Defying United Nations resolutions, acting contrary to the wishes of allies and blithely disregarding the American people and members of both parties in Congress. Is this that unilateralist cowboy George W. Bush? No, it is President Obama’s Iran policy.

President Obama speaks by telephone with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani.<br />(Pete Souza for the White House via Agence France-Press) President Obama speaks by telephone with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani in September.
(Pete Souza for the White House via Agence France-Press)

Don’t take my word for it —here is the Associated Press:

Obama’s willingness to embrace a pact that falls short of Security Council demands for Iran to halt uranium enrichment has pushed his administration’s already contentious relationship with Israel to the brink, strained ties with Gulf Arab states and exacerbated tensions with Democratic and Republican lawmakers. . . .

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., who spoke to Obama last week, used a procedural maneuver on Monday to control amendments to a defense bill, including those for Iran sanctions. However, a group of Republican senators introduced an amendment that would keep penalties in place, and toughen them, unless Iran freezes its nuclear program completely.

Led by Sen. Mark Kirk, R-Ill., the senators called Obama’s plan a “well-intentioned but deeply naive diplomatic strategy” that “is doomed to fail.”

“This proposal will give our diplomats the increased leverage they need to get a good deal at the negotiating table — a deal that peacefully brings Iran into full compliance with its international obligations,” Kirk said.

It should be clear now that Obama is committed not to enforcing the U.N. resolutions, but in undercutting them. On what basis does the great multilateralist president claim the right to encourage and concretize Iran’s right to remain in violation of those resolutions?

Leaving the White House meeting on Iran yesterday, Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), ranking member on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee observed, “After leaving the meeting at the White House today, I am still concerned we will trade away our leverage without ever forcing Iran to fully comply with its existing international obligations. Because the Obama administration has not articulated an end-state for the Iranian nuclear program, I am also concerned the interim deal will become the final deal.” He vowed that Congress would “develop a bipartisan course of action that keeps the pressure on Iran and results in a final agreement that stops Iran from developing a nuclear weapon.”

That could involve a variety of legislative actions: condemning a flawed interim deal; reaffirming support for Israel if it must resort to military force; and authorizing the president to use force unless Iran comes into compliance with all existing U.N. resolutions.

As for the American Jewish pro-Israel community, the failure to prevail upon the administration and Congress to adhere to the U.N. resolutions concerning Iran would be a tragedy for the Jewish state, a blow to U.S. security and, frankly, reason for these groups to reevaluate their own worth. If they can’t demonstrate effectiveness on this issue, what good are they? It would seem time for them to go all in — both in making their voices heard in the White House and on the Hill as well as with the American people. These groups have always preferred the “inside” game and feared public criticism would result in lost access to the corridors of power. But access will mean little if they lack influence on this most vital issue. They might as well roll the dice with a very public and robust campaign.

This is not, of course, merely an issue for the Israelis or for the Saudis. A nuclear-armed Iran, eventually with intercontinental ballistic missiles that can reach the United States, with a host of terrorist groups to scatter deadly material around the globe, is a threat to our national security. Instead of a “world without nuclear weapons,” we will have a world in which nuclear weapons and material are everywhere. Allowing Iran to defy U.N. resolutions in contravention of the policies of three administrations would also eradicate our stature as leader of the West. If we can’t stop Iran, what can we be expected to accomplish?

Allowing Iran to maintain its right to enrich, to keep its nuclear weapons program architecture, to continue to enrich at “low levels” and to retain its plutonium production facilities would be disastrous. Lawmakers, third-party groups and voters (not to mention every official in this administration — what ever happened to resigning on principle?) have to decide if they want to countenance that or if they are prepared to pull out all the stops to block an administration whose only red line is the refusal to take action against rogue states with WMDs.