Holding the first public hearing on the Iran nuclear deal since it was signed in Vienna on July 14 Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Thursday proved to President Barack Obama’s negotiating team that it is not as easy as it seems to get the deal passed by Congress.
In addition to fact that John Kerry and his team had a very tough day before the opposition senators, the meeting revealed some important flaws about the characters and mindset of the senators who are not only displeased with the deal but also act against the interest of their own country.
First of all the meeting showed lack of knowledge by almost all the senators sitting on the committee about Iran, its capacities, and even its geography. They do not even have proper information about Iran’s nuclear program and the chronology of the negotiations over the past decade, let alone other issues.
So it forced Kerry to frequently repeat simple things about the past issues which were supposed to have been understood already by senators who sit on such a prestigious committee.
Subsequently, most of the Republican senators who were defying the U.S. negotiating team were more anxious about the Israeli and Saudi interests rather than their own country. They were severely critical of the deal because it has angered Netanyahu and some Saudi princes.
Then, we come to the universalism which you cannot find any traces in the senators’ remarks. None of them could deliver a universal view in their comments about the deal and the world’s view of it. So, inattentive to the positive and dramatic effects of the deal on the world and region, they just stuck to narrow interests which are mostly rooted in close connections between some corporations and Republicans.
In addition, instead of pursuing national interests, it was easy to smell partisanship in the senators’ stances.
Moreover, lack of respect to human rights, especially about the sanctions on Iran, were greatly annoying. They talked about Iran very impolitely and insisted on continuation of sanctions.
Though John Kerry tried to draw a reasonable and human picture of Iran and its people, the Republican senators were just speaking in a way as if Iran is a lifeless entity.
A very interesting example is that they accused Iran of human rights violation. Surprisingly they were the same people who endorsed the most inhumane and crippling sanctions against Iran which has been affecting ordinary people most during the past decade.
Ridiculously they blamed the deal for the reason that it will lift or ease these inhuman sanctions. And while Kerry elaborated on the reasons why the sanctions have not succeeded to stop Iran to build more than 19000 centrifuges in the past, they nonchalantly and without any attention to human rights, insisted that the sanctions should not be lifted.
Considering the senators’ stances against Iran and the deal, it is easy to comprehend why Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei recently reiterated that the United States is still the ultimate embodiment of arrogance.
It is far better for Congress not to abandon wisdom. It must also stop playing to the tune of Israel or U.S. Arab allies, which have the lowest legitimacy among their nations and have the worst records of human rights violation. They must use this wisdom practiced by the Obama administration and find a place in the hearts and minds of the Iranian people, and also change their hostile approach toward Iran