Thirty-four Senate Democrats are now vowing to support the Iran nuclear deal, suggesting U.S. sanctions will soon end against the world’s leading sponsor of terrorism, but retired U.S. Army Lt. General William “Jerry” Boykin says the fight is not over until the votes are taken and Republicans may well deserve more blame than Democrats for this deal surviving.
On Wednesday, Sen. Barbara Mikulski, D-Md., became the final vote needed to save the deal. Her announcement followed on the heels of Tuesday’s news that skeptical Democrats Bob Casey, D-Penn., and Chris Coons, D-Del., would also back the agreement.
“I really question how long they actually pondered this, as opposed to trying to develop a strategy for how they were going to support this president. If they had really pondered this and considered all sides of this and all the evidence, they would come out where 75 percent of the American public is,” said Boykin, who is now executive vice president at the Family Research Council.
“How could anybody ponder that and think that there’s any way that this is a reasonable for the United States or the rest of the world?” asked Boykin.
Earlier this year, President Obama announced any nuclear deal would be treated as an executive agreement rather than a treaty, meaning he had no intention of getting any input in Congress. In response, Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker, R-Tenn., and ranking Democrat Ben Cardin, R-Md., crafted legislation giving Congress the chance to reject a deal.
Unlike a treaty, which requires a two-thirds vote in the Senate to ratify a treaty, the Corker-Cardin legislation would require two-thirds opposition in both the House and Senate to override an Obama veto.
If all 34 Democrats hold firm, Republicans are powerless to stop the lifting of U.S. sanctions on Iran. But Gen. Boykin says 34 promised votes are not the same as a done deal.
“It is not over yet. There is a big rally here next week, the ninth of September. Tens of thousands of people are going to be in the streets,” said Boykin, who is one of over 200 retired military officers who wrote to leaders of both parties in both chambers imploring lawmakers to reject the Iran deal.
“I think there’s still a good possibility that some of these Democrats will listen to the people that put them in office as their representatives and reject this deal,” added Boykin.
Not a single Republican in the House or Senate is supporting the Iran deal, but Boykin says leadership played it’s hand poorly when Obama vowed to bypass Congress on the nuclear deal.
“I think the Republicans made a terrible mistake by supporting Corker-Cardin, which usurped and subverted the U.S. Constitution. Article II, Section 2 is very clear. This is a treaty and we all know it,” said Boykin, stressing the deal should require 67 votes for ratification.
“We subverted that with this Corker-Cardin legislation. I blame the Republicans, maybe even more than the Democrats, for pushing this thing through,” he added.
Boykin says his involvement with other retired military officers in trying to sink the Iran deal was a no-brainer.
“It is, in fact, a pathway to a nuclear weapon. It doesn’t give any consideration to the four Americans that are being held. It does in fact put billions and billions of dollars into a very rogue regime that’s been the largest sponsor of terrorism,” said Boykin, just beginning to list his criticisms of the deal.
Boykin also staggered that Iran gets so self-inspect at least one of it’s most suspicious sites and that Iran would have at least 24 days to remove evidence from newly suspected sites before inspectors would be allowed on site. He says the security threat to the region and the world is immense.
“Much of that money will be used for Hezbollah and Hamas and other terrorist organizations. A lot of the money will be used, once sanctions are lifted, to buy modern military technology as well as other types of weapons and technology that will further increase the military capabilities of Iran, That will result in an arms race in the Persian Gulf,” concluded Boykin.