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Topics in the News: Iranian Nukes


Tulsi Gabbard on Foreign Policy : Jun 26, 2019
Trump's chicken-hawks push Iran war; go back to nuke deal

Q: You've said you would sign back on to the 2015 Iran nuclear deal. Would you insist, though, that it address Iran's support for Hezbollah?

GABBARD: Let's deal with the situation where we are, where this president and his chickenhawk cabinet have led us to the brink of war with Iran. It was an imperfect deal. There are issues, like their missile development, that needs to be addressed. We can do both simultaneously to prevent Iran from developing a nuclear weapon and preventing us from going to war.

Q: What would your red line be for military action against Iran?

GABBARD: Look, obviously, if there was an attack against our troops. But Donald Trump and his cabinet--Mike Pompeo, John Bolton, and others--are creating a situation that just a spark would light off a war with Iran, which is incredibly dangerous. That's why we need to de-escalate tensions. Trump needs to get back into the Iran nuclear deal and swallow his pride, put the American people first.

Click for Tulsi Gabbard on other issues.   Source: June Democratic Primary debate (first night in Miami)

Joe Sestak on War & Peace : Jun 24, 2019
America broke its word with departure from Iran agreement

"America broke its word when he withdrew us from an accord with Iran where they kept theirs," he said, referring to the president [Trump] and his decision to scrap the 2015 nuclear agreement the Obama government brokered with Tehran and other major world powers. Sestak said robust diplomatic engagement is the only way to permanently solve decades of geopolitical enmity. "Militaries might stop a problem, but they don't fix a problem," he said.
Click for Joe Sestak on other issues.   Source: CBS News on 2020 Democratic primary

Joe Sestak on Homeland Security : Jun 23, 2019
More funding for veterans and for cyberspace

Click for Joe Sestak on other issues.   Source: 2020 presidential campaign website JoeSestak.com

Joe Sestak on War & Peace : Jun 23, 2019
Immediately rejoin the Iran nuclear deal

One critical action we must undertake immediately is rejoining the Iran nuclear deal (the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or JCPOA). This hard-won agreement, signed by all of the world's major powers, had disarmed the nuclear threat of Iran--until we abandoned it. Breaking America's word on the deal while Iran kept theirs is unforgivable. The recent ratcheting up of tensions with Iran is a potentially grave mistake. If we decide to launch missile strikes on Iran in an attempt to destroy deeply buried nuclear infrastructure, they might instantaneous rain missiles on Israel and our regional bases, and close the Straits of Hormuz, cutting off 20% of the world's oil supply. Even if we manage to destroy their nuclear infrastructure, they can rebuild it all again. We must heed that old lesson of our misguided invasion of Iraq: militaries might stop a problem, but militaries don't solve a problem. And the problem of Iran's nuclear capability can only be solved through diplomacy.
Click for Joe Sestak on other issues.   Source: 2020 presidential campaign website JoeSestak.com

Tulsi Gabbard on War & Peace : Mar 27, 2019
No regime change in Iran; no war in Yemen

Click for Tulsi Gabbard on other issues.   Source: Truthout.org, "War and Peace," on 2020 presidential hopefuls

Cory Booker on War & Peace : Mar 27, 2019
End intervention in Yemen & Iran, but not Israel

Click for Cory Booker on other issues.   Source: Truthout.org, "War and Peace," on 2020 presidential hopefuls

Donald Trump on War & Peace : Feb 5, 2019
Iran is a terrorist regime, so withdrew from nuclear deal

My Administration has acted decisively to confront the world's leading state sponsor of terror: the radical regime in Iran. To ensure this corrupt dictatorship never acquires nuclear weapons, I withdrew the United States from the disastrous Iran nuclear deal. And last fall, we put in place the toughest sanctions ever imposed on a country. We will not avert our eyes from a regime that chants death to America and threatens genocide against the Jewish people.
Click for Donald Trump on other issues.   Source: 2019 State of the Union address to United States Congress

Beto O`Rourke on War & Peace : Oct 9, 2018
Nuclear treaty was best path to prevent Iranian nukes

Q: Iran: Support Trump's withdrawal from treaty that limits Iran's nuclear capability in return for lifting economic sanctions?

Ted Cruz (R): Yes. Applauded withdrawal, saying agreement didn't sufficiently rein in Iran's nuclear program.

Beto O'Rourke (D): No. Agreement, while imperfect, was "best path to keep Iran from having nuclear weapons."

Click for Beto O`Rourke on other issues.   Source: 2018 CampusElect.org Issue Guide on Texas Senate race

Donald Trump on Foreign Policy : Feb 23, 2018
Treat foes of US worse than they could ever imagine

We declined to certify the terrible one-sided Iran nuclear deal. It was a horrible deal. Whoever heard you give $150 billion to a nation that has no respect for you whatsoever? They're saying death to America. If somebody said death to America, while I'm signing an agreement, I say what's going on, folks? I'm not signing. People that treat us well, we treat them well. People that treat us badly, we treat them much worse than they could ever imagine. That's the way it has to be.
Click for Donald Trump on other issues.   Source: Vox.com blog, "Trump at CPAC 2018"

Joe Biden on Foreign Policy : Oct 24, 2017
2008: Pakistan is the world's most dangerous country

[The 2008 debate moderator] asked the candidates to name the most dangerous country in the world.

"Iran," said Obama.

"Iran," said Clinton.

Then it was Biden's turn. "Pakistan." The room did a double-take. As [Biden's long-time aide Ted] Kaufman explains, "Well, if Iran is a real problem because they MAY have nuclear weapons, Pakistan is a problem because they ALREADY HAVE nuclear weapons."

Plenty of national security experts agreed with Biden. As recently as 2017, the former CIA station chief of Islamabad said, "With a failing economy, rampant terrorism, the fastest growing nuclear arsenal, the sixth largest population, and one of the highest birthrates in the world, Pakistan is of grave concern. It probably is the most dangerous country in the world."

Kaufman concluded, "I absolutely think that the reason why Obama picked him for vice president was because of watching him on the Foreign Relations Committee, and going through the debates with him."

Click for Joe Biden on other issues.   Source: The Book of Joe, by Jeff Wilser, p.123

Bernie Sanders on War & Peace : Sep 21, 2017
Protect Iranian nuke deal; without it, Iran is unlimited

For many years, leaders across the world had become increasingly concerned about the possibility of an Iranian nuclear weapon. What the Obama administration and our European allies were able to do was to get an agreement that froze and dismantled large parts of that nuclear program, put it under the most intensive inspections regime in history, and removed the prospect of an Iranian nuclear weapon from the list of global threats.

I call on my colleagues in the Congress, and all Americans: We must protect this deal. President Trump has signaled his intention to walk away from it, regardless of the evidence that it is working. That would be a mistake.

This would potentially free Iran from the limits placed on its nuclear program. If we are genuinely concerned with Iran's behavior in the region, as I am, the worst possible thing we could do is break the nuclear deal. It would make all of these other problems harder.

Click for Bernie Sanders on other issues.   Source: Westminster College speech in Where We Go From Here, p. 107

Bernie Sanders on War & Peace : Sep 21, 2017
Why would anyone trust US if we abrogated Iran nuke treaty?

President Trump has signaled his intention to walk away from the [multinational Iranian nuclear deal negotiated by Obama]. Not only would this potentially free Iran from the limits placed on its nuclear program, it would irreparably harm America's ability to negotiate future nonproliferation agreements. Why would any country in the world sign such an agreement with the US if they knew that a reckless president and an irresponsible Congress might simply discard that agreement a few years later?
Click for Bernie Sanders on other issues.   Source: Westminster College speech in Where We Go From Here, p. 107

Mike Pence on War & Peace : Feb 5, 2017
All options are on the table for Iranian nukes

Q: Hasn't President Trump issued, in effect, his own red line on Iran? And if they continue with missile test, how far is the president willing to go to try to stop them?

PENCE: Well, all options are on the table. The Iranians will do well to look at the calendar and recognize that we've got a new president in the Oval Office. That disastrous nuclear deal that the last administration entered into with Iran should have encouraged better behavior by the Iranians. But instead, what we see, they're flouting U.N. Security Council resolutions, banning ballistic missile test or whether it'd be the way they're arming of Houthis in Yemen who just last week attacked a Saudi Arabian ship. What we're seeing here is hostile action, belligerent action being supported by or taken by the Iranians. And we're just not going to put up with it anymore.

Click for Mike Pence on other issues.   Source: Fox News Sunday 2017 interview by Chris Wallace

Donald Trump on War & Peace : Oct 19, 2016
Iran is taking over Iraq

TRUMP: Iran should write us a letter of thank you, the stupidest deal of all time, a deal that's going to give Iran absolutely nuclear weapons. Iran should write us yet another letter saying thank you very much, because Iran, as I said many years ago, Iran is taking over Iraq, something they've wanted to do forever, but we've made it so easy for them.
Click for Donald Trump on other issues.   Source: Third 2016 Presidential Debate moderated by Fox News

Bill Weld on Foreign Policy : Oct 4, 2016
No alliances for intelligence: We have to do it ourselves!

[In response to Pence saying] "More taxes, more spending," under the Democrats, he is probably right about that.

[In response to Kaine's comment on the Iran nuclear deal]: Kaine not convincing re "safer or more dangerous" question. Trump's proposals are worse. (Nuclear weapons, Putin, abandon allies)

Kaine says the secret to intelligence work is "alliances." As a former federal prosecutor, I would disagree. We have to do it ourselves!

Click for Bill Weld on other issues.   Source: Twitter posts on 2016 Vice-Presidential Debate

Mike Pence on War & Peace : Oct 4, 2016
Iran deal delivered $400M as ransom to terrorist sponsor

PENCE: I fought hard on a bipartisan basis with Republican and Democrat members to move forward the toughest sanctions literally in the history of the United States, against Iran. We were bringing them to heel, but the goal was always that we would only lift the sanctions if Iran permanently renounced their nuclear ambitions.They have not renounced their nuclear ambitions. And when the deal's period runs out, there's no limitation on them obtaining weapons. We delivered $400 million in cash as a ransom payment for Americans held by the radical mullahs in Tehran.

KAINE: Let me tell you what will really make the Middle East dangerous. Donald Trump's idea that more nations should get nuclear weapons, Saudi Arabia, Japan, South Korea. Ronald Reagan said something about nuclear proliferation in the 1980s. He said the problem is that some fool or maniac could trigger a catastrophic event. I think that's who Governor Pence's running mate is, exactly who Governor Reagan warned us about.

Click for Mike Pence on other issues.   Source: 2016 Vice-Presidential Debate at Longwood University

Hillary Clinton on Foreign Policy : Sep 26, 2016
Glad the deal took nuclear off the table with Iran

Trump: [The Iran nuclear deal was] one of the great giveaways of all time, including $1.7 billion in cash. This is one of the worst deals ever made by any country in history. The deal with Iran will lead to nuclear problems. They don't have to do much.

Clinton: It's important that we look at the entire global situation. There's no doubt that we have other problems with Iran. I'd rather deal with the other problems having put that lid on their nuclear program.

Click for Hillary Clinton on other issues.   Source: First 2016 Presidential Debate at Hofstra University

Hillary Clinton on War & Peace : Sep 26, 2016
Iran had centrifuges whirling away until we negotiated

TRUMP: You started the Iran deal, that's another beauty where you have a country that was ready to fall. They were doing so badly. They were choking on the sanctions. And now they're going to be a major power at some point pretty soon, the way they're going.

CLINTON: With respect to Iran, when I became secretary of state, Iran was weeks away from having enough nuclear material to form a bomb. They had mastered the nuclear fuel cycle under the Bush administration. They had built covert facilities. They had stocked them with centrifuges that were whirling away. And we had sanctioned them. I voted for every sanction against Iran when I was in the Senate, but it wasn't enough. So I put together a coalition that included Russia and China to impose the toughest sanctions on Iran. And we did drive them to the negotiating table. [The recent nuclear deal] put a lid on Iran's nuclear program without firing a single shot. That's diplomacy. That's coalition-building. That's working with other nations.

Click for Hillary Clinton on other issues.   Source: First 2016 Presidential Debate at Hofstra University

Donald Trump on Foreign Policy : Sep 9, 2016
Obama paid $1.7 billion cash ransom to Iran for hostages

Hillary Clinton's policies have put Iran onto a path of nuclear weapons. They were dying 3 years ago. The sanctions were choking them. They would have fallen.

But remember the ransom payments. Remember, it was $400 million two weeks ago. But then they made a mistake. This is cash. They said they paid cash because they couldn't open a bank account. There was no way of sending it into a checking account.

The $400 million turned out to be $1.7 billion in cash--cash! They said, "oh, that money's going to be used for terror." I said they don't need it. This is going into their Swiss accounts. They have plenty of money for terror.

Think of it--$1.7 billion in cash--massive, big vats of cash. You saw them--cartons. I never saw anything like it. I've seen a lot of cash. Hey, never saw anything like this. They wouldn't give back the hostages, and Obama kept saying, "no, no, this has nothing to do [with ransom]"--even the hostages said they kept us waiting for a certain plane to come in.

Click for Donald Trump on other issues.   Source: 11th Annual Value Voters Summit - 2016

Donald Trump on Foreign Policy : Aug 3, 2016
FactCheck: Yes, nuke deal sent planeloads of cash to Iran

Trump asserted that "Iran--we gave them $1.7 billion in cash. I mean, cash. Bundles of cash as big as this stage." Is that true? We dug up the facts from a CNN article:

"The Obama administration secretly arranged a plane˙delivery of˙$400 million˙in˙ cash on the same day Iran released four American prisoners˙and˙formally implemented˙the nuclear deal. The money was flown into Iran on wooden pallets stacked with Swiss francs, euros and other currencies˙as the first installment of a $1.7˙billion settlement˙resolving˙claims at an international tribunal at The Hague over a failed arms deal under the time of the Shah.

The $400 million was Iran's to start with, placed into a US-based trust fund to support American military equipment purchases in the 1970s. When the Shah was ousted by a 1979 popular uprising, the US froze the trust fund. Iran has been fighting for a return of the funds--plus $1.3 billion in interest--through international courts since 1981."

Click for Donald Trump on other issues.   Source: CNN Fact-Check coverage of 2016 presidential hopefuls

Mike Pence on Foreign Policy : Apr 26, 2016
Against agreement with Iran; keep all sanctions

Pence joined 14 other GOP governors in a letter to President Obama opposing the Iran nuclear deal: "I am opposed to this agreement because it will not make the US or our most cherished ally, Israel, safer. Instead, it promises Iran a lifting of US nuclea related sanctions for an agreement on Iran's nuclear weapons program that will only halt its ambitions temporarily, rather than permanently dismantle its nuclear desires," Pence wrote.

The letter asserted: "This agreement would lead to the lifting of sanctions on Iran without any guarantee that Iran's drive toward obtaining a nuclear weapon will be halted or even slowed. Iran is a state sponsor of terrorism, and it should not be permitted any pathway toward obtaining a nuclear weapon, now or ever. The lifting of federal sanctions that would only result in Iran having more money available to fund terrorist groups and attacks. We intend to ensure that the various state-level sanctions that are now in effect remain in effect.

Click for Mike Pence on other issues.   Source: Indianapolis Star on 2016 Indiana gubernatorial race

Donald Trump on Foreign Policy : Feb 13, 2016
Iran deal is one of the worst I've ever seen

Sen. Ted CRUZ: If you look at the threats facing this country, the single gravest threat, national security threat, is the threat of a nuclear Iran. That's why I've pledged on day one to rip to shreds this Iranian nuclear deal.

TRUMP: The Iran deal is one of the worst deals I have ever seen negotiated in my entire life. It's a disgrace that this country negotiated that deal.

Click for Donald Trump on other issues.   Source: 2016 CBS Republican primary debate in South Carolina

Hillary Clinton on Foreign Policy : Feb 11, 2016
We achieved a lot, but not yet normal relations with Iran

SANDERS: I recall when Secretary Clinton ran against then-Senator Obama, she was critical of him for suggesting that maybe you want to talk to Iran, that you want to talk to our enemies. Iran is sponsoring terrorism in many parts of the world, destabilizing areas. Everybody knows that. But our goal is to try to deal with our enemies, not just ignore that reality.

CLINTON: I think we have achieved a great deal with the Iranian nuclear agreement. That has to be enforced absolutely with consequences for Iran at the slightest deviation from their requirements under the agreement. I do not think we should promise or even look toward normalizing relations because we have a lot of other business to get done with Iran. Yes, they have to stop being the main state sponsor of terrorism. Yes, they have to stop trying to destabilize the Middle East, causing even more chaos.

Click for Hillary Clinton on other issues.   Source: 2016 PBS Democratic debate in Wisconsin

Bernie Sanders on Foreign Policy : Feb 11, 2016
We should try and talk to enemies, even Iran

CLINTON: I think we have achieved a great deal with the Iranian nuclear agreement. That has to be enforced absolutely with consequences for Iran at the slightest deviation from their requirements under the agreement. I do not think we should promise or even look toward normalizing relations because we have a lot of other business to get done with Iran. Yes, they have to stop being the main state sponsor of terrorism. Yes, they have to stop trying to destabilize the Middle East, causing even more chaos.

SANDERS: I recall when Secretary Clinton ran against then-Senator Obama, she was critical of him for suggesting that maybe you want to talk to Iran, that you want to talk to our enemies. Iran is sponsoring terrorism in many parts of the world, destabilizing areas. Everybody knows that. But our goal is to try to deal with our enemies, not just ignore that reality.

Click for Bernie Sanders on other issues.   Source: 2016 PBS Democratic debate in Wisconsin

Hillary Clinton on War & Peace : Jan 25, 2016
Iranian nukes would have destabilized whole region

When I became secretary of state, Pres. Obama and I found that the Iranians were on their way to a nuclear weapons program. They had mastered the nuclear fuel cycle. They had built covert facilities. And they had stocked them with centrifuges that were rapidly whirling along trying to create enough highly enriched uranium to have a weapon.

Now our choices were, just fulminate about it, or turn our backs and just figure out that somebody else is going to do something, or try to get up a new strategy. We chose the third. We said, "look, we've got to get the world behind us to force them to the negotiating table." So I spent 18 months putting together the coalition that imposed international sanctions on the Iranians that forced them, finally, to begin negotiating with us to get an end to their nuclear weapons program, to put a lid on it.

[In 2008], Iran was on the way to a nuclear weapon, which would have destabilized the entire Middle East, created an arms race the likes of which we have never seen

Click for Hillary Clinton on other issues.   Source: 2016 CNN Town Hall Democratic presidential primary debate

Bernie Sanders on Foreign Policy : Jan 17, 2016
Normalize relations with Iran even though we disagree

Q: The nuclear deal with Iran is now in force. Iran is getting its billions of dollars; several Americans who have been held are now going to be heading home. Should we open an embassy in Tehran?

SANDERS: I think what we've got to do is move as aggressively as we can to normalize relations with Iran. Understanding that Iran's behavior in so many ways is something that we disagree with: their support of terrorism; the anti-American rhetoric that we're hearing from of their leadership is something that is not acceptable. On the other hand, the fact that we've managed to reach an agreement, that prevents Iran from getting a nuclear weapon and we did that without going to war. So if your question is, do I want to see that relationship become more positive in the future? Yes. Can I tell that we should open an embassy in Tehran tomorrow? No, I don't think we should. But I think the goal has got to be to warm relations with a very powerful and important country.

Click for Bernie Sanders on other issues.   Source: 2016 NBC Democratic presidential primary debate

Hillary Clinton on War & Peace : Jan 17, 2016
Proud of Iran nuke deal; but carefully watch them

Sen. SANDERS: We've managed to reach an agreement--something that I've very strongly supported--that prevents Iran from getting a nuclear weapon and we did that without going to war. Can I tell that we should open an embassy in Tehran tomorrow? No, I don't think we should.

CLINTON: Well, I'm very proud of the Iran Nuclear Agreement. I was very pleased to be part of what the president put into action when he took office. I was responsible for getting those sanctions imposed which put the pressure on Iran. It brought them to the negotiating table which resulted in this agreement. But I think we still have to carefully watch them. We've had one good day over 36 year and I think we need more good days before we move more rapidly toward any kind of normalization. And we have to be sure that they are truly going to implement the agreement. And then, we have to go after them on a lot of their other bad behavior in the region which is causing enormous problems in Syria, Yemen, Iraq and elsewhere.

Click for Hillary Clinton on other issues.   Source: 2016 NBC Democratic debate

Donald Trump on Homeland Security : Nov 10, 2015
We worry about Iranian nukes but why not North Korean nukes?

It's not only Russia [that we're having trouble with]. We have problems with North Korea where they actually have nuclear weapons. You know, nobody talks about it, we talk about Iran, and that's one of the worst deals ever made. One of the worst contracts ever signed, ever, in anything, and it's a disgrace. But, we have somebody over there, a madman, who already has nuclear weapons we don't talk about that.
Click for Donald Trump on other issues.   Source: Fox Business/WSJ First Tier debate

Bernie Sanders on Energy & Oil : Oct 13, 2015
Address climate change so we can leave planet to our kids

Q [to all]: What is the greatest national security threat to the United States?

CHAFEE: It's certainly the chaos in the Middle East. And it all started with the Iraq invasion.

O'MALLEY: I believe that nuclear Iran remains the biggest threat, along with the threat of ISIL; climate change, of course, makes cascading threats.

CLINTON: I think it has to be continued threat from the spread of nuclear material that can fall into the wrong hands.

WEBB: Our greatest long-term strategic challenge is our relation with China.

Q: Senator Sanders, greatest national security threat?

SANDERS: The scientific community is telling us that if we do not address the global crisis of climate change, transform our energy system away from fossil fuel to sustainable energy, the planet that we're going to be leaving our kids and our grandchildren may well not be habitable. That is a major crisis.

Click for Bernie Sanders on other issues.   Source: 2015 CNN Democratic primary debate in Las Vegas

Michael Bennet on War & Peace : Sep 22, 2015
AdWatch: Supports Iranian nuclear deal

Children deliver the countdown and presumably Iran delivers the bomb in a TV ad. After the mushroom cloud flashes, a smoldering post-apocalyptic hellscape smolders in the background of the ad from a conservative group called Advancing Colorado. The ad instructs viewers to call Sen. Michael Bennet (D-CO) and ask him about his controversial vote in favor of President Obama's nuclear agreement with Iran.

Truth Test: CLAIM: "Senator Michael Bennet supports the Iran deal."

VERDICT: TRUE. Sen. Bennet voted in favor of the deal.

CLAIM: "A nuclear Iran is a threat to the entire world" and "Michael Bennet is jeopardizing our safety."

VERDICT: OPINION. Both sides of the debate over the Iran deal have experts who'll argue the merits and detriments of the deal.

THE POLITICS BEHIND THE AD: It's hard to avoid comparisons to the 1964 "daisy ad" from President Johnson's campaign. Both ads feature children, countdowns and nuclear explosions--and both ads were meant to evoke the same emotional response.

Click for Michael Bennet on other issues.   Source: KUSA 9 News AdWatch on 2016 Colorado Senate race

John Kasich on War & Peace : Sep 20, 2015
Constitution requires Congress' approval of Iran nuke deal

Q: During the debate you were talking about whether the nuclear deal with Iran could be ripped up one day, getting rid of it if the Iranians violate the deal--at this point do you think there's anything Congress can do, those who oppose the Iran deal?

A: Yes there is.I think they (Senate Republicans) ought to go to the nuclear option in the United States Senate, that being that they should declare this a big constitutional issue and whether this agreement is put into effect or not, it ought to be decided by 51 votes, not by 60 votes or some filibuster. When it comes to this treaty, one which I so strongly oppose, I think the Republicans in the senate ought to say that we are not going to permit this to be blocked because of a filibuster.

Click for John Kasich on other issues.   Source: CNN SOTU 2015 interview series: 2016 presidential hopefuls

Donald Trump on Foreign Policy : Sep 16, 2015
We must deal with the maniac in North Korea with nukes

[With regards to the Iranian nuclear deal]: Nobody ever mentions North Korea where you have this maniac sitting there and he actually has nuclear weapons and somebody better start thinking about North Korea and perhaps a couple of other places. You have somebody right now in North Korea who has got nuclear weapons and who is saying almost every other week, "I'm ready to use them." And we don't even mention it.
Click for Donald Trump on other issues.   Source: 2015 Republican two-tiered primary debate on CNN

John Kasich on Homeland Security : Sep 16, 2015
Iran nuke deal makes us stronger; we could restart sanctions

Q: What about the Iranian nuclear deal?

KASICH: Well, first of all, I think it's a bad agreement, I would never have done it. But, you know, a lot of our problems in the world today is that we don't have the relationship with our allies. If we want to go everywhere alone, we will not have the strength as much as if we could rebuild with our allies. Now, this agreement, we don't know what's going to happen in 18 months. I served on the Defense Committee for 18 years. And, if we find out that they may be developing a nuclear weapon, than the military option is on the table. We are stronger when we work with the Western civilization, our friends in Europe, and just doing it on our own I don't think is the right policy.

Click for John Kasich on other issues.   Source: 2015 Republican two-tiered primary debate on CNN

John Kasich on Foreign Policy : Sep 13, 2015
Keep Iran accountable, WITHIN the existing Nuclear Deal

Q: A number of your rivals say they would rip up the Iran nuclear deal their first day in the White House. What do you mean when you say you "don't get that"?

KASICH: We don't know what's going to happen in 18 months. I've been on the Defense Committee for 18 years, and you got to be careful not to paint red lines that you can't keep. In addition to that, I think we ought to hold Iran totally accountable for what they do, if they break any part of this deal, if they fund the radicals like Hamas and Hezbollah. In that kind of case, we've got to slap the sanctions back on. We would then have the high moral ground to talk to our allies and get them to go along with us. But in addition to that, if we get to the point where we think that Iran may be developing a nuclear [bomb], well then I think military action would be warranted. But let's wait until we get there and let's stay calm because that's one of the most important things we need to do when it comes to foreign affairs.

Click for John Kasich on other issues.   Source: Fox News Sunday 2015 coverage of 2016 presidential hopefuls

John Kasich on Foreign Policy : Sep 8, 2015
Against nuclear deal with Iran; keep state sanctions

Fifteen Republican governors wrote a letter to President Obama opposing the Iran nuclear deal: "If implemented, this agreement would lead to the lifting of United States nuclear-related sanctions on Iran without any guarantee that Iran's drive toward obtaining a nuclear weapon will be halted or even slowed. Iran is a state sponsor of terrorism, and it should not be permitted any pathway toward obtaining a nuclear weapon, now or ever. The lifting of federal sanctions that will result from this agreement will only result in Iran having more money available to fund terrorist groups and attacks. The people of our states will not be safer as a result of this agreement, much less citizens of countries like Israel which Iran has threatened to destroy.

"Many of our states have divestment policies as well as restrictions against state contractors doing business with the government of Iran. We intend to ensure that the various state-level sanctions that are now in effect remain in effect."

Click for John Kasich on other issues.   Source: Letter to Pres. Obama from 15 Governors on Iran nuclear deal

Bernie Sanders on Homeland Security : Sep 5, 2015
Reduce nuclear budget by $100B; end proliferation worldwide

Bernie has stated unequivocally that we must limit nuclear proliferation and work towards a safer world free of nuclear weapons: "I strongly agree with President Obama's call for 'a world without nuclear weapons.' As has been made apparent by recent provocative actions by North Korea and Iran, the threat of nuclear weapons is a present threat to the security of America and the world. We must limit nuclear proliferation, now and in the future. We must end the production of weapons-grade uranium. And we must heed what President Obama has called our 'moral responsibility' to lead the way toward reducing, and eventually eliminating, nuclear weapons."

It is with this vision in mind that Bernie supports the Iran nuclear pact. Similarly, Bernie has been working to reduce nuclear weapons stockpiles around the world. In 2015, Bernie co-sponsored the Smarter Approach to Nuclear Expenditures Act, which would reduce the nuclear weapons budget by $100 billion over the next ten years.

Click for Bernie Sanders on other issues.   Source: 2016 grassroots campaign website FeelTheBern.org, "Issues"

Bernie Sanders on War & Peace : Sep 5, 2015
Iran nuke deal is victory for diplomacy over saber-rattling

Keeping the Iranian nuclear program in check with international observers is greatly preferable to the lack of oversight that has been the status quo. Without a nuclear deal, Iran can continue to rapidly develop its nuclear program.

Bernie views a nuclear-armed Iran as a threat and, therefore, supports the recent nuclear deal that will reduce Iran's nuclear capabilities. While the agreement needs to be looked over with careful scrutiny, Bernie has hailed the Iran nuclear deal as a victory "for diplomacy over saber-rattling."

Bernie stands with the majority of Americans in supporting diplomacy as the best method to reach a solution to Iran's nuclear threat. He sees military action as the least favorable approach, noting it's "imperative that we do everything we can to reach a diplomatic solution and avoid never-ending war in the Middle East." Even when dealing with hostile nations, diplomatic relations are important: at the height of the Cold War, the US signed treaties with the USSR.

Click for Bernie Sanders on other issues.   Source: 2016 grassroots campaign website FeelTheBern.org, "Issues"

Bernie Sanders on Foreign Policy : Aug 9, 2015
We have to negotiate with others, even Iran

Q: Do you support the Iranian nuclear deal?

SANDERS: We have got to go through every possible effort in order to make sure that we achieve that goal of Iran not having a nuclear weapon without going to war.

Q: So, do you support the agreement?

SANDERS: Yes, I do. Look, I'm not going to tell that you this is a perfect agreement. And every agreement can be better.

Q: What about hard-liners chanting death to America in Iraq making common cause with the opponents of this deal?

SANDERS: I wouldn't frame it that way. But this is the way I would frame it. It's so easy to be critical of an agreement which is not perfect. But the US has to negotiate with other countries. We have to negotiate with Iran. And the alternative, you know what it is? It's war. Do we really want another war, a war with Iran? I think we go as far as we possibly can in trying to give peace a chance, if you like, trying to see if this agreement will work. And I will support it.

Click for Bernie Sanders on other issues.   Source: CBS Face the Nation 2015 coverage:2016 presidential hopefuls

Donald Trump on War & Peace : Aug 6, 2015
Disgraceful deal gives Iran a lot & gets nothing for us

Q: On Obama's Iranian nuclear deal?

TRUMP: I would be so different from what you have right now. Like, the polar opposite. We have a president who doesn't have a clue. I would say he's incompetent, but I don't want to do that because that's not nice. But if you look at the deals we make, whether it's the nuclear deal with 24 hour periods--and by the way, before you get to the 24 hours, you have to go through a system. You look at Sgt. Bergdahl, we get Bergdahl, a traitor, and they get 5 of the big, great killer leaders that they want. We have people in Washington that don't know what they're doing. Now, with Iran, we're making a deal, you would say, we want out our prisoners. We want all these things, and we don't get anything. We're giving them $150 billion dollars plus. I'll tell you what, if Iran was a stock, you folks should go out and buy it right now because you'll quadruple--this, what's happening in Iran, is a disgrace, and it's going to lead to destruction in large portions of the world

Click for Donald Trump on other issues.   Source: Fox News/Facebook Top Ten First Tier debate transcript

Donald Trump on Foreign Policy : Jun 16, 2015
More sanctions on Iran; more support of Israel

What does Donald Trump believe? Iran and Israel: Walk away from nuclear talks. Increase sanctions.

Trump has said that the U.S. is mishandling current Iran negotiations and should have walked away from the table once Tehran reportedly rejected the idea of sending enriched uranium to Russia. He would increase sanctions on Iran. Trump has been sharply critical of the Obama administration's handling of relations with Israel and has called for a closer alliance with Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu.

Click for Donald Trump on other issues.   Source: PBS News Hour "2016 Candidate Stands" series

John Kasich on War & Peace : Apr 26, 2015
Iran nuke deal: verify, verify, verify, without the trust

Q: if you were in Congress, would you vote to allow the Iran nuclear deal to occur?

A: Knowing what I know now, no. Reagan used to say trust and verify. In regard to Iran, it should be verify, verify, verify, without the trust, because I don't trust them.

Q: And you don't think the administration has done that or tried to do that?

A: I think they have fallen in love with this deal. I think a lot of it is about a legacy. I do not like this agreement, what I have read so far.

Click for John Kasich on other issues.   Source: CNN SOTU 2015 interview series: 2016 presidential hopefuls

Barack Obama on War & Peace : Jan 20, 2015
I will veto any new sanctions against Iran

With respect to Iran, where, for the first time in a decade, we've halted the progress of its nuclear program and reduced its stockpile of nuclear material. Between now and this spring, we have a chance to negotiate a comprehensive agreement that prevents a nuclear-armed Iran; secures America and our allies--including Israel; while avoiding yet another Middle East conflict. There are no guarantees that negotiations will succeed, and I keep all options on the table to prevent a nuclear Iran. But new sanctions passed by this Congress, at this moment in time, will all but guarantee that diplomacy fails--alienating America from its allies; and ensuring that Iran starts up its nuclear program again. It doesn't make sense. That is why I will veto any new sanctions bill that threatens to undo this progress. The American people expect us to only go to war as a last resort, and I intend to stay true to that wisdom.
Click for Barack Obama on other issues.   Source: 2015 State of the Union address

Elizabeth Warren on War & Peace : Nov 18, 2014
Strong sanctions against Iranian nukes, with other countries

The United States must take the necessary steps to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon. I support strong sanctions against Iran and believe that the United States must also continue to take a leadership role in pushing other countries to implement strong sanctions as well. Iran must not have an escape hatch.
Click for Elizabeth Warren on other issues.   Source: Quotable Elizabeth Warren, by Frank Marshall, p.150

Barack Obama on Foreign Policy : Jan 28, 2014
Negotiations with Iran don't rely on trust

American diplomacy, backed by pressure, has halted the progress of Iran's nuclear program--and rolled parts of that program back--for the very first time in a decade. Iran has begun to eliminate its stockpile of higher levels of enriched uranium. It is not installing advanced centrifuges. And with our allies and partners, we're engaged in negotiations to see if we can peacefully achieve a goal we all share: preventing Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon.

These negotiations will be difficult. We are clear-eyed about Iran's support for terrorist organizations like Hezbollah; and the mistrust between our nations cannot be wished away. But these negotiations do not rely on trust; any long-term deal we agree to must be based on verifiable action that convinces us and the international community that Iran is not building a nuclear bomb. If JFK and Reagan could negotiate with the Soviet Union, then surely a strong and confident America can negotiate with less powerful adversaries today.

Click for Barack Obama on other issues.   Source: 2014 State of the Union address

Cory Booker on War & Peace : Nov 3, 2013
All options on the table with Iran, including military

As a state sponsor of terrorism, Iran poses a threat to American security, a threat made worse by their pursuit of nuclear technology in defiance of the international community & their own treaty obligations. A nuclear-armed Iran is plainly unacceptable.

Iranians recently elected a new President who has taken a less confrontational tone and positioned himself as open to negotiation.

The president is right to keep all options, including military action, on the table while vigorously pursuing both international sanctions and a negotiated settlement that prevents Iran from gaining nuclear weapons. Today, sanctions have imposed real and increasing harm on Iran's economy and isolated them from the international community. Pursuing these diplomatic and economic actions must continue while there is time, because while all options should remain on the table, the cost of military action to end the Iranian nuclear program could be very high for us and our allies in the region.

Click for Cory Booker on other issues.   Source: 2013-2014 New Jersey Senate campaign web CoryBooker.com

Joe Biden on Foreign Policy : Mar 4, 2013
Arab Spring changed Mideast; commitment to Israel unchanged

The Arab Spring, at once full of both hope and uncertainty, has required Israel--and the United States--to reassess old and settled relationships. Iran's dangerous nuclear weapons program, and its continued support of terrorist organizations, like Hezbollah and Hamas, not only endanger Israel, but endanger the world.

All these pressures put enormous pressure on the State of Israel. We understand that. And we especially understand that if we make a mistake, it's not a threat to our existence. But if Israel makes a mistake, it could be a threat to its very existence. And that's why, from the moment the President took office, he has acted swiftly and decisively to make clear to the whole world and to Israel that even as circumstances have changed, one thing has not: our deep commitment to the security of the state of Israel. That has not changed. That will not change as long as I and he are President and Vice President. It's in our naked self-interest, beyond the moral imperative.

Click for Joe Biden on other issues.   Source: Speech at the AIPAC Policy Conference

Joe Biden on War & Peace : Mar 4, 2013
Prevent--not contain--Iranian nuclear weapon

We're mindful that pursuing a better future for Israel means helping Israel confront the myriads of threat it faces in the neighborhood. It's a tough neighborhood, and it starts with Iran. It is not only in Israel's interest that Iran does not acquire a nuclear weapon, it's in the interest of the United States of America. It's simple. And, as a matter of fact, it's in the interest of the entire world.

Iran's acquisition of a nuclear weapon not only would present an existential threat to Israel, it would present a threat to our allies and our partners--and to the United States. And it would trigger an arms race--a nuclear arms race in the region, and make the world a whole lot less stable.

So we have a shared strategic commitment. Let me make clear what that commitment is: It is to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon. Period. End of discussion. Prevent--not contain--prevent.

Click for Joe Biden on other issues.   Source: Speech at the AIPAC Policy Conference

Barack Obama on War & Peace : Mar 4, 2013
On Iranian nukes: Big nations can't bluff

We have a shared strategic commitment with Israel. Let me make clear what that commitment is: It is to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon. Period. End of discussion. Prevent--not contain--prevent.

The President has flatly stated that. And he always says--he'll turn to other people and say, "as Joe would say, big nations can't bluff." Well, big nations can't bluff. And Presidents of the United States cannot and do not bluff. And President Obama is not bluffing. He is not bluffing.

We are not looking for war. We are looking to and ready to negotiate peacefully, but all options, including military force, are on the table. Our strong preference, the world's preference is for a diplomatic solution. So while that window is closing, we believe there is still time and space to achieve the outcome. We are in constant dialogue, sharing information with the Israeli military & Israeli intelligence, and we're taking all the steps required to get there.

Click for Barack Obama on other issues.   Source: Joe Biden speech at the AIPAC Policy Conference

Hillary Clinton on War & Peace : Jan 29, 2013
Policy of prevention, not containment, on Iranian nukes

Q: Your predecessor, Henry Kissinger, said that if Iran gets a nuclear weapon, that it is a turning point in history.

A: Our policy is prevention, not containment. And we have, through hard work with the international community, imposed the toughest set of sanctions on any country. We know it's having an effect. We have to continue to keep them isolated, and keep Russia and China on board. [But] we've said from the very beginning, we're open to diplomacy. We are doing so in the so-called P5-plus-1 format.

Q: What about military action against them?

A: Well, we've always said all options are on the table. The president has been very clear about that. [With regards to the] terrorism aspect of Iran's behavior, when I came into office, there were too many countries that were turning a blind eye to it. We have worked very hard to get the international community to say these guys need to be stopped on the terrorism front. They cannot be permitted to go forward.

Click for Hillary Clinton on other issues.   Source: Obama Cabinet:Fox News On the Record with Greta Van Susteren

Eric Swalwell on War & Peace : Nov 6, 2012
Don't let Iran get one step closer to nukes

The danger posed by Iran to the Mid-east region seems to escalate daily. My top priority on the issue of Iran is to ensure that the US does whatever is necessary to prevent Iran from having the capability to produce a nuclear weapon. Unfortunately, today, Iran has already developed infrastructure that has only one purpose: to create nuclear weapons. We can't let them get one step closer to their stated goal. I support strong sanctions against Iran, including the Central Bank of Iran until they can prove they are not developing nuclear weapons. We must also diligently identify and sanction any domestic or foreign company that assists Iran, in any way, in its effort to obtain and/or develop nuclear weapons. We must more directly address countries that support Iran yet look the other way when it comes to Iran's flagrant violations of mandatory UN Security Council resolutions.
Click for Eric Swalwell on other issues.   Source: 2012 House campaign website, swalwellforcongress.com

Kirsten Gillibrand on Homeland Security : Oct 17, 2012
No across-the-board budget cuts to anti-terrorism

Gillibrand used it to blast sequestration that would require across the board budget cuts to areas like federal anti-terror funding. Referencing Wednesday's thwarted terrorist attack in New York City, Long said it's further evidence that the United States must stand with Israel in ensuring Iran does not have nuclear capabilities while
Click for Kirsten Gillibrand on other issues.   Source: New York Daily News on 2012 N. Y. Senate debate

Joe Biden on War & Peace : Oct 12, 2012
Iran has some fissile material, but no nuclear weapons

Relieved. That's how the Democrats must have felt watching Vice President Joe Biden debate Republican vice presidential candidate Rep. Paul Ryan. Time and time again the public saw why, in spite of a proclivity for putting his foot in his mouth, Biden was put on the ticket in the first place. He talks the way real people talk. Right out of the box he told Ryan that his views on Iran's nuclear weapon were "a bunch of stuff." Iran may be making fissile material (the stuff that sustains nuclear explosions) but "they don't have a weapon to put it in."

His attack on Ryan's Medicare plan was one of the strongest points in the evening. Unlike his boss he brought up the infamous 47 percent remark [in which Mitt Romney asserted that 47% of the American public accepted entitlements from the federal government in excess of their taxes] and pointed out that not only were his Mom and Dad in the 47%, so were the soldiers in Afghanistan (soldiers in combat don't pay income taxes.)

Click for Joe Biden on other issues.   Source: Kennedy School's E. Kamarck on 2012 Vice Presidential Debate

Joe Biden on War & Peace : Oct 11, 2012
Iran Sanctions are most crippling in history

Q: Last week former Defense Secretary Bob Gates said a strike on Iran's facilities would not work and "could prove catastrophic, haunting us for generations." How effective would a military strike against Iran be, to prevent nuclear development?

RYAN: We cannot allow Iran to gain a nuclear weapons capability. This administration watered down sanctions, delayed sanctions, tried to stop us from putting the tough sanctions in place. Now we have them in place because of Congress.

BIDEN: Incredible. These are the most crippling sanctions in the history of sanctions, period. Look, imagine had we let the Republican Congress work out the sanctions. You think there's any possibility the entire world would have joined us, Russia and China, all of our allies? These are the most crippling sanctions in the history of sanctions, period, period. You're talking about doing more; are you going to go to war? Is that you want to do now?

RYAN: We want to prevent war!

Click for Joe Biden on other issues.   Source: 2012 Vice Presidential debate

Joe Biden on War & Peace : Oct 11, 2012
Iran is not close to nuclear weapons; stop the bluster

RYAN: When Barack Obama was elected, Iran had enough fissile material to make one bomb. Now they have enough for five. They're racing toward a nuclear weapon. They're four years closer toward a nuclear weapons capability.

BIDEN: We feel quite confident we could deal a serious blow to the Iranians. But #2, the Israelis and the US--our intelligence communities are absolutely the same exact place in terms of how close the Iranians are to getting a nuclear weapon. They are a good way away. When [Ryan] talks about fissile material, they have to take this highly enriched uranium, get it from 20% up. Then they have to be able to have something to put it in. There is no weapon that the Iranians have at this point. Both the Israelis and we know we'll know if they start the process of building a weapon. So all this bluster I keep hearing--Let's all calm down a little bit here. Iran is more isolated today than when we took office. It was on the ascendancy when we took office. It is totally isolated.

Click for Joe Biden on other issues.   Source: 2012 Vice Presidential debate

Elizabeth Warren on War & Peace : Sep 21, 2012
Take nothing off the table with Iran's nuclear weapon

Asked about the possibility that Iran could acquire a nuclear weapon, Brown criticized Warren for not adopting a tough enough response. "We cannot have a nuanced approach that Professor Warren wants," he said.

Warren said she also supports Israel and is opposed to allowing Iran to gain nuclear arms. She also praised Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and Obama, saying he's "done a first-rate job. He's taking nothing off the table."

Click for Elizabeth Warren on other issues.   Source: North Adams Transcript on 2012 Mass. Senate debate

Barack Obama on War & Peace : Jan 24, 2012
Take no options off the table if Iran develops nukes

We will safeguard America's own security against those who threaten our citizens, our friends, and our interests. Look at Iran. Through the power of our diplomacy, a world that was once divided about how to deal with Iran's nuclear program now stands as one. The regime is more isolated than ever before; its leaders are faced with crippling sanctions, and as long as they shirk their responsibilities, this pressure will not relent. Let there be no doubt: America is determined to prevent Iran from getting a nuclear weapon, and I will take no options off the table to achieve that goal. But a peaceful resolution of this issue is still possible, and far better, and if Iran changes course and meets its obligations, it can rejoin the community of nations.
Click for Barack Obama on other issues.   Source: 2012 State of the Union speech

Donald Trump on War & Peace : Dec 5, 2011
Stop Iran's nuclear programs by any & all means necessary

America's primary goal with Iran must be to destroy its nuclear ambitions. Let me put them as plainly as I know how: Iran's nuclear program must be stopped--by any and all means necessary. Period. We cannot allow this radical regime to acquire a nuclear weapon that they will either use or hand off to terrorists. Better now than later!

Pres. Bush authorized a covert program to "undermine the electrical and computer systems" at Natanz, Iran's uranium enrichment facility. What came out of that initiative was the Stuxnet cyber worm. It was unleashed against Iran's nuclear centrifuges and made them spin so fast they destroyed themselves. The operation was very successful and destroyed roughly 1/5 of Iran's centrifuges. No one knows for sure how many months or years we put back on Iran's nuclear clock. Some analysts say 6 months, others 1 or 2 years, But that's the point: the clock is still ticking.

Click for Donald Trump on other issues.   Source: Time to Get Tough, by Donald Trump, p. 98

Elizabeth Warren on Homeland Security : Oct 14, 2011
#1 responsibility: protect Americans from terrorism

U.S. Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren left the door open yesterday to military action against Iran in the face of that country's growing nuclear threat--bolstering her national security credentials: "Our number one responsibility is to protect Americans from terrorism, that's our job, so being tough on terrorism is enormously important," said Warren yesterday at a campaign stop in Gloucester.
Click for Elizabeth Warren on other issues.   Source: Hillary Chabot in Boston Herald

Elizabeth Warren on War & Peace : Oct 14, 2011
Military action possible to stop Iranian nukes

U.S. Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren left the door open yesterday to military action against Iran in the face of that country's growing nuclear threat--bolstering her national security credentials: "Our number one responsibility is to protect Americans from terrorism, that's our job, so being tough on terrorism is enormously important," said Warren yesterday at a campaign stop in Gloucester.
Click for Elizabeth Warren on other issues.   Source: Hillary Chabot in Boston Herald

Barack Obama on Homeland Security : Jun 1, 2010
Strengthen NPT to have automatic sanctions on Iran

[On Iran, Obama called for tough diplomacy "to pressure Iran directly to change their troubling behavior," namely pursuing a nuclear program and supporting terrorism. If Iran abandons its troubling behavior, the US might move toward normal diplomatic and economic relations, Obama proposed, but "if Iran continues its troubling behavior, we will step up our economic pressure and political isolation."

Furthermore, Obama proceeded, he will strengthen the NPT "so that countries like North Korea and Iran that break the rules will automatically face strong international sanctions." He made no mention of the conclusion of US intelligence that Iran had not had a weapons program for five years, unlike US allies in Israel, Pakistan, and India, the three countries that all maintain extensive nuclear weapons programs (with direct US support), all unmentioned as well.

Click for Barack Obama on other issues.   Source: Hopes and Prospects, by Noam Chomsky, p.249

Barack Obama on Homeland Security : Mar 2, 2010
OpEd: walked away from missile defense of Eastern Europe

Russia's burgeoning relationship with Venezuela has purpose beyond energy: anything that diminishes America pleases Putin, both because it weakens a competing power and because it gratifies his personal animus for the US. Russia's resistance to severe sanctioning of North Korea and Iran as they have pursued their nuclear programs are a stick in the eye for the US. So, too, is Russia's insistence that the world replace the dollar as the reserve currency. Putin also bitterly opposes any development that would strengthen the US such as missile defense, particularly in Eastern Europe, and admission of the former Soviet satellites into NATO. Pres. Obama's decision to walk way from our missile defense program in Poland and the Czech Republic was a huge concession to Putin, as is the stalling on admission of Georgia and the Ukraine into NATO. Russia welcomes concessions, and these, like their predecessors, were not repaid in kind. Russia takes, Pres. Obama gives, and Russia demands more.
Click for Barack Obama on other issues.   Source: No Apology, by Mitt Romney, p. 18

Barack Obama on War & Peace : Oct 7, 2008
Prevent Iran from attacking Israel, but keep military option

Q: If Iran attacks Israel, would you be willing to commit US troops in defense of Israel? Or would you wait on approval from the UN Security Council?

McCAIN: We obviously would not wait for the United Nations Security Council. Both Russia and China would probably pose significant obstacles.

OBAMA: We cannot allow Iran to get a nuclear weapon. It would be a game-changer in the region. Not only would it threaten Israel, our strongest ally in the region and one of our strongest allies in the world, but it would also create a possibility of nuclear weapons falling into the hands of terrorists. And so it’s unacceptable. And I will do everything that’s required to prevent it. And we will never take military options off the table. And it is important that we don’t provide veto power to the UN or anyone else in acting in our interests. It is important, though, for us to use all the tools at our disposal to prevent the scenario where we’ve got to make those kinds of choices.

Click for Barack Obama on other issues.   Source: 2008 second presidential debate against John McCain

Joe Biden on Homeland Security : Oct 2, 2008
Greatest security threat is from al Qaeda in Pakistan

Q: What’s the greater threat, a nuclear Iran or an unstable Pakistan?

BIDEN: Pakistan already has nuclear weapons. Iran getting a nuclear weapon would be destabilizing, but they are not close to getting a nuclear weapon that’s able to be deployed. John continues to tell us that the central war on terror is in Iraq. I promise you, if an attack comes in the homeland, it’s going to come from al Qaeda in the hills of Pakistan. We need to support that democracy by helping them with their economic well-being.

PALIN: Both are extremely dangerous. And as for who coined that central war on terror being in Iraq, it was the Gen. Petraeus and al Qaeda, and it’s probably the only thing that they’re ever going to agree on. An armed, nuclear Iran is so extremely dangerous. Israel is in jeopardy when we’re dealing with Iran. Others who are dangerous dictators are ones that Barack Obama has said he would be willing to meet with without preconditions. And that goes beyond naivete and poor judgment.

Click for Joe Biden on other issues.   Source: 2008 Vice Presidential debate against Sarah Palin

Barack Obama on Foreign Policy : Sep 26, 2008
Must be tough on Iran, but talk to them too

Q: How big a threat is Iran to the US?

A: Ironically, the single thing that has strengthened Iran over the last several years has been the war in Iraq. What we’ve seen over the last several years is Iran’s influence grow. They have funded Hezbollah, they have funded Hamas, they have gone from zero centrifuges to 4,000 centrifuges to develop a nuclear weapon.

So our policy over the last eight years has not worked. We cannot tolerate a nuclear Iran. Not only would it threaten Israel, a country that is our stalwart ally, but it would also set off an arms race in the Middle East.

We are going to have to engage in tough direct diplomacy with Iran and this is a major difference I have with Senator McCain, this notion by not talking to people we are punishing them has not worked. It has not worked in Iran, it has not worked in North Korea. In each instance, our efforts of isolation have actually accelerated their efforts to get nuclear weapons.

Click for Barack Obama on other issues.   Source: 2008 first presidential debate, Obama vs. McCain

Barack Obama on War & Peace : Apr 16, 2008
Take no options off the table if Iran attacks Israel

Q: Iran continues to pursue a nuclear option that poses a threat to Israel. Should it be US policy to treat an Iranian attack on Israel as if it were an attack on the US?

OBAMA: Our first step should be to keep nuclear weapons out of the hands of the Iranians. I will take no options off the table when it comes to preventing them from using nuclear weapons, &that would include any threats directed at Israel or any of our allies in the region.

Q: So you would extend our deterrent to Israel?

OBAMA: It is very important that Iran understands that an attack on Israel is an attack on our strongest ally in the region, one that we would consider unacceptable, and the US would take appropriate action.

Q: Sen. Clinton, would you?

CLINTON: We should be looking to create an umbrella of deterrence that goes much further than just Israel. I would make it clear to the Iranians that an attack on Israel would incur massive retaliation from the US, but I would do the same with other countries in the region.

Click for Barack Obama on other issues.   Source: 2008 Philadelphia primary debate, on eve of PA primary

Hillary Clinton on War & Peace : Apr 16, 2008
Massive retaliation from US if Iran attacks Israel

Q: Iran continues to pursue a nuclear option that poses a threat to Israel. Should it be US policy to treat an Iranian attack on Israel as if it were an attack on the US?

OBAMA: I will take no options off the table. It is very important that Iran understands that an attack on Israel is an attack on our strongest ally in the region, and the US would take appropriate action.

CLINTON: I think that we should be looking to create an umbrella of deterrence that goes much further than just Israel. Of course I would make it clear to the Iranians that an attack on Israel would incur massive retaliation from the US, but I would do the same with other countries in the region. We are at a very dangerous point with Iran. The Bush policy has failed. Iran has not been deterred. #1, we’ve got to begin diplomatic engagement with Iran. #2, we’ve got to deter other countries from feeling that they have to acquire nuclear weapons. And finally, we cannot permit Iran to become a nuclear weapons power.

Click for Hillary Clinton on other issues.   Source: 2008 Philadelphia primary debate, on eve of PA primary

Barack Obama on Homeland Security : Mar 25, 2008
2007: With Hagel, introduced nuclear nonproliferation bill

We must once again convince the world that America has the clear intention of fulfilling the nuclear disarmament commitments that we have made. Building a new global nuclear consensus is the only way to achieve lasting solutions to challenges such as Iran's nuclear ambition.

Last summer, Senator Barack Obama and I introduced comprehensive nuclear nonproliferation legislation. Among other things, our bill would provide funding for an international fuel bank that would be administered by the International Atomic Energy Agency. This fuel bank has the potential to be a critical mechanism to help reduce the demand for sensitive nuclear technologies that could be used to produce nuclear weapons-grade uranium and plutonium. Our bill would also provide funding to enable the United States to work with other countries to develop the technology to identify sources of nuclear material. If Iran's nuclear intentions prove to be peaceful, as its leaders claim, this bill can put that to the test.

Click for Barack Obama on other issues.   Source: Our Next Chapter, by Chuck Hagel, p. 92-93

Hillary Clinton on War & Peace : Dec 13, 2007
Believed, with others, that Iran was pursuing nuclear weapon

Q: Are the Revolutionary Guards proliferators of mass destruction?

A: Well, many of us believe that. Earlier this year, Senator Edwards told an audience in Israel that the nuclear threat from Iran was the greatest threat to our generation. Back in 2004, Senator Obama told the Chicago Tribune Editorial Board that he would even consider nukes to take out Iran’s nuclear capacity. So there was a very broadly based belief that they were pursuing a nuclear weapon.

Click for Hillary Clinton on other issues.   Source: 2007 Des Moines Register Democratic debate

Joe Biden on War & Peace : Dec 13, 2007
Accept NIE conclusion that Iran stopped nukes in 2003

Q: Do you agree with the president’s assessment that Iran still poses a threat?

A: [The NIE concludes that] in 2003, they stopped their nuclear program. This president is not trustworthy. He has undermined our security in the region. He has undermined our credibility in the world. He has made it more difficult to get cooperation from the rest of the world. He has caused oil to go up roughly $25 a barrel--a security premium--because of his threat of war. It is outrageous, intolerable, & it must stop.

Click for Joe Biden on other issues.   Source: 2007 Des Moines Register Democratic debate

Joe Biden on Homeland Security : Oct 30, 2007
Talks about nations acquiring uranium are more complicated

Q: Would you pledge that Iran will not develop a nuclear bomb while you are president?

A: I would pledge to keep us safe. This is complicated stuff. We talk about this in isolation. The Iranians may get 2.6 kilograms of highly-enriched uranium. But the Pakistanis have thousands of kilograms of highly-enriched uranium. If by attacking Iran to stop them from getting 2.6 kilograms of highly-enriched uranium, the government in Pakistan falls, who has missiles already deployed with nuclear weapons on them that can already reach Israel, already reach India, then that’s a bad bargain. Presidents make wise decisions informed not by a vacuum in which they operate, by the situation they find themselves in the world. I will do all in my power to stop Iran from getting a nuclear weapon, but I will never take my eye off the ball. What is the greatest threat to the US: 2.6 kilograms of highly enriched uranium in Tehran or an out-of-control Pakistan? It’s not close.

Click for Joe Biden on other issues.   Source: 2007 Democratic debate at Drexel University

Barack Obama on War & Peace : Oct 30, 2007
Committed to Iran not having nuclear weapons

Q: Would you pledge that Iran will not develop a nuclear bomb while you are president?

A: We are committed to Iran not having nuclear weapons. We have been governed by fear for the last 6 years. Bush has used the fear of terrorism to launch a war that should have never been authorized. We are seeing the same pattern now. It is very important for us to draw a clear line and say, “We are not going to be governed by fear. We will take threats seriously and take action to make sure that the US is secure.”

Click for Barack Obama on other issues.   Source: 2007 Democratic debate at Drexel University

Barack Obama on War & Peace : Oct 30, 2007
Iran military resolution sends the region a wrong signal

That is a continuation of the kinds of foreign policy that rejects diplomacy and sees military action as the only tool available to us to influence the region. What we should be doing is reaching out aggressively to our allies, talking to our enemies and focusing on those areas where we do not accept their actions, whether it be terrorism or developing nuclear weapons, and talking to Iran directly about the potential carrots that we can provide in terms of them being involved in the World Trade Organization, or beginning to look at the possibilities of diplomatic relations being normalized. We have not made those serious attempts. This kind of resolution does not send the right signal to the region. It doesn’t send the right signal to our allie or our enemies. As a consequence, over the long term, it weakens our capacity to influence Iran. There may come a point where those measures have been exhausted & Iran is on the verge of obtaining a nuclear weapon, where we have to consider other options
Click for Barack Obama on other issues.   Source: 2007 Democratic debate at Drexel University

Hillary Clinton on War & Peace : Oct 30, 2007
Pledge that Iran will not develop a nuclear bomb

Q: Would you pledge to the American people that Iran will not develop a nuclear bomb while you are president?

A: I have pledged that I will do everything I can to prevent Iran from developing a nuclear bomb.

Click for Hillary Clinton on other issues.   Source: 2007 Democratic debate at Drexel University

Hillary Clinton on War & Peace : Oct 30, 2007
Rushing to war with Iran vs. doing nothing is a false choice

Q: Why did you vote for the Kyl-Lieberman amendment which calls upon the president to structure our military forces in Iraq with regard to the capability of Iran?

A: I am against a rush to war. I was the first person on this stage and one of the very first in the Congress to go to the floor of the Senate back in February & say Bush had no authority to take any military action in Iran. Secondly, I am not in favor of this rush for war, but I’m also not in favor of doing nothing. Iran is seeking nuclear weapons. And the Iranian Revolutionary Guard is in the forefront of that, as they are in the sponsorship of terrorism. So some may want a false choice between rushing to war, which is the way the Republicans sound--it’s not even a question of whether, it’s a question of when and what weapons to use--and doing nothing. I prefer vigorous diplomacy. And I happen to think economic sanctions are part of vigorous diplomacy. We used them with respect to North Korea. We used them with respect to Libya.

Click for Hillary Clinton on other issues.   Source: 2007 Democratic debate at Drexel University

Hillary Clinton on War & Peace : Sep 6, 2007
Prevent Iran from becoming nuclear power by diplomacy first

Q: [to Clinton]: Would the Israelis be justified in taking military action if they felt their security was threatened by a nuclear presence in Iran?

CLINTON: I’m not going to answer that because it’s hypothetical. There would need to be a high standard of proof.

Q: Rudy Giuliani said, “Iran is not going to be allowed to build a nuclear power. If they get to a point where they’re going to become a nuclear power, we will prevent them; we will set them back 8 to 10 years. That is not said as a threat; that should be said as a promise.“ Would you make that promise?

CLINTON: I will do everything I can to prevent Iran from becoming an nuclear power, including the use of diplomacy, the use of economic sanctions, opening up direct talks. We haven’t even tried. That’s what is so discouraging about this. We need a concerted, comprehensive strategy to deal with Iran. We haven’t had it. We need it. And I will provide it.

Click for Hillary Clinton on other issues.   Source: 2007 Democratic primary debate at Dartmouth College

Barack Obama on War & Peace : Aug 19, 2007
Deal with al Qaeda on Pakistan border, but not with nukes

Q: [to Clinton]: You criticized Sen. Obama for ruling out the use of nuclear weapons against Al Qaida in Pakistan, yet you said the same against Bush’s use of tactical nuclear weapons in Iran, saying: “I would certainly take nuclear weapons off the table.” What’s the difference there?

CLINTON: I was asked specifically about the Bush-Cheney administration’s policy to drum up support for military action against Iran. Combine that with their continuing effort to try to get “bunker-buster” nuclear bombs that could penetrate into the earth to go after deeply buried nuclear sites. This was not a hypothetical, this was a brushback against this administration which has been reckless and provocative.

Q: Do you accept that distinction?

OBAMA: There was no difference. It is not hypothetical that Al Qaida has established base camps in the hills between Afghanistan and Pakistan. No military expert would advise that we use nuclear weapons to deal with them, but we do have to deal with that problem.

Click for Barack Obama on other issues.   Source: 2007 Democratic primary debate on “This Week”

Hillary Clinton on War & Peace : Aug 19, 2007
Rule out nukes against Iran

Q: You criticized Sen. Obama for ruling out the use of nuclear weapons against Al Qaida in Pakistan, yet you said the same against Bush’s use of tactical nuclear weapons in Iran:
Clinton on videotape:
“I would certainly take nuclear weapons off the table. And this administration has been very willing to talk about using nuclear weapons in a way we haven’t seen since the dawn of the nuclear age. I think that’s a terrible mistake.”
Q: What’s the principal difference there?

CLINTON: I was asked specifically about the Bush-Cheney administration’s policy to drum up support for military action against Iran. Combine that with their continuing effort to try to get what are called bunker-buster bombs, nuclear bombs that could penetrate into the earth to go after deeply buried nuclear sites. This was not a hypothetical, this was a brushback against this administration which has been reckless and provocative.

OBAMA: There’s no difference [in our policies].

Click for Hillary Clinton on other issues.   Source: 2007 Democratic primary debate on “This Week”

Mike Gravel on War & Peace : Aug 9, 2007
Bush can’t go into Iran today because I filibustered draft

The competition is a little weak, because they say they all want to lead. Well, what does a leader do? A leader stands up with a little bit of courage and does something. You know, I filibustered the end of the draft. Bush can’t go into Iran today because he doesn’t have the boots on the ground because of what I did. I stopped the nuclear testing in the North Pacific. And I could go on.
Click for Mike Gravel on other issues.   Source: 2007 HRC/LOGO debate on gay issues

Joe Biden on War & Peace : Jun 3, 2007
Do away with the policy of regime change for Iran

I would do away with the policy of regime change. What we’re saying to everybody in Iran is, “Look, by the way, give up the one thing that keeps us from attacking you, & after that we’re going to attack you. We’re going to take you down.” It’s a bizarre notion, number one. Number two, understand how weak Iran is. They are not a year away or two years away. They’re a decade away from being able to weaponize exactly what the question was, if they put a nuclear weapon on top of a missile that can strike. They’re far away from that. Number three, we’re going to - we have to understand how weak that government is. They import almost all of their refined oil. By 2014, they’re going to be importing their crude oil. There’s much better ways, if we had to get to the point of being real sanctions, of doing economic sanctions on them forcefully that way. But at the end of the day, if they posed the missile, stuck it on a pad, I’d take it out.
Click for Joe Biden on other issues.   Source: 2007 Dem. debate at Saint Anselm College

Hillary Clinton on War & Peace : Jun 3, 2007
Iran having a nuclear weapon is absolutely unacceptable

I am very concerned about Iran, and we should have been using diplomacy for a number of years now. I am pleased that Bush is starting to talk to the Iranians, but it is way overdue. We have allowed the Iranians to begin their nuclear program, to imprison Iranian Americans as they are now, to send weapons across their borders to be used against our young men and women, and we need a process of engagement. Bush’s policy has been, we don’t talk to people we don’t agree with or that we think are bad. All during the Cold War, we always talked to the Soviet Union. They had missiles pointed at us. They had leaders who said they would bury us. They waged wars around the world. We never stopped talking. In my administration, patient, careful diplomacy, th kind of diplomacy that really gets people to stay with it over time. Are you always going to get good results? No. But you’ve got to start the process. However, we still have to make it clear that Iran having a nuclear weapon is absolutely unacceptable.
Click for Hillary Clinton on other issues.   Source: 2007 Dem. debate at Saint Anselm College

Mike Gravel on Homeland Security : Apr 26, 2007
Threatening nukes is immoral foreign policy

When you have mainline candidates that say that there’s nothing off the table with respect to Iran, that’s code for using nuclear devices. I got to tell you, when I’m president of the United States, there will be no preemptive wars with nukes--nuclear devices. To my mind, it’s immoral, and it’s been immoral for the last 50 years as part of American foreign policy.
Click for Mike Gravel on other issues.   Source: 2007 South Carolina Democratic primary debate, on MSNBC

Mike Gravel on Homeland Security : Apr 26, 2007
US is the greatest violator of the non-proliferation treaty

OBAMA: I think it would be a profound mistake for us to initiate a war with Iran. But, have no doubt, Iran possessing nuclear weapons will be a major threat to us and to the region.

GRAVEL: With respect to Iran, we’ve sanctioned them for 26 years. We scared the bejesus out of them when the president says, “They’re evil.” Well, you know something? These things don’t work. They don’t work. We need to recognize them. And you know something? Who is the greatest violator of the non-proliferation treaty The United States of America. We signed a pledge that we would begin to disarm, and we’re not doing it. We’re expanding our nukes. Who the hell are we going to nuke? Tell me, Barack. Barack, who do you want to nuke?

OBAMA: I’m not planning to nuke anybody right now, Mike, I promise.

GRAVEL: Good. Good. We’re safe then, for a while.

Click for Mike Gravel on other issues.   Source: 2007 South Carolina Democratic primary debate, on MSNBC

Barack Obama on War & Peace : Apr 26, 2007
Iran with nuclear weapons is a profound security threat

KUCINICH: You previously said that all options are on the table with respect to Iran. That means you’re setting the stage for another war. We’re in Iraq for oil. We’re looking at attacking Iran for oil.

OBAMA: I think it would be a profound mistake for us to initiate a war with Iran. But, have no doubt, Iran possessing nuclear weapons will be a major threat to us and to the region. They’re in the process of developing it. And I don’t think that’s disputed by any expert. They are the largest state sponsor of terrorism, of Hezbollah and Hamas.

KUCINICH: It is disputed.

OBAMA: There is no contradiction between us taking seriously the need, as you do, to want to strengthen our alliances around the world--but I think it is important for us to also recognize that if we have nuclear proliferators around the world that potentially can place a nuclear weapon into the hands of terrorists, that is a profound security threat for America and one that we have to take seriously.

Click for Barack Obama on other issues.   Source: 2007 South Carolina Democratic primary debate, on MSNBC

Bob Corker on Foreign Policy : Jan 20, 2006
Iran and North Korea must renounce nuclear weapons

Iran and North Korea pose exceptional dangers because of their possession of nuclear materials and our relations with these nations should be a top foreign policy priority. We must be firm in our insistence that Iran and North Korea renounce any nuclear weapons programs and we should stay focused on solving this problem in the near term.
Click for Bob Corker on other issues.   Source: 2006 Senate campaign website, www.bobcorkerforsenate.com

  • Additional quotations related to Iranian Nukes issues can be found under Homeland Security.
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Page last updated: Jul 21, 2019