"Ted Cruz’s New Plan To Shut Down Diplomacy With Iran"
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) has filed a resolution that sets two preconditions on Iran before the United States can engage in further negotiations with Tehran over its nuclear program.
The resolution, which is being shopped around the Senate for cosponsors, according to an email obtained by ThinkProgress, says that “before further bilateral negotiations between the Government of Iran and the United States Government occur, the Government of Iran must”:
(1) immediately and without conditions release all United States citizens unjustly detained in Iran; and
(2) publicly affirm the right of Israel to exist as a Jewish state.
The text of the resolution also falsely claims that the United States and its international partners (the U.K., France, Russia, China and Germany) received nothing in return from Iran for giving up $7 billion in sanctions relief as part of the Geneva nuclear deal reached in November. In fact, Iran agreed to cap its production of low-enriched uranium, eliminate its stockpile of higher enriched uranium, halt construction of its heavy water facility at Arak and allow more intrusive inspections from United Nations nuclear experts. The deal will reportedly begin implementation at the end of the month.
CAP’s Matt Duss dismissed the resolution, saying that “it’s such an obvious attempt to undermine negotiations that it completely demolishes the claim that Congressional hawks are only trying to strengthen diplomacy.”
Joel Rubin, Director of Policy and Government Affairs at the Ploughshares Fund and a columnist for the Pittsburgh Jewish Chronicle, said “friends of Israel should cringe when an American legislator uses the character of their state as justification for blocking diplomatic efforts to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon.”
Rubin added: “Israeli security leaders have an open mind about the potential for a diplomatic resolution to the Iranian nuclear challenge. What they don’t need are initiatives intended to undermine that possibility, which if successful, will either lead to an unconstrained Iranian nuclear program or military action to attempt to stop it.”