Tom Cotton holds White House accountable on Iran

Sen. Tom Cotton has moved to block the confirmation of Adam Szubin, President Obama’s selection for the position of Under Secretary of the Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Crimes. Lee Smith has the story for the Weekly Standard.

Blocking Szubin is Sen. Cotton’s way of holding the Obama administration accountable for its mendacity in connection with the Iran deal. Cotton agrees that Szubin is “well respected on both sides of the aisle having worked in the former Bush administration.”

The problem, Cotton explains, is with those “who are in charge of implementing [key] parts of the Iran nuclear deal” — specifically “the community organizer” as Cotton describes Obama, “the failed novelist” (Ben Rhodes), “the political operative” (Valerie Jarrett), and Jack Lew, head of the Treasury Department.

Cotton points out that “just two or three weeks ago. . .Lew gave a speech in which he all but announced the United States government was going to allow Iran access to the U.S. dollar.” The consequences, Cotton says, are staggering:

This would truly unravel every last sanction that we have against Iran, not just for their nuclear program, but for their campaign of aggression and terror throughout the Middle East. This is in direct contradiction to what Secretary Lew said, and in direct contradiction to what Mr. Szubin said.

In fact, I would note his testimony before the Banking Committee last summer. “Iranian banks will not be able to clear U.S. dollars through New York, hold correspondent account relationships with U.S. financial institutions, or enter into financing arrangements with U.S. banks. In short, Iran will continue to be denied access to the world’s principle financial and commercial market.” Further in another quote, “Nor will Iran be able to access the U.S. banking sector even for that momentary transaction that we call dollarize a foreign payment.”

Yet, Secretary Lew has all but announced that the United States government will allow Iran to dollarize their foreign transactions.

Smith points out that Republicans and Democrats alike have complained both that the White House misled them in material ways about the Iran deal and about its substantive policy. California Democrat Rep. Brad Sherman noted the obvious when he stated that giving Iran access to dollars “will set bad precedent.”

Characteristically, Tom Cotton, by blocking Szubin’s nomination, is doing more than just complaining.

Unfortunately, blocking Szubin isn’t going to halt Obama’s appeasement of Iran. Nothing will. The president has determined that assisting our worst enemy among nations in its rise to dominance in the Middle East is to be his legacy. As long as he’s in office, nothing can stand in his way.

It’s up to Congress, though, to express its disgust as vehemently and as stridently as possible. We’re proud that Tom Cotton once again is taking the lead.