Cotton: Iran Not Taking Obama Seriously Because of Red Line Walk Back

Wednesday on CNN’s “The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer,” Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) said the Obama administration can not negotiate from a position of strength in the Iran nuke talks because both our allies and enemies in the Middle East know the president did not keep his word on the “red line” threats when Syrian President Bashar al-Assad used chemical weapons on his people.

Cotton said, “Unfortunately, I don’t think Iran or many of our adversaries in the region take that threat of force very seriously. I have spoken personally with ambassadors from the region who just say it’s not believed anymore, particularly after the president walked back his so-called red line in Syria after Bashar al-Assad used chemical weapons. What we need to do is reinvigorate the threat of use of force to drive our diplomacy. Diplomacy is always stronger when backed by credible threat of use of force.”

“The president drew a red line in Syria, then erased it,” he continued. “So no, I don’t think Iran or most other countries in the region believe the United States is willing to take military action to stop Iran from getting a nuclear weapon. That’s one reason why we are negotiating from a position of weakness.”

Cotton explained Israel is now taken more seriously than America, saying, “I think they take it more seriously than they take the U.S. threat. That’s also why it’s so dangerous to show any daylight with the government of Israel. The U.S./Israel alliance is a core part of our strategic position in the Middle East. To the extent that we are undermining Prime Minister Netanyahu as he forms a new government and tries to address their security concerns, we are further weakening our negotiating position.”

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