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The Tough Sell

- September 2, 2015

John Kerry Has His Work Cut Out For Him As He Tries To Sway The American Public On The Clinton-Obama Iran Nuclear Deal

Today, Secretary Of State John Kerry Will Deliver A Speech Touting The Iran Nuclear Deal. "Secretary of State John Kerry will deliver a speech on the nuclear agreement with Iran at 11 a.m. on Wednesday, September 2, at the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania." (Press Release, "Secretary Kerry To Deliver Speech On Nuclear Agreement With Iran," U.S. Department Of State, 8/31/15)

THE ADMINISTRATION HAS A DIFFICULT SALES PITCH AHEAD OF THEM AS "A GROWING MAJORITY OF AMERICANS" ARE AGAINST THE DEAL

"A Growing Majority Of Americans Are Turning Against The Nuclear Deal With Iran And Believe Congress Should Reject The Deal …" "A growing majority of Americans are turning against the nuclear deal with Iran and believe Congress should reject the deal brokered between the U.S., five other world powers and Iran." (Jennifer Agiesta and Jeremy Diamond, "Poll: Most Americans Want Congress To Reject Iran Deal," CNN, 8/20/15)

  • 56 Percent Of Americans Believe Congress Should Reject The Nuclear Deal With Iran, While Just 41 Percent Believe It Should Be Approved. (CNN/ORC Poll, 1,001 A, MoE 3%, 8/13-16/15)

55 Percent Of Voters Oppose The Nuclear Deal With Iran, While Just 25 Percent Support It. (Quinnipiac Poll, 1, 563 RV, MoE 2.5%, 8/20-25/15)

  • 59 Percent Of Independent Voters Oppose The Nuclear Deal With Iran, While Just 24 Percent Support It. (Quinnipiac Poll, 1, 563 RV, MoE 2.5%, 8/20-25/15)

56 Percent Of Voters Believe The Nuclear Deal With Iran Makes The World Less Safe, While Just 28 Percent Believe It Makes The World Safer. (Quinnipiac Poll, 1, 563 RV, MoE 2.5%, 8/20-25/15)

  • 56 Percent Of Independent Voters Believe The Nuclear Deal With Iran Makes The World Less Safe, While Just 29 Percent Believe It Makes The World Safer. (Quinnipiac Poll, 1, 563 RV, MoE 2.5%, 8/20-25/15)

The Bad Polling Numbers Are A Problem For Democrats, Which Is Also Bad News For Clinton

The Daily Beast 's Jackie Kucinich: The Unpopularity Of The Iran Nuclear Deal "Really Seems To Be" A Problem For Democrats And Clinton Is "Very Tied To This." DIAZ-BALART: "Let's talk a little about this national Quinnipiac poll that was released this morning. 55 percent of the people that were polled opposed the Iran deal and 56 percent say will make the U.S. less safe. Hillary Clinton is set to give a backing of the deal next week. Is this something that is going to cause problems for the democrats?" KUCINICH: "It really seems to be. Hillary Clinton is very closely tied to this Iran agreement, of course, because her top adviser Jake Sullivan was a part at the beginning of it. She is very tied to this." (MSNBC's "The Rundown With Jose Diaz-Balart," 8/31/15)

  • NBC's Andrea Mitchell: Clinton Will "Have To Own" Any Nuclear Deal With Iran. ANDREA MITCHELL: "And right now the Iranian foreign minister is meeting with Secretary Kerry. We should point out that John Kerry is here. … .But he has been part of secret negotiations that go back to Hillary Clinton. She's going to have to own this politically, the pros and cons of this deal, if it comes together." (MSNBC's "Andrea Mitchell Reports," 7/2/15)

Click To Watch

  • CNN Headline: "Hillary Clinton Can't Escape Iran Deal In Presidential Run" (Jeremy Diamond, "Hillary Clinton Can't Escape Iran Deal In Presidential Run," CNN, 7/28/15)

AS AMERICAN VOTERS REMAIN UNCONVINCED-MANY PROMINENT DEMOCRATS HAVE COME OUT AGAINST THE DEAL

Democrat Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY): "I Have Decided I Must Oppose The Agreement And Will Vote Yes On A Motion Of Disapproval." "Advocates on both sides have strong cases for their point of view that cannot simply be dismissed. This has made evaluating the agreement a difficult and deliberate endeavor, and after deep study, careful thought and considerable soul-searching, I have decided I must oppose the agreement and will vote yes on a motion of disapproval." (Chuck Schumer, "My Position On The Iran Deal, Medium, 8/6/15)

  • Schumer: The Iran Inspections Regime Has "Lots Of Holes In It." SCHUMER: "Well, that's what I've done with Iran, I found the inspections regime not anywhere anytime but with lots of holes in it. Particularly troublesome, you have to wait 24 days before you can inspect. That will allow some of the radioactivity to be seen but not non radioactivity that goes into building a bomb, all of the other things you need." (Chuck Schumer, Remarks, Rochester New York, 8/10/15)

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Democrat Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ) Announced His Opposition To The Iran Nuclear Deal, Saying It Would "Allow Iran To Become 'Flush With Money', Which It Could Use 'To Further Pursue Their Destabilizing Hegemonic Goals In The Region.'" "New Jersey's Bob Menendez on Tuesday said in a speech in his home state that he opposes the deal which would curb Iran's nuclear program in exchange for relief from economic sanctions. The deal would allow Iran to become 'flush with money', which it could use 'to further pursue their destabilizing hegemonic goals in the region.' 'We want the right deal and a deal that does nothing more than delay the inevitable is not a deal we are willing to make,' Menendez said to applause during his speech at Seton Hall University's School of Diplomacy and International Relations." (Halimah Abdullah, "Democrat Sen. Bob Menendez Announces Opposition To Iran Nuclear Deal," NBC News, 8/18/15)

Democrat Rep. Eliot Engel (D-NY): "Unfortunately, I Cannot Support The Joint Comprehensive Plan Of Action." "Over the last two years, I've supported our negotiating team in the P5+1, seeking to give them time and space to achieve a diplomatic breakthrough and foreclose Iran's pathways to a nuclear weapon. I'm grateful for the tireless efforts by President Obama, Secretary Kerry, Secretary Moniz, Secretary Lew, and Undersecretary Sherman as well as our P5+1 partners in concluding an agreement with Iran. Unfortunately, I cannot support the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action." (Eliot Engel, Statement On Iran Deal, 8/6/15)

THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION'S OWN COMMENTS HAVE NOT DONE MUCH TO ALLEVIATE CONCERNS OVER THE DEAL

Obama Admitted That The Deal Simply Pushes The Iran Nuclear Can Down The Road

In August, Obama Conceded That 15 Years From Now, Iran's Nuclear Breakout Time "Shrinks Back" To A Mere "Matter Of Months." STEVE INSKEEP: "I just want to be absolutely clear on this: 15 years from now, as some provisions expire, what is Iran's breakout time going to be?" OBAMA: "Well, it shrinks back down to roughly where it is now." INSKEEP: "Which is close to zero?" OBAMA: "Well, which is a matter of months. Because keep in mind that theoretical breakout times don't match up with practical breakout times." ( NPR Interview With Barack Obama, 8/10/15)

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  • Council On Foreign Affair's Richard Haass: "The Agreement Does Not In Any Way Resolve The Problems Posed By Iran's Actual Or Potential Nuclear Capabilities And Indeed, Many Of These Problems Grow Significantly Worse…" HAASS: "And secondly, the agreement does not in any way resolve the problems posed by Iran's actual or potential nuclear capabilities And indeed, many of these problems grow significantly worse as we come out to 10 or 15 years." (Committee On Armed Services, U.S. Senate, Hearing, 8/4/15)

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Obama Has Repeatedly Argued That Iran "Will Be And Should Be A Regional Power"

Obama: "And The Truth Of The Matter Is, Is That Iran Will Be And Should Be A Regional Power." OBAMA: "What I'd say to them is this offers a historic opportunity. Their economy has been cratering as a consequence of the sanctions. They have the ability now to take some decisive steps to move towards a more constructive relationship with the world community. And what I would say to them is the same thing I said earlier this morning, they need to seize that opportunity; their leaders need to seize that opportunity. And the truth of the matter is, is that Iran will be and should be a regional power. They are a big country and a sophisticated country in the region." (Barack Obama, Interview With Thomas Friedman, Washington, D.C., 7/14/15)

Click To Watch

Obama: "Iran Will Remain A Regional Power With Its Own Set Of Challenges." OBAMA: "So contrary to the alarmists who claim that Iran is on the brink of taking over the Middle East, or even the world, Iran will remain a regional power with its own set of challenges." (Barack Obama, Remarks, Washington, D.C., 8/5/15)

Click To Watch

Due To The Nuclear Deal, "The Theocratic Regime That Rules Iran-A Regime That Is A Committed And Proficient Sponsor Of Terrorism, According To John Kerry's State Department-Will Be More Powerful Tomorrow Than It Is Today…" "The theocratic regime that rules Iran-a regime that is a committed and proficient sponsor of terrorism, according to John Kerry's State Department-will be more powerful tomorrow than it is today, thanks to the agreement it has just negotiated with the Obama administration, America's European allies, and two U.S. adversaries as well." (Jeffrey Goldberg, "The Single Most Important Question To Ask About The Iran Deal," The Atlantic, 7/14/15)

  • "It Is Hard To Imagine A Scenario-At Least In The Short Term-In Which Hezbollah And Other Terror Organizations On The Iranian Payroll Don't See A Windfall From The Agreement." (Jeffrey Goldberg, "The Single Most Important Question To Ask About The Iran Deal," The Atlantic, 7/14/15)

Kerry Admitted That He Neither Possessed Nor Had Seen Copies Of The Iran Side Deals

"Important Components Of The Complex Agreement Are Emerging That Will Be Shrouded From The Public And In Some Cases From The U.S. Government Itself." "As the White House campaign to persuade Congress about the wisdom of its Iran nuclear deal moves into its second week, important components of the complex agreement are emerging that will be shrouded from the public and in some cases from the U.S. government itself." (Eli Lake and Josh Rogin, "Congress Alarmed By Iran Pact's Secret Understandings," Bloomberg, 7/25/15)

  • In July, Kerry Told Lawmakers "That He Neither Possessed Nor Had Read A Copy Of Two Secret Side Deals Between The IAEA And Iran." "The controversy began on Wednesday when Secretary of State John Kerry told House lawmakers behind closed doors that he neither possessed nor had read a copy of two secret side deals between the IAEA and Iran, according to Representative Mike Pompeo, a Republican member of the House Intelligence Committee who was inside the session. Congress hasn't seen those side agreements either." (Eli Lake and Josh Rogin, "Congress Alarmed By Iran Pact's Secret Understandings," Bloomberg, 7/25/15)

AND DESPITE THE AGREEMENT, THERE ARE ALREADY TROUBLING SIGNS COMING OUT OF IRAN

Iran Has Vowed Its Contentious Policy Towards The U.S. Would Not Change

Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei Told Supporters "That U.S. Policies In The Region Were '180 Degrees' Opposed To Iran's, At A Speech… Punctuated By Chants Of 'Death To America' And 'Death To Israel.'" "Ayatollah Khamenei told supporters on Saturday that U.S. policies in the region were '180 degrees' opposed to Iran's, at a speech in a Tehran mosque punctuated by chants of 'Death to America' and 'Death to Israel.'" ("Kerry Says Iran Vow To Defy U.S. Is 'Very Disturbing,'" Reuters, 7/21/15)

  • "'Even After This Deal Our Policy Toward The Arrogant U.S. Will Not Change,' Khamenei Said." ("Kerry Says Iran Vow To Defy U.S. Is 'Very Disturbing,'" Reuters, 7/21/15)

Kerry Conceded That Iran's Vow "To Defy American Policies In The Region Despite A Deal With World Powers Over Tehran's Nuclear Program Was 'Very Disturbing.'" "U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said a speech by Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei on Saturday vowing to defy American policies in the region despite a deal with world powers over Tehran's nuclear program was 'very disturbing.' 'I don't know how to interpret it at this point in time, except to take it at face value, that that's his policy,' he said in the interview with Saudi-owned Al Arabiya television, parts of which the network quoted on Tuesday." ("Kerry Says Iran Vow To Defy U.S. Is 'Very Disturbing,'" Reuters, 7/21/15)

  • Kerry: "I Don't Know How To Interpret It At This Point In Time, Except To Take It At Face Value, That That's His Policy." "'I don't know how to interpret it at this point in time, except to take it at face value, that that's his policy,' he said in the interview with Saudi-owned Al Arabiya television, parts of which the network quoted on Tuesday." ("Kerry Says Iran Vow To Defy U.S. Is 'Very Disturbing,'" Reuters, 7/21/15)

By Building Up Its Nuclear Capacities, Iran Could Already Be Jeopardizing The Agreement

This Week, The Iranian Nuclear Chief Said They Were "Putting Together A 15-Year Plan To Enhance Its Nuclear Capabilities Following The Signing Of A Landmark [Nuclear] Agreement." "Iranian nuclear chief Ali Akhbar Salehi announced Monday that the Islamic Republic is putting together a 15-year plan to enhance its nuclear capabilities following the signing of a landmark agreement with world powers last month." ("Iran Unveils 15-Year Nuclear Enhancement Program," The Times Of Israel, 8/31/15)

  • The Times Of Israel Headline: "Iran Unveils 15-Year Nuclear Enhancement Program" ("Iran Unveils 15-Year Nuclear Enhancement Program," The Times Of Israel, 8/31/15)

According To A New Report By The UN Nuclear Watchdog, "Iran Appears To Have Built An Extension To Part Of Its Parchin Military Site Since May." "Iran appears to have built an extension to part of its Parchin military site since May, the U.N. nuclear watchdog said in a report on Thursday, as part of its inquiry into possible military dimensions of Tehran's past nuclear activity." (Shadia Nasralla, "Iran May Have Built Extension At Disputed Site: U.N. Nuclear Watchdog," Reuters, 8/27/15)

  • Reuters Headline: "Iran May Have Built Extension At Disputed Site: U.N. Nuclear Watchdog" (Shadia Nasralla, "Iran May Have Built Extension At Disputed Site: U.N. Nuclear Watchdog," Reuters, 8/27/15)

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