Rick Perry's Plan to Kill Obama's Iran Deal
Texas Governor Rick Perry hasn't yet said whether he's running for president, yet he will announce Monday that if he wins the White House he intends to trash President Barack Obama’s nuclear agreement with Iran as one of his first official acts.
Perry will give what his staff is calling a major speech on national security at the Citadel in South Carolina Monday. In advance of the speech, Perry talked with reporters about his views on Obama's and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s foreign policy and what he would do to change it. He said atop his agenda is getting rid of the deal that the Obama administration is negotiating with the Iranian regime, a framework for which was announced last week.
“Should I run for president, and be so fortunate to be elected, one of my first actions in office would be to invalidate the president’s Iran agreement, which jeopardizes the safety and security of the free world,” Perry will say in his speech, according to an advance copy of his remarks.
Perry insists that contrary to Obama's claims, the deal enables rather than prevents a nuclear Iran, and will further destabilize the Middle East by creating a regional competition for nuclear weapons: “He says it prevents a nuclear Iran. Just the opposite, this agreement enables it. And no agreement is better than a bad agreement."
I asked Perry what he would do as president after scuttling the deal. With no agreement, no negotiations and no inspections on Iran’s many nuclear facilities, how would a President Perry propose to stop Iran from getting the bomb?
He said he would seek to further cripple Iran’s economy, undermine the Iranian regime by increasing support for its internal opposition, and then rely on military strikes to take out Iran’s nuclear facilities if necessary. “The message needs to be: As soon as that election result comes in November of 2016, any agreement between the president of the United States and the Ayatollah is a worthless piece of paper,” he said.
The U.S. should then work with Israel and America’s Arab allies to increase pressure on Iran’s economy, he said, with airstrikes on Iran’s nuclear facilities as a last resort. “The Israelis have dealt with this twice, to take out their ability to use their nuclear facilities, and that certainly is an option that needs to be on the table,” he said.
Perry’s comments put him squarely in line with the letter to Iran’s leaders penned by freshman Senator Tom Cotton last month and signed by 47 Republican Senators, which warned that any deal Iran signs with the Obama administration won’t last past Obama’s presidency.
By pledging to end the deal, Perry is going further than some of his potential 2016 GOP rivals such as Jeb Bush, who have criticized the deal but not said exactly what they would do about it if elected. "Nothing in the deal described by the administration this afternoon would justify lifting U.S. and international sanctions, which were the product of many years of bipartisan effort,” Bush said last week. “I cannot stand behind such a flawed agreement.”
There can be no real progress with Iran so long as that country continues exporting terrorism and oppressing its own people, Perry told reporters on Monday’s conference call. He said the U.S. should sell crude oil on the international market to further cripple the Iranian economy. He said there should be a more expansive covert program to support Iranian dissidents and opposition to the ayatollahs and the Iranian regime.
In his call with reporters, Perry harshly criticized Hillary Clinton’s tenure as secretary of state and said that she shares responsibility for Obama's foreign-policy failures. “She’s either going to have to stand up and say ‘I was a complete and utter failure as Secretary of State,’ or she’s going to have to take ownership of these issues,” Perry said. “I think you are going to find a secretary of state who is going to be looked upon as a failure.”
Perry said Clinton did not stand up for Israel while she was a top cabinet official: “Our oldest friend and most vibrant democracy in the Middle East, Israel, is being put in jeopardy and she was part of that.”
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