By Garth Kant
Republican presidential candidates Donald Trump and Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas
WASHINGTON – Donald Trump is coming to Washington with a message for Congress and the American people: Stop the nuclear deal with Iran.
And he will be joined by a star-studded galaxy of conservative leaders.
The leading Republican presidential candidate will join fellow candidate Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, former Gov. Sarah Palin, R-Alaska, political commentator Glenn Beck, radio talk-show host Mark Levin and many others in what promises to be a huge rally to try stop the Iran deal at the Capitol on Wednesday.
Former Gov. Sarah Palin, R-Alaska
Trump, the author of the best-selling “The Art of the Deal,” has called Obama’s agreement “very dangerous” and “horrible” for America, while “perhaps catastrophic” for Israel.
“This deal makes war a certainty,” Cruz has charged.
And, as he told WND, “If this deal is consummated, it will make the Obama administration the world’s leading financier of radical Islamic terrorism.”
“Billions of dollars under control of this administration will flow into the hands of jihadists who will use that money to murder Americans, to murder Israelis, to murder Europeans,” Cruz warned.
Announcing on Sunday that she would join the rally, Palin wrote on Facebook, “Think about it – what the heck are we even doing ‘negotiating’ with an evil regime hellbent on destruction?
“The whole premise of this thing is wrong,” she added. “It’s a long haul to D.C. for the rally but well worth it to take a stand against this asinine deal the president caved on.”
Beck has called the Iranians “psychotic Islamists” and predicted the deal will lead to “a Holocaust, perhaps bigger than the last, where millions of Christians and even Muslims who are not Muslim enough will die at the hands of the Islamic State.”
As for Obama, Beck said, “What this president has done will be remembered as something far worse than Neville Chamberlain,” referring to the former British prime minister who tried to appease Hitler.
Levin has charged, “Barack Obama has planted the seeds, in my view, for World War III. They were already there, but he’s moved it along. I honestly believe that the next, massive, conflagration, war will now be in the Middle East.”
The rally has been organized by Cruz, the Tea Party Patriots, The Center for Security Policy and the Zionist Organization of America.
Once Cruz convinced Trump to join the rally, the floodgates opened: Huge media coverage was assured, and more big-name conservatives joined the speaker roster.
How Cruz wooed Trump, an opponent in the presidential race, to join him was chronicled by the Washington Post, which portrayed it as part of larger effort to ally the two campaigns and the start of a budding “bromance.”
While other Republican presidential candidates were taking ineffective swipes at the front-runner, Cruz went the other direction, calling it “foolish” to “slap Donald Trump with a stick.”
The two agree on such major issues as the need to stop illegal immigration and the corruption of Washington politics by big money, and Cruz said Trump’s emphasis on those issues had helped boost his own campaign.
“I like Donald Trump. He’s a friend of mine. I’m grateful that he’s in the race,” said Cruz.
The Texan issued a personal invitation to Trump, who accepted the offer from his campaign rival.
Opposition to the Iran deal is something all the GOP presidential candidates can strongly agree upon.
Despite overwhelming opposition in Congress and among the public, the nuclear deal is likely to attain approval this week because of a Senate ploy which many critics consider a colossal tactical blunder.
The “Corker bill” allows the nuclear deal, effectively, to be approved by a minority of lawmakers.
That’s because Congress did not insist upon pursuing the normal treaty process that requires such an important international agreement to be approved by two-thirds of the Senate. Instead, a bill from Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., requires Congress to submit a bill disapproving the deal, if lawmakers want to block it.
That means a bill blocking the deal would need two-thirds of both the Senate and the House to override a presidential veto. And, opponents of the deal, although in the clear majority, do not have that many votes.
Republicans are expected to introduce bills in the House and the Senate this week to stop the deal.
But 34 senators have now committed to support it, ensuring Obama could veto a bill blocking the deal without the Senate overriding that veto.
That means the much-criticized deal likely will go into effect despite opposition by nearly two-thirds of the Senate, as much as three-quarters of the House and 55 percent of the country. Just 25 percent of Americans support the deal.
Sixty-six percent of voters believe the deal should require the approval of Congress.
The deal’s many critics insist it does little to stop Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons, and instead, virtually assures that it will. Even the Obama administration has conceded the deal does nothing to stop Iran building atomic weapons after it expires in a decade.
The deal’s most controversial provision has been kept secret, even from Congress.
A side deal between the International Atomic Energy Agency, or IAEA, and Iran lets the country’s leaders decide which sites to inspects. It also lets Iran do its own inspections at a key site.
Iran nuclear deal negotiators
The Associated Press reported in August, “The agreement in question diverges from normal procedures by allowing Tehran to employ its own experts and equipment in the search for evidence of activities it has consistently denied – trying to develop nuclear weapons.”
The deputy IAEA director general in charge of the Iran probe from 2005 to 2010 told AP he could think of no similar concession with any other country.
The IAEA chief told Republican senators in August that he could not let them see the side deal.
In a nutshell, the secret side deal would:
- Let Iran use its own inspectors to investigate the Parchin site, where experts suspect it has been developing nuclear arms.
- Let Iran provide the IAEA its own photos and and videos of suspect locations, while “taking into account military concerns.”
- Bar international inspectors from sites about which Iran says it has “military concerns.”
- Prevent the IAEA from getting photo or video information from areas Iran says are off limits because the sites have military significance.
While a copy of a draft of the side deal (which sources said was virtually identical to the final document) obtained by the AP said the IAEA “will ensure the technical authenticity” of Iran’s inspection, it did not say how.
Iran has since confirmed it intends to decide where, and what, inspectors may inspect.
“Iran does not plan to issue permission for the [International Atomic Energy Agency] to inspect every site,” said Iranian Defense Minister Brig. Gen. Hossein Dehqan last week.
That limitations on inspections directly contradict what the Obama administration had said.
As WND reported, Secretary of State John Kerry said in April that, under the deal, Iran would allow the IAEA to inspect anywhere it wants. He would later deny saying that, while testifying under oath to Congress.
After the deal was concluded, Kerry told senators on July 23 he “never uttered the words anywhere, anytime” regarding inspections of Iran’s facilities, and claimed “it was never part of negotiations.”
That’s not what the Obama administration said in April, and it contradicted what Deputy National Security adviser Ben Rhodes promised back then, when he said the International Atomic Energy Agency would have immediate access to any Iranian nuclear site.
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif (2nd L) shakes hands with Secretary of State John Kerry
Rhodes has since flip-flopped and directly contradicted himself.
On April 6, he said, “Under this deal, you will have anywhere, anytime, 24/7 access as it relates to the nuclear facilities that Iran has.”
On July 14, he said, “We never sought in this negotiation the capacity for so-called anytime, anywhere” inspections.
Parchin is just one of the sites where Iran has not permitted IAEA inspectors to go.
Iran has denied any nuclear weapons work was done at Parchin but has never allowed access to the site.
The IEAE suspects Iran experimented on nuclear detonators at Parchin, based on U.S., Israeli and other intelligence.
Work at Parchin stopped more than decade ago, but the IAEA has cited satellite image evidence of apparent attempts to clean the site.
Even top Democrats have come out against the deal.
Sens. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., and Bob Menendez, D-N.J., both plan to vote for the upcoming Senate bill disapproving of the deal.
J.B. Pritzker, a lifelong Democrat who chaired Hillary’s 2008 campaign, wrote last week:
“Regrettably, the Iran deal fails to meet these goals and raises the prospects for war … By legitimizing Iran’s nuclear program, removing the pressure of economic sanctions and allowing it to obtain conventional weapons and ballistic missiles, this agreement makes the prospect for war more likely, not less.”
President Bill Clinton’s CIA director, James Woolsey, also wrote last week:
“Congress must stop President Obama’s nuclear deal with Iran. The most important reason — Iran can threaten the existence of the United States by making an electromagnetic pulse (EMP) attack using a single nuclear weapon.”
WND has worked extensively with one of the groups sponsoring the anti-Iran deal rally, the Center for Security Policy.
Clare Lopez, the group’s vice president, is one of the top experts on Iran.
She told WND the Cruz and Trump rally is “a great development, because these two are among the sharpest, best-informed of the entire candidate lineup,” and that the duo “speak out forthrightly about what they believe.”
“To see them taking a public stance against this disaster of a deal is important and encouraging,” concluded Lopez.
Follow Garth Kant @DCgarth
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