Donald Trump has produced the most credible response yet of any Republican presidential candidate thus far to the Iran deal.
Appearing on NBC News’ Meet the Press on Sunday, Trump drew a contrast with candidates who have promised to cancel the deal on their first day in office. It would be very difficult, he said, to “rip up” the deal, since much of it takes effect whether Congress likes it or not. However, he said, “I would police that contract so tough that they don’t have a chance. As bad as the contract is, I will be so tough on that contract.”
Trump’s analysis tracks closely to what several experts have advised, including Harvard Law professor emeritus Alan Dershowitz, who has recently written that since Congress can do little to stop Obama from ignoring its will, it should react by passing an authorization for the use of military force in advance of any violations by Iran.
Here at Breitbart News, our analysis has been similar. On July 15, in “GOP Presidential Candidates Need Better Responses to Iran Deal,” I argued that canceling the deal, while “constitutionally valid” and “an effective way of conveying the depth of GOP opposition,” is not the best response.
For one thing, it lacks credibility. If the U.S. backs out of the deal, Iran will do the same, citing passages in the text of the agreement that allow it to do so. Iran will then race towards a nuclear weapon….
The other problem with a pledge to tear up the deal after it takes effect is that repeated reversals in U.S. foreign policy damage our credibility as global leaders….
A more effective and credible response for an aspiring Republican candidate would be to declare that if the deal passes, as bad as it is, he or she reserves the right to act immediately and unilaterally to punish any Iranian violation, no matter how minor, through military action if necessary.
Meanwhile, Republican candidates should work hard to help defeat the deal in Congress–the last chance to stop Obama’s appeasement. They should also articulate a fallback option if the deal fails to pass, such as: maintaining U.S. sanctions (which are still powerful even in the absence of international cooperation); preserving the arms embargo and the ballistic missile restrictions; offering explicit assistance to U.S. allies in the region; and moving U.S. forces into position to renew the potency of the “military option” that Obama still pretends to preserve.
In this area, at least, Trump is on track.
There are also other options, including at the state level, where governments can maintain or even add to their existing sanctions on Iran. That approach, also first suggested at Breitbart News, has been championed by Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX).