Majority Leader Eric Cantor: President Obama Should Abandon This Terrible Deal with Iran

What does it say that the UN is calling for a full suspension of Iran's nuclear enrichment activities while the American president is willing to accept far less?

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Drew Angerer / Corbis

U.S. President Barack Obama at the Wall Street Journal CEO Council annual meeting, at the Four Seasons Hotel, on Nov. 19, 2013, in Washington, D.C.

The Obama Administration’s disengagement from the Middle East has damaged America’s credibility and risked our security, and nowhere is that more evident than with the ongoing challenge of Iran.

For five years, Administration policies have strained relationships with key allies, contributed to instability in a region long essential to American and global security, and emboldened our nation’s adversaries. Look at Syria. After President Obama’s Syrian policy collapsed before the world’s eyes, we lost the trust of valued allies and were scorned by adversaries.

As a result, it is harder today to combat Iran’s destabilizing activities throughout the region and prevent its determined drive towards nuclear capability. Our allies who watched the United States back down in Syria worry that the credibility of our military option against Iran has been eroded, and fear he will cut a bad deal with Iran. They have good reason to worry.

The details of the interim nuclear deal reportedly offered to Iran are alarming. But even more alarming is the apparent objective of the Administration’s Iran diplomacy. The Administration doesn’t seek to end Iran’s nuclear program, but merely to stall it, even though Iran is on the threshold of acquiring a nuclear weapons capability.

The President said he will prevent Iran from acquiring a “nuclear weapon” but refuses to draw the line at a “nuclear weapons capability.” Iranian Foreign Minister said this weekend that the U.S. and its negotiating partners have not even asked Iran to suspend enrichment.

Multiple UN Security Council resolutions call for the full suspension of Iran’s nuclear enrichment activities, because the world understands that it ultimately leads to a nuclear weapon. What does it say that the UN calls for full suspension while the American President is willing to accept far less?

Any U.S. position must seek to end Iran’s nuclear program and its pursuit of a weapon outright, and make clear that the world’s most active state sponsor of terrorism, a fount of instability, and a brutal theocracy cannot and must not be trusted with the means to produce fissile material.

Administration officials say the deal will give diplomacy more time to work, and White House officials have insinuated that those who oppose this deal and support more sanctions are on a march to war. But since May 2006, the U.S. government has aggressively sought to diplomatically engage the Iranians, and since that time Iran’s centrifuges have continued to spin. Only one side has been marching to war.

An interim deal may indeed slow or halt some elements of Iran’s program. But it appears inevitable that Iran will be allowed to continue spinning some centrifuges, improving its ability to enrich uranium, the fissile material required for a bomb. It may even be allowed to continue producing new, more efficient IR-2 centrifuges. Even if it doesn’t install these new centrifuges, amassing such machines will reduce the time required for a ‘breakout’ capability. Is it worth it to put time back on the clock while Iran is acquiring the capability to more quickly take it back off?

Iran’s decades of deceit about its nuclear program cannot be ignored, and an unprecedented inspections and verification regime will be required to assure that Tehran is not cheating. If we are to trust any deal, Iran must open up completely to international inspectors and come clean on its weaponization and missile research. “Distrust and verify” must be our guiding principle.

President Obama often claims credit for the previous Iran sanctions, but now opposes more sanctions because it is a sensitive time for diplomacy. The President must recognize that it is sanctions that have brought Iran to the table and that the prospect of increased sanctions – such as the biparisan sanctions that recently passed the House of Representatives – are the key to producing any worthwhile agreement.

Obama should abandon this terrible deal with Iran. Further, rather than working to block bipartisan sanctions, the President should urge their immediate adoption in the Senate and work with America’s international partners to impose real pressure on Iran.

Iranian leaders must understand that they will risk regime-threatening pressure if they do not come into immediate compliance with the repeated demands of the UN Security Council and begin negotiating in earnest on the dismantlement of their nuclear program. Taking such steps will begin restoring America’s credibility and leadership in the Middle East, increasing our nation’s security, and that of our allies.

Eric Cantor, Majority Leader of the House of Representatives, represents Virginia’s 7th Congressional District.

60 comments
mikediamond
mikediamond

now you know who helped get obama elected! its a sad day in america, the french president took up for israel and obama did not wow that my friends is a big wake up call. GOD BLESS ISRAEL!

theservant61
theservant61

No we shouldn't. What reasoning is there for not proceeding.  

billorights
billorights

People need to wake up and look at the Obama administration's silent, stealthy partner. Qatar has been acting in parallel and in concert with the Obama administration.

Obama doesn't want to attack Iran. That is the LAST thing he wants.

The al-Thanis have been helping the Iranians fight the Hezb, and have struck up military contracts and LNG deals with the Iranians.

http://www.irantracker.ORG/foreign-relations/qatar-iran-foreign-relations

Don't forget, it was Qatar who recommended to the administration that they initiate talks with Iran.

And, consider who these people are:

http://www.fas.ORG/sgp/crs/mideast/RL31718.pdf

They host the Taliban, fund al Quaeda and tipped off Khalid Sheik Mohammed. And, unfortunately, U.S. CENTCOM's Forward Operating base is there.

Take a look at a map of Iran, and the countries that border it.

Consider the Qatari's objectives in Afghanistan and Pakistan, while they help Iran fight the Hezb, yet host the Taliban in Doha.

Consider, also, that for some strange reason, everywhere the Qataris go, the region quickly develops a horrendous drug problem.

Libya? Egypt? I think it's safe to say that Qatar is profiting very nicely in Iraq as well.

Any wonder why the Qataris are financing a third international airport in Istanbul, purchased a massive fleet of 777s and 787s from Boeing and just gifted $100 million to Mexico, in order to 'promote Mexican tourism'?

And, between Qatar's hosting of the Taliban in Doha, their relationship with Erdogan and their buddy Dawood Ibrihim in Pakistan/India, I'd say it's pretty obvious that they have their sights on Iran.

Don't forget Qatar's participation in the 'Arab Spring'. They were so arrogant, they even painted their flag on the sides of the armored vehicles they provided the rebels with in Egypt and Libya:

http://esotericarmour.blogspot.COM/2011/08/libya-national-liberation-army-qatar.html

Everyone is stuck in this 1990s mentality, and assumes that the Middle Eastern economy is dominated by petro-dollars.

It ain't petro-dollars any more. It's LNG and, perhaps more importantly, drugs...the NEW currency of the Middle East.

wjsobo1
wjsobo1

Our only goal is to get some deal. Any deal. Something that previously has not been done. We can ask for all we want but take what we can. It is important that we at least chip away at Iran's stubborn attitude. We have put a bottom on what we expect. But never draw a line. That is precisely what causes wars. Isn't that what we are trying to prevent  Iran is to stop them from getting the power to threaten war? Oh, what the hell, lets just get the war thing out of the way now. We can let Cantor lead the charge like General Patton.

victorygardens369
victorygardens369

I realize how unpopular this is going to sound.  The truth is Iran is a wise choice as an ally and Israel is not. Does anyone remember the USS Liberty?  Iran was once a great ally when the Shah and his secret police ran things, why not now?  Do we only befriend countries with despots ruling them. Why are we so sure Iran is an enemy. They had nothing to to with 9-11 if that is the thinking. Iran is Country we could easily bring back to "democracy". How many wonderful Iranian people live here in the USA?  Really good folks who are very educated, wealthy and good neighbors. I certainly cannot say the same for the Israelis I have met here in the States. Why do we want Israel as an ally anyway?  We are finding plenty of oil herein the USA, (though I think fracking is ridiculously risky and dangerous).  Furthermore, the day is very close when we will no longer be using oil, mark my words, something else will takes its place soon.  We then will have no reason to destabilize the middle east and will still have that nasty garrison known as Israel hanging on our shoulder like a blood thirsty Raven, looking around for another shill to charge interest to. I am not anti Semitic; this is politic real and most Americans are so immersed in political correctness (thank you Stalin), we cannot even see our own best interest. George Washington and Thomas Jefferson are spinning in their graves!  

tkulaga
tkulaga

I am skeptical of Cantor. He recommended the lady in charge of writing the software package for the affordable care act. He does not allow the Republicans in the House vote their mind.

DavidStrayer
DavidStrayer

There are several things that should be noted here.  Eric Cantor and his neoconservative ilk have been itching for a war with Iran ever since the Bush Administration did such a stellar job with the war in Iraq.  There's nothing like a war to keep the profit-making machinery of the armaments industry humming, and -- as an added benefit -- to keep the public distracted from the lack of any other Republican agenda.

Let's just briefly review this, if we may.  

First we had the war in Afghanistan to get bin Laden.  The GOP so botched it that, not only did they let bin Laden escape at Tora Bora, but they then diverted resources to … you guessed it … another war.

Then there was the criminal war in Iraq.  The GOP also botched this.  We did get Saddam, who had done nothing to us and had no WMD, but we also created chaos in Iraq (look at any day's stories from Iraq) and -- by removing the natural enemy of Iran -- empowered Iran to go nuclear.

Then, the neoconservatives pushed like crazy to get us involved in the civil war in Syria.  You see, Assad's Alawite (sort of like Shiite) regime was allied with Iran and Hezbollah and thus was linked to Israel's enemies.  Unfortunately, the Sunnis fighting him were no sweethearts either, and arming them would be like arming the mujaheddin in Afghanistan in the 1980s, another brilliant GOP move.  (Al Qaeda was born from this genius idea of arming Afghans to fight the Soviets.  Only, after they polished off the Russians, they targeted us.)

Now, we have the neoconservatives pushing to bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb Iran.  Nothing like another war in the Middle East.

Only, who fights these wars?  Whose sons and daughters get killed and maimed?  And what about the body count?  (the GOP is frothing at the mouth that 4 Americans were killed by jihadis in Libya when the Republicans killed 4500 Americans in Iraq).

Cantor and his type are worse than clueless about foreign policy.  They are destructive, murderous and so destabilizing as to be dangerous.  All they seek is to support the armaments industry and to divert public attention from their lack of a positive agenda at home.  When in doubt, they say, go to war!

bettijon
bettijon

if Obama and Kerry create a luke-warm agreement with Iran, I am no longer among their supporters. This is a make or break issue.

sensi
sensi

You can find a list of the foreign interests assets aka traitors over opensecrets dot org :

Pro-Israel lobby Top House Recipients
Eric Cantor : $209,410 (ranked 2)

bankerkam
bankerkam

Dear Mr. Young Gun, isn't this your week off from ruining our government. After everything you have the gall to blame the instability on President Obama. It has been Obama, who has tried to clean up the mess you Republicans caused by not not completing the mission in Afghanistan and creating that sucking sound known as Iraq. This is what happens, when a population votes Yosemite Sam to the House of Representatives. 

IbcinguToo
IbcinguToo

Like Cantor even HAS a BRAIN.  He's a complete moron, just like the rest of the GOP.  They offer no solutions for anything, just rant & rave about what Dems & Obama suggest.

barneydidit
barneydidit

So according to Cantor, Obama has "contributed to instability in a region long essential to American and global security". So by that statement, I'm assuming Cantor can point out some GOP based policies that have made the Middle East MORE stable? I'd be interested in hearing what they were. 



justaguy1985
justaguy1985

What it shows is that Obama is smarter than everybody. Compromise is the only solution to prevent conflict. A 'bad deal' is better than no deal, no deal means war and death. Look at Iraq. over 100,000 civilians died. Iraqi civilians. And in your twisted minds those lives aren't the same value as American lives. Terrible terrible choices have been made out of fear of the different. Let's not have another Hiroshima again.

BobJan
BobJan

And to think that "invading" Iraq had no consequences. Hah! who would have thought. Because Cantor speaks we should listen? I think not. When Cantor and his family and relatives sign on to go fight these senseless, useless and stupid wars is when I'll listen.

MoisesIssi
MoisesIssi

Mr. president, could you stop politicizing Iran nuclear ambitions?  Not all is about votes and distracting from real problems. Eventually, you are side stepping a real problem.

bbsnews
bbsnews

@DavidStrayer David, that is one of the most thoughtful and concise comments I have ever seen here at Time.

I would not trust Eric Cantor any farther than I could throw him. He is a dreaded 'bagger of the worst sort and every one of those 'bagger led GOP Domestic Terrorists should be voted out at the earliest opportunity although tar and feathering would be a much more satisfying outcome.

MoisesIssi
MoisesIssi

@DavidStrayer Don't be arrogant thinking that your view is the only smart way.  I listen to Democrats and Republicans because I want to have broader perspective so I can decide what's really best.

MoisesIssi
MoisesIssi

@DavidStrayer David, the GOP doesn't want war with Iran. They just don't want a lousy deal that will get Iran off the hook of those same sanctions Obama fought so hard to pass at the UN, SO WE DON'T HAVE TO GO TO WAR. You are very expressive of your position but have very little understanding of the other side. Both the GOP and the Democrats want the same thing despite what you may have heard over and over on CNN and all of those media outlets: PEACE.  The difference between Republicans and Democrats is the approach. Democrats believe in human nature and so believe that a good gesture will lead the other side to the table. This approach has worked in sometimes in the past but very few times. Unfortunately, most of the time this approach is a very NAIVE. Republicans on the other hand believe the only way to achieve peace is through strength. If your enemy knows you are way too strong, he won't try to pick up a fight. Which is the reason we don't want Iran to acquire the nuclear know how, so that they will always see us as stronger and won't want to pick up a fight. Remember Reagan's comment?  Peace through strength? And at times, not even that works.

One of the real annoying things I keep on hearing over and over from democrats and media is that one-sided narrow minded caricaturization of the other side. As long as this caricaturization of Republicans goes on, don't expect much compromising. After all, why would you or anybody for that matter be willing to seat down on the same table with people who insist on disrespecting you on TV and ignoring any of what you are saying as if you were a lunatic.

So, David, LISTEN to the other side. Don't be like the rest of your party.

sensi
sensi

@bettijon Who cares? New account for propagandist astroturfing, so funny.

MoisesIssi
MoisesIssi

@IbcinguToo Everybody is a moron, except Democrats. Wow.  You certainly know how to pose a convincing argument, don't you? Somewhere along the way we lost the ability to think critically.

BobJan
BobJan

And I for one am glad that we didn't go into Syria. I personally don't like what's going on there with the slaughtering of civilians and such but until a solution that "doesn't include" sending our troops over there we need to stay out of it.

BobJan
BobJan

@barneydidit Here's one for you. Invading Iraq, how'd that all work out? yee-haw, ride em' cowboy.

MoisesIssi
MoisesIssi

@justaguy1985  In other words, let's repeat Chamberlain's mistake in 1938. Why not. After all, just because it didn't work then doesn't mean it can't work now, right?

MoisesIssi
MoisesIssi

@justaguy1985 I know guys who have compromised so much to avert war that they have lost everything in the process, including their pants.

Openminded1
Openminded1

@justaguy1985 Obama is  smart, he conned all you liberals into voting for him twice and you where dumb enough to put the racist con man in office

tom.litton
tom.litton

@MoisesIssi He can't not politicize it.  He's a politician.  The act of speaking on the subject or doing anything, regardless of the reasons, is politicizing it. 

Openminded1
Openminded1

@MoisesIssi Obama does not need votes he is a lame duck,he is also a liar and will go down in history for many things, but he will not like the history report. he got the white vote from the liberal morons twice, they bought his song and dance bs con crap. he is a phony racist and he hides the fact he is a Muslim, he is not to be trusted.

BobJan
BobJan

@MoisesIssi and you think Cantor is "not" politicizing?????????? take 2 aspirin and call me in the morning!

MoisesIssi
MoisesIssi

@bbsnews @DavidStrayer Bla bla bla. Nothing said no reason posted. Just insults. This is the new Democratic party. No reason and lots of insults. Very smart.

traffikator
traffikator

@MoisesIssi @DavidStrayer  

"Any U.S. position must seek to end Iran’s nuclear program and its pursuit of a weapon outright, and make clear that the world’s most active state sponsor of terrorism, a fount of instability, and a brutal theocracy cannot and must not be trusted with the means to produce fissile material."

This is the reason why the GOP and Cantor are idiots with only one intention as David said. War! 

How can you seek to end a position that only exists in your mind? Iran has never indicated that want or are even pursuing nuclear weapons, therefore the premise is false, all conclusions from that premise must be false and ultimately unattainable. The President is right to accept Irans' plans as of now. After all, they have the same right the USA has to nuclear energy as all other nations who signed the non-proliferation treaty.

". As long as this caricaturization of Republicans goes on, don't expect much compromising."

Another asinine statement from a bagger who wants to appear reasonable. The Republicans declared from even before the President got elected the first time, they had no intention of any compromising. In fact, they said compromise is a bad word. The problem is the Democrats kept reaching farther and farther right in order to reach the unattainable. Because they had no intentions of ever reaching a compromise with the President. it is why even when he proposes their own original proposals, they say no. So shut your mouth with the stupid fake lunacy. reasonable people still exist today. It is why the President got elected to a second term. And why republicans will never ever again be elected by the majority. They can only get elected by crooked means- gerrymandering districts, restricting voter registrations, making it extremely difficult for the non-republican voting public to vote..

Why am I wasting my time anyways.

bettijon
bettijon

You care! I am sure others agree!

justaguy1985
justaguy1985

@MoisesIssi @justaguy1985 

Iran is not a fascist state.

I'm damn proud to be an American, we have freedoms that other populations in other countries can only dream of. Class mobility is so fluid and easy, that if you're determined and smart and have the support of your family and friends, you can pull yourself out of the lower class and into the middle and perhaps beyond.

My parents came from a humble beginning, and through the generosity of this country and their fellow peers they've achieved a damn good life [both engineers], and a life style they couldn't get in South America or Iran. 

That being said, I've been to Iran. They're good people and if you're not talking to an extremist they love America and their people, they're so nice and thoughtful. They sell Bart Simpson socks there! I was shocked. On a bridge in a random city, it said "Snoop Dog for life." My persian cousins, they want iphones and ipads. American ideals, for better or worse, are strong there. Not dominate, but they are there.

And the sanctions, they hurt the common people there. My relatives have a harder time getting medicine and consumer goods, which is both bad and good. I'm worried if this deal won't go through a war would break out and this amazing United States of America, would be responsible for the death or injury of my family...I could never love this country again. 

The American people don't want war. No body in the damn world wants war. We just want to coexist in peace. 

All this aggression is due to conflicting religious dogma, if people practiced in absolute private, with or without religion, and used logic and reason to determine what's right and wrong, there would be no conflict in the world, only love for eachother, because we all have one life on this earth, once we lose it that's it and that's the truth.

  

sensi
sensi

@MoisesIssi @justaguy1985 The usual delusional hasbara garbage all summed up by this ludicrous godwin law example...

BobJan
BobJan

@MoisesIssi @justaguy1985 and lets not make the mistake of Vietnam by intervening. So which one do you want to choose? Oh by the way, if you choose intervening you're going there right away to help straighten it out. yee-haw, ride em' cowboy.

tkulaga
tkulaga

@Openminded1 You call Obama a liar. Let me ask you this. Let's say on Monday you promise your son you will take him to the Toy's R Us (hypothetical) store around the corner from you next Sunday. On Wednesday the store burns down. On the following Sunday you do not take him to the Toy's R Us store for obvious reasons. In your way of thinking do you become a liar? I think you do.

BobJan
BobJan

@Openminded1 no more of a liar than any of the other presidents before him and those who will follow.

MoisesIssi
MoisesIssi

@BobJan @MoisesIssi I don't care if Cantor is politicizing or not. This is serious business. This guys believe in terrorism. This isn't the time for pointing fingers and playing the blame game. This is a time to stop Iran from acquiring nuclear capabilities or will ALL pay the price in years to come.

MoisesIssi
MoisesIssi

@traffikator @MoisesIssi @DavidStrayer Traffikator, in a perfect world where lying didn't exist, I would totally agree with you. But I refuse to believe that you are that naïve as to believe what the Iranian leadership is telling you. Or are you? The Iranian government has butcher its own people. They have faulted in their word ever since they invaded our embassy and kidnapped our ambassadors (a broken promise). American soldiers have lost their life to terrorist attacks organized by Iran, Iran has made threats to the US and its allies, and now you are just going to seat down and say "hey, they are saying they don't have a bad intention. Let us believe them and let them have the atomic bomb". Dude, this isn't Disneyland. Wake up and smell the roses.

MoisesIssi
MoisesIssi

@justaguy1985 @MoisesIssi I completely agree with you. I've known also lots of Iranian people and they are really nice people. The problem is that their government is not nice, it is autocratic and has all the power it wants inside Iran. This government oppresses its own people and believe Iran has as a mission to confront the great satan: the United States. So, if they acquire the atomic bomb, they are not going to be crazy enough to dump it on our shore, for there would have a return address to it. What they can do is worst. They can put a suitcase with a nuclear bomb in New York and tell us to do anything they want. In other words, they have us by the b's.  

jahorn777
jahorn777

@Openminded1 @BobJan @justaguy1985 

From your comment, you can't read, write or think. That's about the dumbest nonsense, anyone has said so far. I know you Teabag/Rethugs think GWB was a great Prez by letting Wall St. blow up the economy (no regulations). Creating only 4 mil. jobs his entire presidency, Fear of the unknown terrorist behind every tree with the kindergarten color code that majically changed at every Ari Fleicher press briefing with the media. Yeah I know you haters just love trying get back at Obama at every nauseating faux paux the 24 hour media trots out. Because the last administration you loved so much did such a banged up job trying to bring down world. 

Openminded1
Openminded1

@BobJan @Openminded1 @justaguy1985 maybe right bob, I never liked Mitt either. I did not vote for either one of them obama or him. i would have rather voted for snoop dog then either one of those morons. at least with Snoop yoiu new what you were getting.

traffikator
traffikator

@tkulaga @Openminded1  

Well said. I have been making that point for Obama but he seem not to be able to make a simple point like that for the ACA. He should have pushed for single-payer. The Insurance Industry turned and stabbed in the neck with a broken bottle. For him, he must absolutely tell the nation, that look, it is computers and technology. It is a program written by human beings, it can be corrected and fixed. The stupid, wicked, selfish immoral and amoral Republicans cannot be fixed. They must be voted out out of power so people who believe in Government, can make it work for the good of the nation.

tkulaga
tkulaga

@Openminded1 Wow you get to call me a moron. I bet you are the big man on the block huh? Well in the real world, the facts don't have to line up your way all the time to be called a liar.

Openminded1
Openminded1

@tkulaga @Openminded1 Not apples for apples moron, Your savior Barry is not only a liar he is a racist.

Openminded1
Openminded1

@BobJan @Openminded1 They were and will be liars in the Oval office BOB, but Obama lies about things  others have not lied about.  A liar just the same, but to me all politicians lie, nothing new.

Openminded1
Openminded1

@BobJan @MoisesIssi by the way i was there in 68 and 69 so i guess we are close to the same age. 3rd marines. as vietnam vets say welcome home.

Openminded1
Openminded1

@BobJan @MoisesIssi I am one of those Vietnam vets Bob and I know first hand after two tours there what we went through. I was a lucky one I guess, I suffer from the effects of agent orange now, it took almost 40 years to manifest. But there are some times when we must take action..

BobJan
BobJan

@MoisesIssi @BobJan  Duh! WWII is when the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor. Or didn't you know why we entered the war? I don't live in disneyland or any other fantasy land. I was in Vietnam in 67 and 68 and I'll do all in my power to keep this administration or any other from getting us in another quagmire that just wastes the lives of "AMERICAN' men and women for the good of capitalism.

MoisesIssi
MoisesIssi

@BobJan @MoisesIssi Yeah, we should've fought World War II either. Let the Nazis take over all of Europe. Nor the Civil War, or, why not the war of independence. Hey, we would've being British today. Not a bad thing.

@BobJan, what world you live in?  This isn't Disneyland. It is the real deal. You want peace, you have to defend it. No one will do it for you.

BobJan
BobJan

@MoisesIssi  Yeah, just like when we went into Vietnam to stop Communism from spreading. And then we ended up with 58,000+ dead and the rest were screwed up for life. So if you're ready to go fight Iran then go right ahead without me and my family and any of my relatives. When did Israel need help defending themselves? They've got a military only second to ours. Every citizen has a weapon and they know how to use it.  So now I'll leave you to ponder how you'll get over there to fight. Send me your address and I'll send you $5.00. Good luck, you're going to need it.