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Rand Paul: Think Twice Before Sanctioning Iran

Rand Paul: Think Twice Before Sanctioning Iran

If you want to shape Iran’s behavior, you have to think like its leaders.

That is where I would prefer we were today. As much as I was not a great fan of the nuclear agreement, I thought that if Iran adhered to it, it would be a good thing. And so far, they appear to be doing so. They do not adhere to a ballistic agreement because there is no such agreement. They will never negotiate away ballistic missiles. They will never negotiate on ballistic missiles unless we bring Saudi Arabia and the Gulf sheikhdoms to the table, and I think that would be a better place for us to be.

We must put things in context in this debate and realize that sanctions likely won’t work. If we sincerely want Iran to stop their ballistic-missile system, it is going to take some kind of bigger dialogue that includes all the Gulf sheikhdoms.

Only when we begin to view Iran in the context of its historic struggle with its Middle Eastern adversaries will we have a chance at arriving at any semblance of peace. Until then, I will oppose new sanctions on Iran.

Note: This essay is based on remarks given in a U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee Business Meeting on May 25, 2017.

Rand Paul is a U.S. senator from Kentucky.

Image: U.S. Capitol dome with U.S. flag. Wikimedia Commons/Creative Commons/David Maiolo