Will The New Congress Vote For More Sanctions Against Iran?

Will The New Congress Vote For More Sanctions Against Iran?

Both the House and the Senate are now under Republican control. As they come back together in the New Year, another burning issue of international politics might be back on the front pages: more sanctions against Iran.

Sanctions against Iran have been in place in an attempt to curb their nuclear program, which they claim is for fuel reasons but critics claim is geared towards producing a nuclear weapon. Rand Paul’s position on Iran has perplexed many, as have his other policies, but in an interview with Townhall he set out his position.

There is no response that shouldn’t be considered, according to Paul, including the threat of military force.

“With regard to Iran, I voted for all of the sanctions against Iran,” Paul told Townhall. “I think we should use every possible weapon that we have to try to prevent Iran from having nuclear weapons. That includes the threat of military force. “

He has been accused by some of siding with Kerry and Obama; an argument which Paul claims ignores the nuance of negotiations.

“There are very few of our adversaries that we can trust,” said Paul. “But some people use that as an argument for having no negotiations. …And so I think that just by saying they’re clever, devious, and probably dishonest, which they’ve proven to be time over time, isn’t still an argument against no negotiations. If you have no negotiations your only other option is military. Once the military option begins there will be no inspections and no monitoring of them, and really you have to at least acknowledge the possibility that a certain portion of their population that is inclined to be pro-Western shifts the opposite way once there is bombing happening from us or Israel. “

“So I do want a negotiated settlement. I’ve also said that if they are not in compliance, if they begin enriching again above 5 percent, and actually I think they are limited to keeping it at 5 percent, if they are found to be not in compliance with that agreement I would be for more sanctions.”

“And so I don’t think that is as simple as saying, ‘You are for President Obama’s position.’” (Townhall)

Other positions on Iran in the Republican Party have given rise to bills like the Kirk-Menendez bill that threatens more sanctions for any violations. Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) want Congress more involved in any further nuclear deals. Given the hawkish nature in some wings of the Republican Party we could be in for a more belligerent approach to negotiations, something that those who have been opining over for some time may find jarring and counterproductive.

When it comes to military responses to Iran the outcomes are generally pretty poor. Destroying a sovereign state’s property, perhaps unilaterally without the support of the U.N. Security Council, would rile many in a region of the world that is riled up a lot right now. Iran is a major player in the war against ISIS in Syria and Iraq.

Paul told Sean Hannity back in September how he thinks that the operation should be led by regional players like Iran, Turkey and Syria (although which aspect of Syria is rather harder to ascertain). There isn’t enough discussion that sees the issues in the region as interlinked; each issue (ISIS, nuclear power/weapons, even Russian geopolitical strategy) is coming to a head in the Middle East at a time when the U.S. wants to be over in the Pacific trying to keep ahead of China.

Have the current sanctions against Iran worked or have they been of questionable efficiency? What do you think? Comment below or join the discussion on Facebook and Twitter.

Written by Abezier Coppe

(Photo courtesy of Nicolas Raymond, Flickr CC BY 2.0)

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