The American Conservative’s Daniel Larison labels Rand Paul’s arguments shoddy. Paul says the deal is bad because (1) sanctions relief precedes evidence of compliance and (2) Iran is left with significant nuclear capacity.
Mr. Larison tells readers: (1) “There was bound to be some sanctions relief up front to give Iran’s negotiators something that they could sell their people back home.” (2) Paul’s second objection “was always certain to be part of any deal.”
Larison concludes: “Paul’s chance at the 2016 nomination was never that great, but to the extent that he had a chance it required him to distinguish himself from the rest of the field and to offer the party a clear alternative to the party’s current foreign policy.”
So why might Rand Paul toss up such a weak hanging curve ball? His vote, one way or another, is not going to change things. He has a Republican nomination to win before he can run for the presidency. Winning the Republican nod, at this juncture, is the more difficult task. The Republican Party structure is hardline neocon centric. Paul knows this and understands that in debates he runs the risk of being tarred and feathered as an isolationist dove by every other Republican candidate on the debate stage. He needs to wade through the foreign policy debate causing his campaign as little damage as possible. Rand Paul is going to have to win over Republican voters as he stands little chance of getting party leadership on his team.
Rand Paul also knows that the Muslim world is a Sunni world and that Iran is a Shia country. Lost in all the rhetoric on the Iran Nuclear deal is the little fact that nearly 90% of the world’s Muslims are indeed Sunni. The Sunni world is not going to stand by and watch Iran cheat its way to a position of nuclear power. Nor is Israel.
Rand Paul’s comments on the nuclear accord are a throwaway that neither Paul’s supporters nor detractors are wise to make much out of one way or the other.