ANALYSIS: Schumer says ‘no’ to Obama’s Iran nuclear pact

New York senior Senator Charles Schumer officially announced his decision to vote against the recently-concluded Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOC) in a lengthy statement where he asserted his decision manifest itself without regard to pressure, politics or party. He said the rationale for his opposition was solely based on the merits of the compact.

Schumer’s opposition has provoked white-hot anger from the Obama White House which had relied on his potential to withstand widespread condemnation from New York’s Jewish community, which has greeted the signing of JCPOC with utter disdain.

Many of the Senator’s Orthodox constituents are racked with anxiety for the future of Israel’s national security as the result of an agreement which now allows Iran to clench a substratum and advance a clandestine nuclear weapons program.

Expressed in stark terms, Schumer’s statement read:

“In making my decision, I examined this deal in three parts: Nuclear restrictions on Iran in the first ten years, nuclear restrictions on Iran after ten years, and non-nuclear components and consequences of a deal. In each case I have asked: Are we better off with the agreement or without it?”  

Widely considered the putative incoming Senate Minority Leader, Schumer’s vote was deemed indispensable by the White House to outlast Democratic defections and durable GOP opposition.  Schumer’s demurral appears to hinge on six critical features:

  • Suspected Sites: Schumer concluded the 24-day period prior to inspectors gaining access granted Iran too much time to extinguish activity of violating the agreement.  Further, Schumer surmised Europe would be hesitant to re-engage in sanctions once economic restrictions had been lifted.
  • Sanctions: Schumer deduced “snapback” sanctions were both “cumbersome and difficult to use,” despite assurances from Mr. Obama that U.N. consent would not be mandatory.
  • 15 Years: Schumer argues JCPOC is merely used by Iran as a dilatory tactic, leaving Iran as a threshold nuclear power after 2030.
  • Terrorism: A state sponsor of terrorism, Iranian clerics engage in hateful rhetoric as an obligatory political activity. Schumer contends Iran will avail themselves of the billions in frozen assets this agreement unleashes to destabilize the region and extend its hegemony throughout the Middle East, particularly as contributors to the chaotic conditions in Iraq.
  • Iran’s Aims: Schumer remains unconvinced Iran has modified its attitudes toward the Middle East and their aspiration to become a nuclear power is steadfast.
  • Renewing Negotiations: Schumer has declared the P5+1 Powers should bolster current economic sanctions and force Iran back to negotiations.

Whether Schumer declined to cast his vote in favor of JCPOC is a result of conscience or protestations from New York’s Orthodox Jewish community is unclear; however, his refusal to endorse the pact reveals he was immune from the all-to-common tedious cant from the Obama White House.

Schumer’s principled refusal to reject the White House’s relationship with Iran, one fraught with mistrust, secrecy and resistance to legitimate authority, illustrates how he listened carefully to those who deserved to be heard without interruption and his imperviousness to juvenile and unconvincing diplomatic efforts from the Obama Administration. Schumer’s patently unenthusiastic attitude toward appeasing Iran also demonstrated his resolve to defend the State of Israel and our allies in the Middle East from an agreement which immeasurably imperils the region.

Schumer’s opposition is likely to earn him outcast status from the Obama White House, but unlike the chorus line of supine acolytes in both chambers of Congress, all of whom were seduced by the paraphernalia of a con game, Schumer appears decidedly unapologetic about becoming a champion of an accord which offers a dangerous and temporary solution to a long-term problem and achieves nothing except a new form of the same misery.

Reputations rise and fall all the time. Mr. Schumer’s just rose considerably.

 

[Bloomberg] [schumer.senate.gov]