In 2015, Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) drafted the bill that authorized the Iran nuclear deal, and then lied about what was in it to the American people so he and his fellow swampsters in Congress could pretend they opposed it.
H.R. 1191, legislation by Corker gave then-President Barack Obama the authority to lift sanctions against Iran’s nuclear program. The law provided that “any measure of statutory sanctions relief by the United States pursuant to an agreement [with Iran]… may be taken, consistent with existing statutory requirements for such action, if, following the period for review provided… there is not enacted any such joint resolution” by Congress disapproving of the deal.
With that language, which Corker was responsible for, Congress had preapproved the Iran nuclear deal before anyone even had the chance to read it. It set in place a process where Congress could engage in show votes after the fact, knowing they were doomed to failure, so that members could pretend they were opposed to the Iran nuclear deal.
At the time, Corker carried on this farce, pretending to oppose the agreement, with a Washington Post opinion piece titled, “Congress should reject the bad Iran deal,” warning that “rather than end Iran’s nuclear enrichment program, over time this deal industrializes the program of the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism.”
Of course, everyone knew that at the time, that the deal would facilitate the nuclear weapons program, and still H.R. 1191 was adopted, approving the deal and lifted sanctions, thanks to Corker.
Now, Corker is urging President Donald Trump to stay in the agreement. On July 26, Corker told the Washington Post, “You can only tear up the agreement one time. So when you’re going to tear it up, since nothing bad is happening today, and when I say bad, it’s not like a nuclear weapon’s getting ready to be developed, we gave up all our leverage already, so wait until you have your allies in line with you. Radically enforce it.” He said the U.S. could leave the agreement later if there was proof Iran had reneged on the deal.
Which, may be exactly what has happened. Coming back to bite the U.S. in a big way, it is now suspected by the British Foreign Office that Iran may have exported its nuclear arms technology to North Korea, destabilizing the Korean peninsula and risking general war, the Telegraph reports.
Per the report: “The Foreign Office is investigating whether ‘current and former nuclear states’ helped Kim Jong-Un in his drive to mount nuclear warheads on missiles. Senior Whitehall sources told The Sunday Telegraph it is not credible that North Korean scientists alone brought about the technological advances. Iran is top of the list of countries suspected of giving some form of assistance, while Russia is also in the spotlight.”
That would be in violation of the agreement and the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.
Of course, the Congressmen and Senators who voted to adopt H.R. 1191, including Corker, have no one but themselves to blame. They authorized the deal that led to sanctions being lifted. With them in still in place, maybe that would not have happened.
Fortunately for the people of Tennessee (and everyone else) Corker is actively considering retiring from the U.S. Senate when his seat comes up again for reelection in 2018. “As far as what am I going to do in the future, I’m still contemplating the future,” Corker told CNN.
Congress had the chance to defeat the Iran nuclear deal and proceed on a different path, when H.R. 1191 came up in the first place. Instead, Congress dropped the sanctions without precondition, which may have helped Iran proliferate nuclear weapons as a result. Was it worth it?
Given the failure of the Iran nuclear deal amid the growing likelihood it facilitated Iran’s export its programs to North Korea, and Corker’s role is lying about Congress’ role in authorizing it to the American people, retirement in the least appears appropriate. Somehow, an apology is really not going to cut it.