Democrats Issue List of Demands for North Korea Deal; Iran Deal Violated All of Them

Schumer and Durbin (Saul Loeb / AFP / Getty)
Saul Loeb / AFP / Getty

Senate Democrats have written a letter to President Donald Trump with a list of requirements that any deal with North Korea must meet if they are to support it.

The irony: the Iran deal violated each and every one of those.

Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ), the ranking member on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, led six other leading Democratic senators in declaring that “that a deal with North Korea must”:

  • Dismantle and remove every single one of North Korea’s nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons;
  • End the production and enrichment of uranium and plutonium for military purposes, and permanently dismantle North Korea’s nuclear weapons infrastructure. This includes the destruction of test sites, all nuclear weapons research and development facilities and enrichment facilities;
  • Suspend all of North Korea’s ballistic missile tests and disable, dismantle and eliminate all of North Korea’s ballistic missiles and programs.
  • Commit to robust compliance inspections including a verification regime for North Korea’s nuclear and ballistic missile programs. Inspections must have complete access to all nuclear related sites and facilities with real time verification of North Korean compliance. A separate compliance regime for its chemical and biological weapons that prevents, detects and punishes cheating on the part of North Korea is also necessary. These compliance regimes must include “anywhere, anytime” inspections and snap-back sanctions if North Korea is not in full compliance;
  • Be permanent.

The Democrats also demanded that President Trump work with Congress and submit any relevant agreement to the Senate for ratification.

The Iran deal — from which the U.S. recently withdrew at President Trump’s direction — violated every single one of the Democrats’ conditions.

It did not dismantle Iran’s nuclear infrastructure; it merely slowed, but did not stop, Iran’s nuclear enrichment; it did nothing to stop Iran’s missile program; it did not allow inspectors to visit all relevant sites at will; it included sunset clauses; and it was approved by the United Nations Security Council before being presented to Congress as a fait accompli. Indeed, Obama never submitted the Iran deal to the Senate for ratification, and Democrcats filibustered a vote on approving the deal under the weak provisions of the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act, which Menendez co-sponsored with Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN).

One Obama alumnus who missed the irony in Democrats’ demands was former aide Ben Rhodes, who once boasted of creating an “echo chamber” to sell the Iran deal. He said Monday evening that inspections were crucial to any deal with North Korea:

Sen. Lindsay Graham (R-SC) told CNN’s State of the Union Sunday morning that he agreed with the Democrats’ demands, but urged them to commit to supporting the president’s diplomatic effort by backing an authorization of military force in the event negotiations collapsed.

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He was named to Forward’s 50 “most influential” Jews in 2017. He is the co-author of How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, which is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.

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