No Iran War

February 4, 2014

Over the last few days, over 70 House Democrats expressed opposition to new sanctions on Iran, Hillary Clinton announced her opposition, and a number of Senators pulled their support of the Iran sanctions bill. Here’s how to talk about why the defeat of the sanctions bill would mean a victory for Americans who don’t want another war.  

STRATEGY

Stay laser-focused on preventing another war and preventing Iran from getting the bomb. Make clear that politicians pushing for sanctions or Congressional resolutions to poison a final deal are pushing for war.


TOPLINES

Americans don’t want another war in the Middle East.
But that is precisely what politicians criticizing diplomacy and proposing new Iran sanctions are pushing for.
If we can’t prevent Iran from getting a nuke through diplomacy, the only other way to stop it is war.
Iran’s willingness to talk and the preliminary deal between Iran and the West are historic. We need to give this a chance to work.
Unfortunately, after being rebuked by our top diplomats and generals for the sanction bill, some politicians are now trying to tie our diplomats’ hands and undermine a final deal.
Politicians in Congress need to stop the political posturing and let our diplomats and national security experts do their jobs.

 KEY:  Connect with your audience |  Make your case | Show how your opponents differ


ATTACKS AND RESPONSES

ATTACK: The new sanctions bill would strengthen the US’s hand in negotiations.

RESPONSE:

  • That is not what our top diplomats and intelligence experts said, and most Americans understand they are a more reliable judge on these things than politicians in Congress.
  • And those Americans would be right. There’s a reason so many Senators are abandoning the sanctions bill now.
  • When people actually read the bill they discovered it would have trigger sanctions before the agreed-upon deadline and required the President to certify impossible conditions.
  • Iran could have agreed to everything the U.S. asked for, and this bill would have killed a deal right before it was finalized.
  • This is why it is so dangerous for Congress to play politics as usual with our national security.
  • Congress needs to stop trying to tie our diplomats and security experts’ hands and let them do their job.
ATTACK: We can’t trust Iran and shouldn’t negotiate with our enemies.

RESPONSE:

  • As President Reagan said when describing his negotiations with the Soviets, deals help build trust, but are based on verification.
  • Any deal will require on-going verification by the West that Iran is not trying to build and does not have nuclear weapons.
  • For the first time in decades, Iran has said it would be open to such an arrangement.
  • We are negotiating from a position of strength and a deal with intrusive, verifiable inspections of a peaceful Iranian nuclear energy program would protect Israel and lock in American security interests in the region for decades.
  • It would be folly to not give these talks a chance to work.

 WORTH KNOWING

  • A strong majority of Americans support the interim deal with Iran.
  • Despite claims to the contrary by its sponsors, the new sanction bill had numerous poison pills and problems. A detailed description can be found here.
  • Nearly a third of the House signed a rare bipartisan letter last year saying talks were the best way to avoid war and a nuclear-armed Iran.
  • Iranian religious leaders have split with hardliners to support the deal and negotiations.
  • Even Republicans like Rand Paul have said these talks are our best hope to avoid war and sanctions would have been a dangerous mistake.