By now, it is obvious President Obama’s eight years in office resulted in some disastrous policies. Perhaps nowhere was that more clear than with foreign policy. By the time Obama’s term was up, a power vacuum created the rise of ISIS, our embassy in Benghazi was overrun, North Korea continued its nuclear ambitions, and China became more aggressive in the South China Sea.
With a void in coherent American leadership, the world became a much more dangerous place. Nowhere was the failure of this approach more obvious than in Iran. Despite the fact the crippling sanctions were working, the Obama administration negotiated a nuclear deal with Iran that defies all logic.
At least we wouldn’t have to deal with a nuclear capable Iran, right? Wrong! Iran only has to temporarily shelf their nuclear ambitions. Moreover, the lifting of sanctions ensured Iran would have a revenue stream to because a major regional power, putting our interests in the region in great danger. All of this, so President Obama could claim victory as a peacemaker.
Since then, Iran has become even more emboldened. And why not? America has shown no signs it has the will to resist. But that might be about to change, at least if a group of bipartisan Senators get their way.
Iran would face tighter U.S. sanctions over its ballistic missile launches and other non-nuclear activities under a bill introduced on Thursday by a bipartisan group of U.S. senators including senior members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
The bill, which has 14 Democratic and Republican sponsors, would set mandatory sanctions for anyone involved with Iran’s ballistic missile program and those who trade with them.
It also would apply sanctions to the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, and put into law sanctions imposed via presidential executive order on individuals currently sanctioned due to what the bill’s sponsors describe as Iranian support for terrorism.
The bill would also require the president to block the property of any person or entity involved in specific activities that violate the U.N. arms embargo on Iran.
Far from resulting in a more moderate Iran, Obama’s deal has been interpreted as an open invitation for the rogue nation to become even more hostile. Just recently, the country engaged in a series of missile tests that had western nations on edge. If anything is clear, it’s the deal is not working as planned.
While the Senators claim the new sanctions will not in any way interfere with the continued enforcement of the deal, it is an acknowledgement more needs to be done to deter Iranian aggression. Despite Obama declining to sign similar measures before, this group of Senators has chosen a more proactive approach.
There’s no indication whether or not President Trump would sign the legislation should it reach his desk. However, Trump was highly critical of the Iran deal on the campaign trail, and famously put Iran on notice shortly after he took office.
One way or another, America seems poised to regain a position of strength missing for the last eight years.
[Note: This post was authored by Michael Lee. Follow him on Twitter @UAMichaelLee]