U.S. Senator Ben Sasse released the video “Four Questions Nebraskans Have about the Iran Deal” today. After listening to Nebraskans, Sasse puts four simple questions to President Obama:
1) Didn’t we decide we wouldn’t tolerate state sponsors of terrorism?
2) Why change 36 years of bipartisan policy consensus that prohibited Iran’s nuclear weapons?
3) What is the administration’s best case scenario for a nuclear Iran?
4) What really happens if we lift the sanctions and Iran cheats?
Excerpts of Sasse’s remarks are below:
“The one topic that came up every single place we went was the President’s attempted Iranian nuclear deal. . . Not one time did we hear anybody who thinks the administration’s plans with regard to Iran are in the U.S.’s long-term interests. It seems like every conversation could be summarized in four questions people had.”
“Frankly, it’s really hard to answer any of these four questions that folks were asking. So we thought we’d just throw them out there for President Obama’s consideration.”
“Isn’t Iran still the world’s largest state sponsor of terror and, if so, what are we doing? Wasn’t the fundamental lesson of 9-11 that we would never just turn a blind-eye toward rogue regimes that sponsor terrorism and try to breed instability, try to support and fund those that would attack the U.S. homeland and try to destabilize our main allies around the world? Nebraskans believe that’s the main thing we learned about 9-11 and somehow the administration appears to be deciding to forget it.”
“Why has the administration decided to change not only its position but 36 years of U.S. foreign policy about not allowing Iran to become a nuclear state? It’s been a bipartisan policy consensus—not just Republicans but all Republicans and all Democrats—going back to the Iranian hostage crisis of 1979-1980 that we never wanted Iran to become a nuclear threshold power. And even this administration, a year and a half ago, said the same thing—that they were not going to allow the Iranians to be enriching uranium. Now, they seem to have pivoted to a place where they’re willing to allow Iran to have 6,000 centrifuges enriching uranium. The people of my state want to know: why this change?”
“Nebraskans want to know: what does the administration really believe the best case scenario is? Because folks have heard on TV the president saying he’d like to see Iran become a successful regional power. We don’t know why a regime that spews the hatred they do toward the U.S.—and says that it has as a national objective the annihilation of Israel—why we would possibly want them to become a successful regional power?”
“What really happens now once we lift the sanctions—if that’s where the administration indeed takes us—what happens next if the Iranians cheat? Because the people of my state assume that Iran is going to cheat and they don’t know what happens after that, once the administration has allowed all these other nations to unravel the international inspections regime and the Russians have announced just in the last week that they’re going to sell weapon systems to Iran. So the people of my state think that once you allow the Iranians to take this step and get access to all of the sanctions dollars that are oversees—they don’t understand how you ever put Humpty Dumpty together again.”
“There are so many regimes in that part of the world that, if they have nuclear weapons, it’s hard to imagine how they wouldn’t ultimately be used. And the people of the heartland want to ask you, Mr. President: would you please re-think this? Because they think this is a really dangerous step that makes the Middle East and, therefore, the entire world less safe.”