Conservative Media Cheer For Rejection Of Iran Deal, Which Experts Say Will Collapse International Sanctions Regime

Fox figures are calling for an end to President Obama's landmark nuclear deal with Iran that relieves economic sanctions on the country in exchange for dismantling their nuclear program, likening it to “a deal with the devil.” Such attacks overlook the fact that if the deal falls through, support for international sanctions would likely also collapse, possibly allowing Iran to develop a nuclear weapon. But, if the deal is approved, and Iran eventually violates the agreement, U.S. and international sanctions would “snapback” into effect automatically.

U.S. Reaches Landmark Nuclear Deal With Iran, Lifting Economic Sanctions In Exchange For Guarantee That Iran's Nuclear Program Remains Peaceful

U.S. Nuclear Deal With Iran Relieves Economic Sanctions In Exchange For Guarantee That Iran's Nuclear Program Remains Peaceful. President Obama, partnered with world powers including England, France, Russia, China, and Germany, reached a landmark nuclear agreement with Iran that “lifts economic sanctions against Iran in exchange for guarantees that its nuclear energy program remains peaceful.” The New York Times reported that the agreement includes a “snapback mechanism to renew United Nations sanctions” in the event that Iran is perceived as violating the deal, that “allows the full raft of penalties to resume automatically”:

The agreement lifts economic sanctions against Iran in exchange for guarantees that its nuclear energy program remains peaceful. It is to be endorsed by a Security Council resolution that is expected to pass when it comes up for a vote on Monday. The resolution is to take effect 90 days later, a window of time long enough to let Congress consider the matter and for President Obama to veto a rejection, if necessary.

The so-called snapback mechanism to renew United Nations sanctions is one of the most unusual parts of the deal. In the event that Iran is perceived as violating it, the agreement allows the full raft of penalties to resume automatically, without a vote on the Council that would risk a veto by one of its permanent members -- namely, Russia, Iran's closest ally on the Council.

Instead, the snapback mechanism allows any of the six world powers that negotiated the deal to flag what it considers a violation. They would submit their concerns to a dispute resolution panel. If those concerns remained unresolved, the sanctions would automatically resume after 30 days, or “snap back.” According to the draft Security Council resolution, this means that the previous penalties “shall apply in the same manner as they applied before.”

Preventing a resumption of sanctions would require a vote by the Security Council. That in turn can be vetoed by those who would want the sanctions resumed, presumably the United States and its Western allies.

The snapback provision allows the United States, as one of Iran's toughest critics on the Council, to use the veto power to its advantage. “It's reversing the power of the veto,” one Council diplomat said. “The ones that will likely veto are the ones likely to push for the snapback.” [The New York Times7/16/15]

“Deal With The Devil”: Fox Figures Attack Iran Deal's Sanction Relief, Call For Deal To Be Killed

Fox's Eric Bolling: Dropping Sanctions And Implementing Deal Is Cutting "A Deal With The Devil." On the July 14 edition of Fox News' The Five, co-hosts Dana Perino, Eric Bolling, and Kimberly Guilfoyle argued that the Iran deal's “snap sanctions” would not prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons. Bolling likened the deal to “a deal with the devil,” and dismissed the fact that allowing the deal to fall through would collapse the international sanctions regime:

PERINO: I want to ask you about the sanctions piece because one of the deals going up to this moment was that there might be snap sanctions so that if Iran doesn't hold up its end of the deal, that all of the sudden these world powers would be willing to put the sanctions back on. I think we have to be clear. That is never going to happen.


BOLLING: There's also another thing in play here. So there's a group of nations that have decided to do this deal with Iran, right? Now I know why China's doing the deal -- they want to do the deal because they want to  buy Iranian oil. They need oil, they don't produce any, they need a lot of oil, that's more oil for them. I know why Russia is doing it -- because they want to sell Iran arms. That's what they do -- they sell arms, and Iran is -- was one of their biggest arms clients. And I know why the E.U. also wants to do it -- because they also want a combination of -- to  be able to deal with Iran in financial arenas, but they also want the oil as well. What do we get out of it? We don't need their oil. We are on our path to being self-sufficient with oil. We don't need any of that. What do we get?


GUTFELD: And meanwhile, it's always great to see liberals. They are so great at explaining bad ideas. They are so willing to sell disaster as salvation to their very constituency. They're telling America, this is good for you. It's not.  As Eric says, it's only good for everybody else.

WILLIAMS: I don't think so. Look, what would you say then, Greg? More sanctions?




WILLIAMS: Oh, more sanctions to what end?

BOLLING: It is working.

WILLIAMS: Guess what, and your point was those Europeans, those Chinese, those Russians, no -- those sanctions would unravel.

BOLLING: All right, Juan. So let them deal with them. Let them cut a deal with the devil. [Fox News, The Five, 7/14/15

Fox Analyst Ed Rollins: U.S. Must “Kill This Deal.” On the August 2 edition of Fox News' Sunday Morning Futures, Fox News political analyst Ed Rollins argued that the U.S. must “kill this deal,” due to the deal's sanction relief, saying “the issue is the money and what they do with the money [more so] than just the nuclear weapon”:  

ROLLINS: It's becoming more and more clear that the issue is the money and what they do with the money than just the nuclear weapon. Everybody's talked about the nuclear weapon, Khomeini has a new book, the Supreme Commander, called Palestine in which he basically said the nuclear weapon is to keep Israel from doing anything back to them, that they're going to take Israel out by the war of attrition, by Hezbollah, Hamas, what have you. And I think that's  very accurate. So, we put sanctions on initially when they kidnapped and took over our embassy in 1978. So I think the reality is -- I don't care where our friends go. I think America has to take a stand here, and it's very, very important that we basically kill this deal. [Fox News, Sunday Morning Futures8/2/15]

Fox Guest Giuliani: Sanction Relief In Iran Deal “Is A Recipe For War, As Opposed To The Opposite.” The August 5 edition of Fox News' America's Newsroom hosted former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani to criticize the Iran deal's sanction relief. Giuliani declared the deal “is a recipe for war as opposed to the opposite,” because it puts “billions of dollars” into Iran's hands:

BILL HEMMER: Going to be a big topic this morning. You'll hear President Obama sell his case to the American people later today. He also says it is either this deal or it is war. That speech at American University this morning. Rudy Giuliani is the former mayor of New York City with me in the studio now, nice to see you, Mayor, and good morning to you. He is going to point out that the same people who supported the war in Iraq are against this deal in Iran. To that you would say --

RUDY GIULIANI: First of all, who cares? I mean, the question is, this has to get evaluated on the merits of is it a good deal or a bad deal. It's a very, very bad deal because we are putting hundreds of millions and billions of dollars into the hands of a man who wants to destroy the state of Israel, wants to destroy the United States, has become and is the biggest sponsor of terrorism in the world. The deal makes no sense to me. To put billions of dollars in the hands of a man who wants to commit murder is, to me, highly irresponsible. Secondly, why the president trusts the Ayatollah to keep any of the commitments in the deal that he supposedly made indicates the president is being naive. This is a recipe for war,as opposed to the opposite.

HEMMER: It's interesting you say that because in a meeting with Jewish leaders yesterday he said if the deal is struck down by Congress, war could be the next step. What do you think of that argument.

GIULIANI: Well first of all, when you take the military option off the table, you take your leverage off the table. President shouldn't be so afraid of war. I want a president who can protect us, not a president who draws 12 lines in the sand, and says that if Assad is going to use chemical weapons, I'm going to do something and does nothing. Do you think there's a single person in the world that thinks that the Ayatollah or Putin are afraid of Obama? You know how much leverage we lose? [Fox News, America's Newsroom8/5/15]

Experts: If Iran Deal Collapses, Sanctions Regime Could Also Collapse, Leaving Iran Free To Develop Nuclear Weapons

International Affairs Expert: If Congress Refuses Deal, “International Coalition Will Splinter And The Sanctions Regime Will Collapse.” Writing in The Atlantic, Graham Allison, the director of the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at the Harvard Kennedy School, outlined “9 Reasons to Support the Iran Deal” and noted how the sanctions regime will collapse if Congress rejects the agreement:

One can always imagine a better deal. But if the U.S. Congress rejects this agreement and proposes sending Secretary of State John Kerry back to the negotiating table, Kerry will most likely find no one else there. Partners who have negotiated and compromised over 20 months to achieve this accord will conclude that the U.S. government is incapable of making agreements. The international coalition will splinter and the sanctions regime will collapse, with Russia and China leading the way, but with France and Germany not far behind. The United States will have demonstrated that D.C. is in fact an acronym for Dysfunctional Capital. In comparison, Iran will appear to be the adult in this paring. [The Atlantic, 8/4/15]

International Relations Expert: “Either We Implement This Deal,” Or There Will Be “A Collapse Of The Sanctions Regime” Or “Preventative War.” Writing for Foreign Policy, Harvard University international relations professor Stephen M. Walt outlined why “the deal is in America's national interest and clearly superior to the available alternatives”:

Why will it go through? In part, because Congress normally gives the president a lot of leeway in foreign policy. But also because the deal is in America's national interest and clearly superior to the available alternatives.


In the end, we either implement this deal, or we will have: 1) a collapse of the sanctions regime and an Iran that is free to develop its nuclear capacity with few constraints, or 2) a preventative war that would give Iran a powerful incentive to acquire a bomb and only reduce its capacity to do temporarily. Rejecting the deal would also show Iran's people that electing a more moderate government and cooperating with the United States doesn't pay off, just as Iran's hard-liners have long warned."


My second prediction: The deal will work. By “work,” I mean it will keep Iran from developing a nuclear weapon for the duration of the agreement and possibly beyond. [Foreign Policy, 8/3/15]

USA Today: If U.S. Rejects Iran Deal, “International Support For Sanctions Would Most Likely Unravel.” USA Today's editorial board explained that if Congress votes down Obama's nuclear deal with Iran, then international support for sanctions would likely collapse, other countries have warned:

Those who insist there's a better deal to be had, if only Congress rejects this one, are gambling that an international coalition, which joined the U.S. to place tough economic sanctions on Iran, can be reassembled.


So what will happen if Congress overrides Obama and rejects a deal that Britain, China, France, Germany and Russia have all agreed to? Will those nations and Iran simply restart talks, chastened by angry U.S. lawmakers?

Don't count on it. Ambassadors from Britain and Germany warned in May that if the deal collapsed because Congress killed it, international support for sanctions would most likely unravel. Countries that have refrained from buying Iranian oil or doing other business with Iran would resume, and the pressure so carefully built over the past 10 years would drop sharply.

U.S. sanctions might remain in place, but without reinforcement from other nations, the effect would be much less severe. Critics who say more pressure would force Iran to make a better deal will have to explain where that pressure would come from. [USA Today, 8/5/15]

U.S.' Partners In Iran Deal: If U.S. Rejects Deal, We Will Lose Coalition Of Support For International Sanctions. The Huffington Post's Sam Stein reported that according to Senate Democrats who met with ambassadors to the United States from the nations involved in the deal,  U.S. partners “were emphatic” that if the deal fell through, “this would amount to a forfeiture of a successful diplomatic endgame,” and would collapse the coalition of support:

At roughly 11:30 a.m. on Tuesday in the capital, ambassadors to the United States from the P5+1 nations (England, France, Russia, China, Germany) met with roughly 30 senators to discuss the contours of the deal. According to multiple Senate sources, all of whom would only speak on condition of anonymity, the presentation proved surprisingly convincing. The ambassadors fielded a variety of questions. But the conversation lingered largely on a hypothetical: What would happen if the agreement fell through?

According to one Senate Democratic aide, the ambassadors were emphatic that this would amount to a forfeiture of a successful diplomatic endgame.

“They said international sanctions were aimed at getting Iran to the table, and if we fritter away this chance, you couldn't keep that coalition of support,” said the aide. "Frankly, there are a lot of countries out there that want to buy Iranian oil.

Said another aide, summarizing what was relayed at the meeting: “These countries will not come together again in search for the best deal. This is the best deal.” [The Huffington Post, 8/4/15]

But If U.S. Approves Iran Deal, And Iran Eventually Breaks Promises, International Sanctions Will Snap Back

The Diplomat: Iran Nuclear Deal Exceeds Expectations. Writing for The Diplomat, Ankit Panda outlined how “snap-back” sanctions will not only keep Iran compliant, but can also be applied regardless of any objections raised by China or the Russian Federation:

What many observers of the Iran talks have been pleasantly surprised by is the sophistication of the mechanism included in the final deal that could allow the United States and its three P5+1 European allies to reinstate sanctions against Iran if Tehran is found to be violation of the terms of the agreement. Notably, this “snap back” mechanism would allow the United States to reinstate U.N. sanctions without the acquiescence of Russia and China (despite their United Nations Security Council vetoes).


Where the United States preserved unique leverage-and immunity from a Russian or Chinese veto against resuming old UN Security Council sanctions-is the next step. If the Security Council doesn't act in 30 days, all of the pre-JCPOA nuclear-related sanctions on Iran come back into place automatically. Basically, the U.S. and the EU states in the P5+1 can veto ongoing sanctions relief but Russia and China can't veto a return to the status quo ante. A scenario in which Iran is non-compliant with the JCPOA and escapes the old sanctions simply will not be possible. [The Diplomat, 7/15/15]

Foreign Policy: If Iran Cheats, Sanctions Will Snap Back And Deal Goes Out The Window. Writing for Foreign Policy, Harvard international relations professor, Stephen M. Walt, argued that Iran has great strategic interests in not acquiring a nuclear weapon under the provisions of this deal. If Iran were to move in the direction of weaponizing nuclear material, Walt explains that “under this agreement, the world would know it almost immediately, sanctions would snap back, military action would become more likely, and all the benefits Iran gains from the deal would go right out the window.” [Foreign Policy, 8/3/15]

NY Times: "'Snapback' Is An Easy Way To Reimpose Iran Penalties." Writing for The New York Times, Somini Sengupta noted that “The so-called snapback mechanism to renew United Nations sanctions” ensures that if Iran violates the deal, “the agreement allows the full raft of penalties to resume automatically.” Sengupta outlined how the threat of snapback sanctions presents a unique advantage to the United States, stating that they represent “a not-so subtle threat that the scrutiny of Iran's nuclear ambitions could last longer than the Iranians had bargained for.” [The New York Times, 7/16/15]