If I had to choose the worst US senator when it comes to Iran, the title should go to someone like Mark Kirk or Bob Menendez who have the most resilience to make sure diplomacy fails and war starts. But there’s a new senator competing for the crown of the vilest anti-Iran voice in the senate, the freshman Tom Cotton, who not only seems hell-bent on sabotaging diplomacy but he is being extra childish, petty, and ignorant about it. In addition to that controversial letter, he has insulted Iran’s Foreign Minister on Twitter, said there are no moderates in Iran, and has asked Iran to disarm nuclear weapons it doesn’t have.
Tom Cotton’s crusade against Iran began long before his infamous letter to Ayatollah Khamenei. He spoke to the Heritage Foundation a while ago and showed that he is simply opposed to nuclear talks and diplomacy:
The United States must cease all appeasement, conciliation and concessions towards Iran, starting with the sham nuclear negotiations. Certain voices call for congressional restraint, urging Congress not to act now lest Iran walk away from the negotiating table, undermining the fabled yet always absent moderates in Iran. But, the end of these negotiations isn’t an unintended consequence of Congressional action, it is very much an intended consequence. A feature, not a bug, so to speak.
So he very clearly signals that he simply wants an end to diplomacy. Which means war. I would commend him for his honesty if the lies of his American and extremist Islamist Iranian allies were not so crystal clear.
But of course, Cotton’s most infamous act is now leading the charge with 46 other Republican to write a letter to Ayatollah Kahamenei, saying that they are willing to derail nuclear talks and whether they reach an agreement with Obama the next president or the Congress can easily invalidate the deal.
This of course provided the necessary backlash. It was an incredibly childish move, and it was unprecedented to go against the executive branch in order to sabotage the talks with a foreign power, a new low even the congress had not steeped down to before, even when a week ago they had invited Netanyahu to speak falsehoods and to have the world’s most awesome campaign stage.
The best response came from Javad Zarif, Iran’s best diplomat and current Foreign Minister. Zarif is characteristically awesome in his response. Biden said that he was offended by the letter, and the reactions were overall negative. They might have even broken the law by writing that letter. I’m not familiar with the Logan Act, but there’s no doubt that they were undiplomatic and childish to a very unprecedented degree. Even the conservative media can see why his move was strategically wrong from an anti-Iran perspective.
But Tom Cotton had to dig even deeper and showcase incredible ineptitude.
Firstly, he goes on to insult Iran’s Foreign Minster is a childish way that I personally find racist and xenophobic:
— Tom Cotton (@SenTomCotton) March 9, 2015
In this tweet he links a Persian translation of his letter to Zarif, an alumnus of Denver University and a diplomat with excellent command of English, because he’s Persian? I don’t know. It’s childish, insulting, and another evidence of how undignified this man is.
Thankfully Zarif has again an excellent comeback up his sleeve:
— Javad Zarif (@JZarif) March 10, 2015
But then he even digs deeper into the mud by appearing on the Show Morning Joe on MSNBC. There he really displays his ignorance. I would laugh at him for this level of ignorance even if he was a random person on internet, let alone a senator.
He says these two very uneducated thing. Firstly via Thinkprogress.org:
During the interview, Cotton also claimed “there are nothing but hardliners in Tehran,” a claim belied by the country’s massive protests against Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s 2009 victory in the presidential election. The so-called Green Movement saw up to 3 million Iranians take to the streets and demand democratic change with some Iranians shouting, “Death to No One” and “A green Iran doesn’t need nuclear weapons.”
Adding this to his tweet, I now have no doubt that Tom Cotton is a racist xenophobe. Also, not only Green Movement protesters are not hardliners, Rouhani’s administration and the Foreign Minister he keeps insulting are not hardliners too.
And then this, via Addicting Info:
While appearing on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” Sen. Tom Cotton (R) defended what many are calling a potentially illegal, possibly treasonous, definitely factually wrong letter meant for the leaders of Iran that had urged the foreign government to ignore any dealings with President Obama and suggested that Congress would kill any treaty they might agree upon sight unseen. Pressed to offer any kind of alternative short of war that would please Cotton and his ilk, the senator said that anything less than total “disarmament” of Iran’s nuclear program, including the dismantling of Iran’s “nuclear weapons” would be unacceptable.
Iran doesn’t have nuclear weapons. It can’t disarm. He pretty much disqualifies himself from talking about foreign policy forever.
America, I don’t know where you find these senators, but please stop.
Image credit: Daily KOS