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The Iran Deal: Use The Constitution To Turn Lemons Into Lemonade

Before anything else, let’s remind ourselves who we’re dealing with. 

The Islamic Republic of Iran is led by ayatollahs who urge crowds to chant “Death to America.” The United States is the “Great Satan” and Israel the “Little Satan.” The last president of Iran vowed to “wipe Israel off the Grant Starrettmap” but that sentiment goes deeper than a single comment in a speech. The special forces unit of the Revolutionary Guard is called the Quds Force, or as it would be known in English, the Jerusalem Force. Just this summer, the Supreme Leader tweeted a depiction of President Barack Obama committing suicide, and called the United States “aggressive and criminal.” 

Let’s also note that the Iranian economy is in tough shape, having been mismanaged by mullahs and harmed by sanctions. The young Iranian population is tired of its leadership, but when they actually did something to demonstrate their dissatisfaction, in the 2009 Green Revolution, President Obama stood by and let the regime crack down. 

Today, President Obama’s foreign policy bungling continues, announcing that America’s options are his deal or war. That’s a hell of a negotiating position - and it’s no wonder that Tehran, the world’s largest terror sponsor, celebrates its gains, which include sanction relief, access to billions of dollars in frozen accounts, opening up weapons trade with Russia, and the retention of a nuclear program (that an oil supergiant doesn’t need) subject to a clunky inspection regime. We should be wary based on our experience with North Korea alone, in which another Democrat President, this one named Clinton, assured us that we had ensured a rogue state no longer had a path to join the nuclear community. A dozen years later, North Korea detonated a nuclear bomb. 

Unfortunately, the response of a Republican controlled Congress has not exactly been heartening. 

Congress, including my opponent Scott DesJarlais, passed the Corker-Cardin bill. Corker-Cardin reversed the traditional constitutional approach to treaties practiced - instead of requiring a 2/3 vote in the Senate to approve Obama’s Iran deal, Obama only needs a little more than 1/3 of either House. 

But there is an opportunity to make lemonade out of lemons. The Corker-Cardin legislation requires that President Obama present the entire agreement with Iran to succeed and have his disastrous agreement come into force. But Iran has cut side deals with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) that are NOT part of the package submitted to Congress. 

As a result, President Obama is not in compliance with the Corker-Cardin legislation - and so conservatives in Congress should pass a resolution stating just that - and allowing, at the least, a majority in Congress to stand with our Israeli allies and stop this Iran deal. 

President Obama is then welcome to submit any future agreement - one that actually stops the Iranian nuclear program - to the Senate for advice and consent. 

Many conservatives, including me, believe this is the way to constitutionally check a lawless president and his legacy-seeking administration from this flawed and reckless Iran deal. 

Congress, especially the Republicans in Congress, owe it to the American people to follow the Constitution and get this right. 

Principled limited government constitutional conservative Grant Starrett is challenging incumbent establishment Republican Scott DesJarlais in Tennessee District 4. Starrett worked for Jim DeMint at the Senate Steering Committee and at the American Center for Law and Justice. A member of the Federalist Society, he is a graduate of Stanford University and Vanderbilt Law School. To learn more about Grant Starrett and his campaign go to

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