By Elaine Magliaro
Guess what? The country of Iran controls the city of Tehran. Ohmigod! Who knew? Say it ain’t so! Boy, I’m sure glad I learned that important bit of information when Senator Tom Cotton (R-AR) was a guest on CBS’s Face the Nation this morning. Cotton was the lead author of the letter signed by himself and 46 other senators that was “sent to Iranian ayatollahs warning them that any deal struck with the Obama administration over their country’s nuclear program could be cancelled by a future administration or Congress.” Cotton and the 46 other letters signers have come under severe criticism from Democrats and Republicans alike “for seeking to undermine ongoing negotiations to curb Iran’s nuclear program.”
Face the Nation host Bob Schieffer “pointed out that Cotton’s letter to Iran…may have undermined President Barack Obama’s ability to get a nuclear deal with Iran.” But Sen. Cotton defended his decision “to send a letter on a burgeoning nuclear deal directly to Iranian leaders.” He insisted that “Iran’s leaders need to hear the message loud and clear” that a deal brokered by President Obama “might not last past the end of his administration without congressional approval…”
Nicole Flatow (ThinkProgress) said that Cotton appeared to make a “key geographic mistake” when Schieffer asked him what better outcome the Arkansas senator “expects if a White House-led deal falls through.” Cotton seemed to suggest that Tehran, the capital of Iran, “might be controlled by anyone other than Iranian leaders.”
Excerpt from Face the Nation (March 15, 2015):
Bob Schieffer: What do you want to happen here? What is your alternative here? Let’s say that the deal falls through, then what?
Tom Cotton: Well as Prime Minister Netanyahu said, the alternative to a bad deal is a better deal. The Iranians frequently bluff to walk away from the table. If they bluff this week, call their bluff. The Congress stands ready to impose much more severe sanctions. Moreover, we have to stand up to Iran’s attempts to drive for regional dominance. They already control Tehran and, increasingly, they control Damascus and Beirut and Baghdad and now Sana’a as well. They do all that without a nuclear weapon. Imagine what they would do with a nuclear weapon.
Flatow noted that Bob Schieffer went on to ask Cotton whether he regretted sending the letter so “he didn’t clarify with Cotton what he meant by his comment that Iran has ‘control’ of its own capital.”
Tom Cotton: Iran must be stopped because ‘they already control Tehran’
Tom Cotton Seems Confused About The Basic Geography Of Iran (ThinkProgress)
Tom Cotton: ‘No Regrets At All’ Over Letter To Iran (Huffington Post)