- - Thursday, October 30, 2014

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

President Obama is signaling that an Iran deal is close at hand. The political team negotiating with the Islamic Republic and the five Permanent members of the UN Security Council and Germany are also making it clear that they are nervous about how the deal they are about to cut will be received by the U.S. Congress and the American public. The Obama team expects the Democratically-controlled Senate to rubber stamp whatever their negotiating team agrees to but a Republican-controlled Senate could stop President Obama from implementing a dangerous and weak global retreat.

The Obama political team is working hard to avoid the scrutiny from the Senate. “We wouldn’t seek congressional legislation in any comprehensive agreement for years,” one senior White House official told the New York Times.

Sadly, the Democrats controlling the Senate seem content to take their instructions from the president. The members of the president’s own political party have been largely silent and ineffective in stopping Obama’s false threats in Syria, weak reactions to Russian aggression in Eastern Europe and slow responses to ISIS and other terrorist acts. Usually loud Democrats like Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Barbara Boxer (D-CA) and even Al Franken (D-MN) have struggled to even find their voices.

The Obama foreign policy and political team is working overtime to finish the Iran deal in secret. They have even excluded State Department career foreign service officials from the real Iran negotiation process. The political appointees working with former Democratic presidential nominee and current Secretary of State John Kerry have successfully out-maneuvered any dissenting expert voices leery of getting just any Iran deal.

“They will get a deal. I don’t know if it will be good for us but it will be called a successful negotiation by Wendy and S. They want the best deal they can get,” a Foreign Service Officer who resides on the 7th floor of the State Department told me. “Wendy”, is Wendy Sherman, the political appointee leading the Iran negotiations and “S” in the lingo used for Secretary of State John Kerry.

Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs Wendy Sherman was originally appointed by Hillary Clinton, the other Democratic Presidential hopeful appointed to run Obama’s State Department. Sherman previously served as the Executive Director of the pro-choice political group Emily’s List which works to elect partisan Democrats. In the Clinton administration, Sherman led the unsuccessful negotiations to end North Korea’s nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs. She was widely panned as being duped several times by the North Koreans throughout the process. North Korean officials had committed to Sherman that they would freeze and ultimately dismantle their nuclear weapons program and Sherman believed them.

In the more than five rounds of talks between the Permanent 5 members of the UN Security Council plus Germany and Iran, Sherman has again ignored the signs that the Iranians aren’t serious about making concessions. And why should they? The Iranians have been rewarded by team Obama before they’ve made a single concession.

The proposed deal from the Obama administration is a deal weaker than the UN’s previous 5 resolutions demanding Iran stop enriching all uranium. The only chance of stopping the inevitable is to elect a Republican controlled Senate willing to fight the president on it. Pro-Israel voters, like evangelical Christians and Jewish voters in North Carolina, Iowa, New Hampshire, Colorado, Arkansas, Alaska and Louisiana must realize their votes on Tuesday are crucial. Flipping the Senate to the Republicans may be the only way to stop a disastrous Iran deal. Eastern European Americans concerned about the rise of Russia and the weak American response in Ukraine should also vote to elect the president’s opposition to the Senate.

If Iran gets the pending Obama deal, a nuclear weapon for the Islamic Republic will surely follow. The midterm elections may be the last chance to stop this calamitous outcome.

Richard Grenell is a former spokesman for four United States Ambassadors to the United Nations, most recently Ambassador Zal Khalilzad.

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