Friday, September 23, 2016

This Children’s Story Can Teach us a LOT About Diplomacy with Iran

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As a boy, I remember hearing a fable about a scorpion and a frog that goes something like this:

A scorpion and a frog meet on the bank of a stream and the scorpion asks the frog to carry him across on its back. The frog asks, "How do I know you won't sting me?" The scorpion says, "Because if I do, I will die too."

The frog is satisfied, and they set out, but in midstream, the scorpion stings the frog. The frog feels the onset of paralysis and starts to sink, knowing they will both drown, but has just enough time to gasp "Why?"

Replies the scorpion: It's my nature …

As this Administration has doubled down and dug its heels in on its backroom deal with Iran, it's become more and more apparent that the frog in this story is us. The Obama Administration is forging a "diplomatic" relationship with a nation that is broadly known to be the world's foremost state sponsor of terrorism and somehow expecting not to get stung.

Worse still, the Administration is intent on misleading the American people while making broad concessions for Iran. How? The Administration misled the public about the terms of the arrangement with the Iranian regime, they misled the public about the nature of the payment they made to Iran during the release of American hostages, and they misled the public about why the money wasn't wired to Iran (as other recent payments have been).

This has to end. America isn't a follower, it's a leader. We don't devote our energies to making sure that terrorist states are happy. We devote our energies to peace—and diplomacy—through strength. We set the standard for the rest of the free world to follow. We make decisions with our eyes open.

This week, I supported two important pieces of legislation that aim to expose how the Iranian regime facilitates widespread human rights abuses and end the Obama Administration's practice of negotiating with terrorist states. The Iranian Leadership Asset Transparency Act would stop Tehran from financing terrorism or laundering money by requiring the federal government to publicly report all assets held by Iranian's top leaders. That's incredibly important if we are to put an end to terrorist attacks around the world. I also supported the Prohibiting Future Ransom Payments to Iran Act to prevent ransom payments from the U.S. to Iran in the future. The Obama Administration's intentionally deceptive cash payment to Iran sets a dangerous precedent for the future, and I will do everything I can to prevent that from happening again.


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