come to mind where much more strongly worded letters are appropriate, a few being border and immigration enforcement, ObamaCare and so on.

The Cotton letter clearly states our constitutional process in a mannerly and professional way. Does anyone see any error in Cotton's explanation of the constitutional process?

The letter, however, does not go far enough with respect to the power of future congresses and presidents to amend or cancel past international agreements -- even treaties. Every new congress and president should have the willingness to review and modify any international agreement just as they can review, modify or sunset any US law. Indeed, we have seen nations do just that with respect to treaties.

The letter should have, however, stated that the people of the US have no interest in dictating to the sovereign nation of Iran how to conduct its business, and that the US congress wishes Iran and its people well in these difficult and complicated times for the Middle East.




Senator Tom Cotton Letter (pdf): An Open Letter to the Leaders of the Islamic Republic of Iran
http://www.cotton.senate.gov/sites/default/files/150309%20Cotton%20Open%20Letter%20to%20Iranian%20L eaders.pdf


Senator Tom Cotton Letter (text): An Open Letter to the Leaders of the Islamic Republic of Iran

Text of GOP Senators’ Letter to Iran’s Leaders on Nuclear Talks
http://blogs.wsj.com/washwire/2015/03/09/text-of-gop-senators-letter-to-irans-leaders-on-nuclear-talks/

Dozens of Republican senators wrote an open letter to the leadership of Iran, warning them that any nuclear deal signed between Iran and U.S. President Barack Obama might not last beyond his presidency, without Congress signing off on it as well. Here is the text of the letter.

An Open Letter to the Leaders of the Islamic Republic of Iran:

It has come to our attention while observing your nuclear negotiations with our government that you may not fully understand our constitutional system. Thus, we are writing to bring to your attention two features of our Constitution — the power to make binding international agreements and the different character of federal offices — which you should seriously consider as negotiations progress.

First, under our Constitution, while the president negotiates international agreements, Congress plays the significant role of ratifying them. In the case of a treaty, the Senate must ratify it by a two-thirds vote. A so-called congressional-executive agreement requires a majority vote in both the House and the Senate (which, because of procedural rules, effectively means a three-fifths vote in the Senate). Anything not approved by Congress is a mere executive agreement.

Second, the offices of our Constitution have different characteristics.

For example, the president may serve only two 4-year terms, whereas senators may serve an unlimited number of 6-year terms. As applied today, for instance, President Obama will leave office in January 2017, while most of us will remain in office well beyond then — perhaps decades.

What these two constitutional provisions mean is that we will consider any agreement regarding your nuclear-weapons program that is not approved by the Congress as nothing more than an executive agreement between President Obama and Ayatollah Khamenei. The next president could revoke such an executive agreement with the stroke of a pen and future Congresses could modify the terms of the agreement at any time.

We hope this letter enriches your knowledge of our constitutional system and promotes mutual understanding and clarity as nuclear negotiations progress.

Sincerely,

Senator Tom Cotton, R-AR
Senator Orrin Hatch, R-UT
Senator Charles Grassley, R-IA
Senator Mitch McConnell, R-KY
Senator Richard Shelby, R-AL
Senator John McCain, R-AZ
Senator James Inhofe, R-OK
Senator Pat Roberts, R-KS
Senator Jeff Sessions, R-AL
Senator Michael Enzi, R-WY
Senator Michael Crapo, R-ID
Senator Lindsey Graham, R-SC
Senator John Cornyn, R-TX
Senator Richard Burr, R-NC
Senator John Thune, R-SD
Senator Johnny Isakson, R-GA
Senator David Vitter, R-LA
Senator John A. Barrasso, R-WY
Senator Roger Wicker, R-MS
Senator Jim Risch, R-ID
Senator Mark Kirk, R-IL
Senator Roy Blunt, R-MO
Senator Jerry Moran, R-KS
Senator Rob Portman, R-OH
Senator John Boozman, R-AR
Senator Pat Toomey, R-PA
Senator John Hoeven, R-ND
Senator Marco Rubio, R-FL
Senator Ron Johnson, R-WI
Senator Rand Paul, R-KY
Senator Mike Lee, R-UT
Senator Kelly Ayotte, R-NH
Senator Dean Heller, R-NV
Senator Tim Scott, R-SC
Senator Ted Cruz, R-TX
Senator Deb Fischer, R-NE
Senator Shelley Moore Capito, R-WV
Senator Bill Cassidy, R-LA
Senator Cory Gardner, R-CO
Senator James Lankford, R-OK
Senator Steve Daines, R-MT
Senator Mike Rounds, R-SD
Senator David Perdue, R-GA
Senator Thom Tillis, R-NC
Senator Joni Ernst, R-IA
Senator Ben Sasse, R-NE
Senator Dan Sullivan, R-AK

Peace&Freedom
04-17-2015, 10:01 AM
The Cotton letter clearly states our constitutional process in a mannerly and professional way. Does anyone see any error in Cotton's explanation of the constitutional process?

The letter, however, does not go far enough with respect to the power of future congresses and presidents to amend or cancel past international agreements -- even treaties. Every new congress and president should have the willingness to review and modify any international agreement just as they can review, modify or sunset any US law. Indeed, we have seen nations do just that with respect to treaties.

The letter should have, however, stated that the people of the US have no interest in dictating to the sovereign nation of Iran how to conduct its business, and that the US congress wishes Iran and its people well in these difficult and complicated times for the Middle East.

Nothing was wrong with the Constitutional process outlined in the letter, however, the Congressional oversight pertains to treaties, not mere agreements. But the war party's zeal in putting out the letter has inadvertently set a new precedent (constitutional or not) that establishes Congress can seek to contain a President's international intentions.

GunnyFreedom
04-17-2015, 10:20 AM
It was the intent of undermining a US President during negotiations with a foreign head of State, and particularly one perceived as an enemy, that sets a terrible precedent.

David Sadler
04-18-2015, 09:39 PM
It was the intent of undermining a US President during negotiations with a foreign head of State, and particularly one perceived as an enemy, that sets a terrible precedent.

I fail to see how pointing out the reality of American law and policy making undermines the President. I would think that it would contribute to a better negotiation and decision by all parties to know the realities of each nation's policy making process.

'perceived as an enemy' by whom? And upon what basis do they classify Iran as an enemy?

David Sadler
04-18-2015, 09:41 PM
Nothing was wrong with the Constitutional process outlined in the letter, however, the Congressional oversight pertains to treaties, not mere agreements. But the war party's zeal in putting out the letter has inadvertently set a new precedent (constitutional or not) that establishes Congress can seek to contain a President's international intentions.

You don't believe that a president's 'international intentions' should be constrained by congress and the constitution?

Peace&Freedom
04-19-2015, 01:51 PM
You don't believe that a president's 'international intentions' should be constrained by congress and the constitution?

The Constitution says Congress makes the laws, while the President conducts the foreign policy--not Congress shall undermine the state department foreign policy at will, or the President can undermine legislative intent with signing statements or executive orders. The President should be restrained by Congress on international relations as per the Constitution, but not beyond it.

David Sadler
07-31-2015, 06:02 PM
Iran wants world powers, especially Israel, to give up nuclear weapons: op-ed (http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2015/jul/31/iran-wants-world-powers-especially-israel-to-give-/)
By Kellan Howell
The Washington Times
Friday, July 31, 2015

Iran is demanding world powers to give up their nuclear weapons stockpiles, namely Israel.

In an op-ed published by The Guardian on Friday, Iranian Minister of Foreign Affairs Mohammad Javad Zarif called for an end to a nuclear arms race and a nuclear-free zone in the Middle East.

“It is time for the ‘haves’ to finally come to terms with a crucial reality; we live in a globalised security environment. The cold war era asymmetry between states that possess nuclear weapons and those that don’t is no longer remotely tolerable,” Mr. Zarif wrote.

“For too long, it has been assumed that the insane concept of mutually assured destruction would sustain stability and non-proliferation. Nothing could be further from the truth,” he added.

In the piece, titled “Iran has signed a historic nuclear deal — now it’s Israel’s turn,” Mr. Zarif touted Iran’s cooperation with world powers to reach a deal to end its nuclear program and admonished Israel for refusing to do the same.

“And while Iran has received the support of some of its Arab friends in the endeavor, Israel — home to the Middle East’s only nuclear weapons program — has been the holdout,” Mr. Zarif wrote. “In the light of the historic nuclear deal, we must address this challenge head on.”

Israel has never confirmed whether it has nuclear weapons.

Mr. Zarif added that Iran and other nuclear “have-nots” have genuinely “walked the walk” in seeking non-proliferation while nuclear states have “hardly even ‘talked the talk,’ while completely brushing off their disarmament obligations under the non-proliferation treaty and customary international law.”

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Thursday that the American public is gradually opposing the Iran deal as they learn its details.

“This deal, the more you learn about it, the opposition to it increases,” he said during a conference with diplomatic correspondents in Jerusalem.

“The debate in the U.S. is important, and you can see the shift,” he added.

Congress has 60 days left before they must vote on whether to approve the nuclear deal, signed on July 14 in Vienna.


Read the rest at the linked article.

NOTES:

UN resolution: Israel must renounce nuclear arms (http://news.yahoo.com/un-assembly-calls-israel-join-nuclear-treaty-174032033.html)
By ALEXANDRA OLSON
Associated Press
2014.12.02

US ‘helped Israel develop hydrogen bomb’: Pentagon report (http://presstv.ir/Detail/2015/02/14/397502/US-helped-Israel-build-hydrogen-bomb)
presstv.ir
Sat Feb 14, 2015

Documents show how US allowed Israel to have nukes (http://www.presstv.ir/detail/2014/08/31/377238/documents-show-how-us-allowed-israel-to-have-nukes/)
presstv.ir
Sun Aug 31, 2014

THE THIRD TEMPLE'S HOLY OF HOLIES - ISRAEL'S NUCLEAR WEAPONS (http://www.au.af.mil/au/awc/awcgate/cpc-pubs/farr.htm)
By Warner D. Farr, LTC, U.S. Army
The Counterproliferation Papers
Future Warfare Series No. 2
USAF Counterproliferation Center
Air War College - Air University Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama
September 1999

cindy25
07-31-2015, 11:22 PM
the American public doesn't care that much about Israel. only the donor class, and some wacko Christians who want the rapture. if they knew the extent of aid they would oppose that also.