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Press Release: The Obama-Biden Record: Failed Overtures Toward Iran

October 11, 2012


America Can't Afford Four More Years Of Leading From Behind On Iran

While Serving In The Senate, Vice President Biden Proposed Giving $200 Million To Iran "No Strings Attached":

After September 11th, Senator Joe Biden Suggested Sending $200 Million To Iran, "No Strings Attached," As A Gesture Of Good Faith To The Arab World. "At the Tuesday-morning meeting with committee staffers, Biden launches into a stream-of-consciousness monologue about what his committee should be doing, before he finally admits the obvious: 'I'm groping here.' Then he hits on an idea: America needs to show the Arab world that we're not bent on its destruction. 'Seems to me this would be a good time to send, no strings attached, a check for $200 million to Iran' Biden declares. He surveys the table with raised eyebrows, a How do ya like that? look on his face." (Michael Crowley, "Rhetorical Question," The New Republic, 10/22/01)

Following Senator Biden's Suggestion, Senate Staffers Sat "In Silence." "The staffers sit in silence. Finally somebody ventures a response: 'I think they'd send it back.' Then another aide speaks up delicately: 'The thing I would worry about is that it would almost look like a publicity stunt.' Still another reminds Biden that an Iranian delegation is in Moscow that very day to discuss a $300 million arms deal with Vladimir Putin that the United States has strongly condemned." (Michael Crowley, "Rhetorical Question," The New Republic, 10/22/01)

And President Obama Entered Office Making Overtures To Iran And Claiming The Nation Has "Legitimate Aspirations":

In March 2009, President Obama "Reached Out To Iran" By Promising A "New Beginning" Based On "Mutual Respect" For The Country. "President Barack Obama reached out to Iran on Friday -- the start of the Iranian New Year -- in a video message offering 'the promise of a new beginning' that is 'grounded in mutual respect.' The message is a dramatic shift in tone from that of the Bush administration, which included Iran, along with North Korea and Iraq, in an 'axis of evil.'" ("Obama Offers Iran 'The Promise Of A New Beginning'," CNN, 3/20/09)

  • President Obama: "My Administration Is Now Committed To Diplomacy ... And To Pursuing Constructive Ties Among The United States, Iran And The International Community." "The United States has had tortuous relations with Tehran since the Islamic revolution in 1979, but the Obama message speaks of 'new beginnings' with the promise of a new year. 'We have serious differences that have grown over time. My administration is now committed to diplomacy that addresses the full range of issues before us, and to pursuing constructive ties among the United States, Iran and the international community,' the president said." ("Obama Offers Iran 'The Promise Of A New Beginning'," CNN, 3/20/09)

President Obama, In 2009: "Without Going Into Specifics, What I Do Believe Is That Iran Has Legitimate Energy Concerns, Legitimate Aspirations." ("Obama Interview: The Transcript," BBC, 6/2/09)

But The Obama-Biden Overtures Have Left America Less Secure — Iran Is Marching Toward Nuclear Weapon Capability:

President Obama's "Early Overtures To Iran Were Rejected" And Iran's Nuclear Program Has Expanded. "Obama's early overtures to Iran were rejected, and the expansion of Tehran's nuclear program, which it says is purely peaceful, has created tension between Washington and Israel, which sees a nuclear-armed Iran as a threat to its existence." (Matt Spetalnick and Mark Felsenthal, "Obama Warns Iran On Nuclear Bid, Containment 'No Option'," Reuters, 9/25/12)

Iran Has Succeeded In "Adding Thousands Of Centrifuge Machines To Its Underground Facility" And Has Grown Its Uranium Stockpile. "No firm dates for new negotiations have been set, and Middle East analysts say no breakthrough is likely until after the November election. Meanwhile, Iran's success in adding thousands of centrifuge machines to its underground facility — and the inexorable growth of its uranium stockpile — continues to stoke fears of an Israeli airstrike. It has also left the White House vulnerable to Republican charges that administration policies, while well-intentioned, have ultimately been fruitless." (Joby Warrick, "Obama's Policy On Iran Bears Some Fruit, But Nuclear Program Still Advances," The Washington Post, 9/24/12)

The Washington Post: "The Result Is That President Obama Is Not Even Leading From Behind On Iran; He Is Simply Behind." "The result is that President Obama is not even leading from behind on Iran; he is simply behind. At the forefront of the Western effort to pressure Tehran is French President Nicolas Sarkozy, who issued a statement Monday calling on the European Union, the United States, Japan, Canada and 'other willing countries' to 'immediately freeze the assets of Iran's central bank' and suspend purchases of Iranian oil." (Editorial, "More Half-Measures From Obama Administration On Iran," The Washington Post, 11/22/11)

Mitt Romney, Press Release: The Obama-Biden Record: Failed Overtures Toward Iran Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/303182

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