Should Congress reject the agreement that imposes outside inspections on Iranian nuclear weapons development, the prospect of war with Iran in the near future becomes almost a certainty. Those who are against the agreement (Republicans, Arab principalities, the American Jewish Committee, the Israeli Likud Party) do not believe that the treaty has real value because, in their minds, given the fundamental and outspoken aims of the Ayatollahs, war with Iran is inevitable. With rejection of the treaty, that war is much more likely to come sooner rather than later – before the Persians have an atom bomb that they can drop on their Jewish and Arab neighbors.
The objective of the agreement negotiated by the P5+1 (China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom, the USA, plus Germany) with Iran was to forestall the development of Iranian nuclear weapons and delivery systems, to turn back the nuclear clock, to reduce the military threat of a nuclear Iran. Their position is that simmering clandestine actions and undeclared battlefield skirmishes sponsored by Iran are preferable to a declared war for total surrender that would dramatically destabilize an unstable region with unknowable, unintended consequences. Opponents of the agreement believe that the status quo is intolerable and that there is no permanent advantage in delaying Iranian nuclear progress so long as the theocratic regime in Tehran continues to sponsor terrorist forces and insurgent armies as a means of furthering its overall policy objective of replacing pro-Western governments with Islamic regimes.
There is every likelihood that many of the countries now involved with sanctions will lift them, thus enriching the Iranian economy. The prospect of more money flowing into Iranian coffers will provide Iran’s neighbors with another reason to strike sooner rather than later.
War will not be the only result if the agreement is rejected by Congress. American domestic politics, the contests of the 2016 general election, will be dominated by foreign policy questions. Americans will be asked to decide whether they favor belligerence over diplomacy, whether Obama’s way is the American way or not. It is doubtful that the majority would oppose the use of the American military to defeat a perceived enemy. Even Democrats would feel compelled to support a war with Iran.
Rejection would have a powerful impact on our allies in Europe, especially in the cosignatory countries of France, the UK, and Germany. Because of their large Arab populations and anti-Israeli left wing parties, European politicians would immediately become embroiled in questions of their allegiance to NATO and support for Israel.
If Congress succeeds in overriding Obama’s veto of their NO vote on the agreement, our diplomatic standing in the world will be seriously diminished. By rejecting the treaty, America decisively loses the diplomatic high ground and suffers the consequences of diminished esteem on many diplomatic fronts. In effect, If Congress vetoes the agreement, America suffers a major diplomatic defeat and leaves our government with few options other than war against a major power in a volatile region. The State Department would be diminished and the Defense Department’s dominant role in foreign affairs will, once again, be affirmed.
Belligerent American policies regarding independent Iran are longstanding, beginning with the CIA coup that deposed Mohammad Mosaddegh in 1953 and continuing with the 1980-1988 Iran Iraq War in which we armed Saddam Hussein as our anti-Iranian proxy. Rejection of the agreement is virtually the same as announcing that we intend round three.