GOP Reaction to DEM Strategy in the Senate That Ensures Passage
(and it should pass - as they say "give peace a chance")
A good deal that needs a chance to succeed
This is NOT just an American deal – something the GOP doesn’t like to mention in their criticism of Mr. Obama in about everything. The Iran nuclear agreement deal was struck between the US, China, Russia, France, the UK and Germany – the so-called P5 + 1 (Germany) vis-à-vis Iran.
This latest from the GOP-run House – headlines from Reuters:
House votes against Iran deal in two symbolic votes
A lot of people have strong opinions about the looming deal to delay Iran’s nuclear weapons program. However, strong facts are in shorter supply. Some politicians who oppose the deal are making it sound as if Americans will somehow be subsidizing Iran’s Islamic government if the deal goes through.
For example; two of the most-vocal (or loudmouths if you choose):
Sen. “Ted” Cruz missile: “If you vote to send billions of dollars to jihadists who have pledged to murder Americans, then you bear direct responsibility for the murders carried out with the dollars you have given”
Mr. Blowhard Himself, “The Donald” T-rump: “[this] … accord will make Iran unbelievably rich.”
Will the deal make Iran unbelievably rich? That depends on what rich means. Honestly, the money will not put Iran on the verge of becoming a diamond-encrusted Sultanate or threat to us in trade arena, either.
So, what is really going on?
The sanctions enacted by the United States and Europe in 2011 and 2012 included the freezing of Iranian assets in many international banks. Nobody knows the total amount of frozen assets, but it’s probably about $100 billion. Some estimates go as high as $150 billion, the number some critics of the nuclear deal use to make the windfall coming to Iran seem larger than it probably is.
- The deal would release money allowing them full access to them, but the money belongs to Iran.
- The money is not coming from some other country.
- Iran owes some major debts to countries such as China, and it would use perhaps $50 billion to pay those.
But, the big question still remains, what will Iran do with the money?
Many ME analysts think Iran won’t use the money to fund terrorism; will instead pump it into the Iranian economy, which needs a lot of economic help.
Contrary to Trump or what he thinks, the Iranian economy is pretty weak, especially for a nation with the fourth-largest proven reserves of oil in the world.
The sanctions contributed to a recession in 2013, which seems to have ended last year. Inflation soared to 35% and has now fallen back to around 15%, according to the World Bank. The job market has improved, but the official unemployment rate is still 10.3%, and economists think the real rate could be as high as 20%. GDP per capita in Iran is about $5,300, one-fifth the level of Saudi Arabia and one-tenth that of the U.S.
Food Line in Tehran (Iran is basically a "subsidy-run" state)
Once sanctions are removed, the CIA thinks Iran will spend most of its spare money on economic priorities, such as building roads and bridges and shoring up the nation’s energy infrastructure. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew says the dilapidated Iranian economy needs $500 billion worth of repairs and investment, so $50 billion would be a small down payment.
The CIA could be wrong, and Iran could funnel billions to enemies of America (and Israel), in addition to whatever it already spends to support terrorism. President Obama, in fact, has said he expects Iran to continue sending money to certain terrorist groups, with or without a nuclear deal.
RELATED KEY POINTS:
- Iran will remain on the State Department's list of countries that support terrorism.
- Other penalties that have been in place longer than the nuclear sanctions will continue to be imposed.
- Rules barring most American companies from doing business with Iran remain unchanged.