October 2nd, 2013
09:24 AM ET

A nuke wrapped in cashmere?

By Rep. Trent Franks, Special to CNN

Editor’s note: Congressman Trent Franks (R-AZ) is a senior member of the Armed Services Committee. The views expressed are his own.

Oh to be a fly on the wall when the U.S. president and Israeli prime minister met to discuss Iran.

In recent weeks, much talk has been tossed around about a new, moderate Iranian leader and the potential for deals to be made on the nuclear front. Some pundits have likened this approach to trusting a wolf in sheep's clothing; I'd say we're looking at a nuke wrapped in cashmere.

Less than six days after giving a speech in front of the U.N. that seemed to reinforce the naïve and misinformed belief that Iranian President Hassan Rouhani represents a shift away from the radical nature of past Iranian regimes, President Obama then met with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Of the dozens to choose from, I wonder which of Iran's international violations the two leaders discussed first.

The Obama administration has a long record of misjudging foreign policy realities. This shortsightedness has led to numerous failures – among them Egypt, Libya, Benghazi, and, most recently, Syria – that have cost innocent lives, compromised the United States' position in the world, and threatened our own national security and that of our allies. We must achieve a better result in our policies with Iran.

We should be very clear, very firm and very accurate in our expectations with Iran. As these talks progress, we must also keep our facts straight and our memories sharp: Rouhani was instrumental in furthering the very nuclear program with which Iran seeks to threaten the world, and has repeated the former regime’s threatening language, including when he called Israel “a wound that has sat on the Muslim world for years and needs to be removed.”

I wonder if Prime Minister Netanyahu reminded President Obama of these threatening remarks.

The popular American view of late has been to embrace Iranian openness and reward their willingness to negotiate – sanctions already seem to be up for discussion as leverage for the administration. But we know International Atomic Energy Agency declarations have gone unanswered by this regime and diplomatic efforts, including ten rounds of negotiation since 2011, have borne no fruit. Decades have passed without a single concession from the world’s leading sponsor of terror. In 2005, we saw North Korea, another rogue nation, petition for “talks” about ending their nuclear weapons program, demanding U.S. concessions.  How did they hold up their end of that bargain? A few short months ago they conducted their third flagrant nuclear weapons test.

More from GPS: Why Netanyahu Doctrine makes sense

I wonder if President Obama hinted at the possibility of a peaceful Iranian nuclear program, and if Prime Minister Netanyahu was able to keep from rolling his eyes.

While we certainly hope for a peaceful path forward paved with diplomatic solutions, any negotiations at this stage must be backed by a credible threat of military force to be effective. Iran’s negotiating intentions have a clear goal: to sell-off sanctions. In doing so, I believe Rouhani’s regime hopes to buy more time to secure a return on their nefarious nuclear investments. Iran knows its position stands to be emboldened by negotiations with the United States, since the country possesses the knowledge, technical expertise and equipment needed to build a nuclear weapon.

We cannot fail in our resolve to prevent an Iranian nuclear weapons program from coming to fruition; the stakes are simply too high. I hope Prime Minister Netanyahu had the opportunity to remind President Obama of this all-important task. Regardless of the warm and fuzzy “progress” shown by the newly-elected Iranian leader, one man does not change a rogue regime. One flight across the Atlantic does not unravel decades of deception by a theocratic nation while they have relentlessly pursued nuclear weapons with which to threaten the peace and security of the entire human family.

But one meeting can refocus our resolve to defend our national security and that of our allies. I'm quite sure Prime Minister Netanyahu reminded President Obama about the dangers of a nuclear Iran and trusting a wolf in sheep’s clothing. And I can only pray Mr. Obama will finally understand that the costs of holding the line and preventing Iran from gaining nuclear weapons will pale in insignificance compared to the costs of a nuclear armed Iran.

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Topics: Iran • Israel • United States

soundoff (22 Responses)
  1. Cyrus1978

    Jason Miks, quite frankly you don't have to give anything away to be a fly on the wall when President Obama and yahooyahoo talked; don't you see that you are a fly with the smallest brain? I know that I am probably insulting flies by likening you to them!
    You're a delusional person with a dark conscience who has been given a platform to spread your sick and ill-founded ideas. What do you honestly know about international relations, Israel, the USA, and Iran? Obviously, you don't know nothing.

    October 2, 2013 at 11:10 am | Reply
    • Thinker23

      Cyrus... Are you capable of producing something except insults?

      October 2, 2013 at 11:54 am | Reply
      • Not a Fly

        He may be insulting, but it's well deserved. This article is nothing but an insult to the president from a person with a truly small brain or horrible personality (insofar as, integrity takes a backseat to his right wing agenda). Journalism is a joke, the education required for opinions is abysmally low. The White House already stated, he's wants to talk, he WANTS things to progress forward, BUT for any of that to happen, ACTION must be the result. He (and perhaps you?) are the types to make predictions and live and die by them. The Obama administration realizes that 0.01% chance is better than 0%, and it shows good public relations with the PEOPLE of IRAN and the rest of the world. "Plan for the best, prepare for the worst" – you may have heard once or twice before, no?

        And when you get a chance, why not think on a much larger scale about our (USA) continual threat of terror and invasion of other countries. I for one do not think Iran should get a Nuke – or any country that is not secular in nature. But even if they did, i put the chances of them using it, or mishandling it, very low. Iran is not full of stupid people, even if it's leaders are (as they are in most countries for that matter). The end game in starting nuclear war is always you get nuked back and almost assured world annihilation. While I believe those who don't base their thoughts on this life and reality are more likely to not realize this, I still think it's very slim. ALL a nuke does for them is not allow them to be pushed around by anyone else, hence their drive to want one. Can you blame them? USA invades like it's the time of season. If we relaxed, won over minds instead of with weapons, sure some atrocities would still happen, but overall, but that will happen anyway, and there's no proof this method is better. Quite the opposite actually. Winning hearts through good deeds is almost always the better choice, and the US has a terrible track record.

        October 4, 2013 at 4:01 pm |
      • j. von hettlingen

        Netanyahu has been on interviews daily and warn against the "wolf in sheep's clothing". It's a mixture of fear and threat. One should take his paranoia that Iran would destroy Israel, once it gets its nuclear weapons, with a pinch of salt. It's all rhetoric, putting pressure on Iran to behave itself.
        Netanyahu can rely on his GOP friends in the Congress to block any removal of sanctions against Iran.

        October 5, 2013 at 5:56 am |
    • john smith

      America is the root of all terror. America has invaded sixty countries since world war 2.
      In 1953 America overthrow Iran's democratic government Mohammad Mosaddegh and installed a brutal dictator Shah. America helped Shah of Iran to establish secret police and killed thousands of Iranian people.
      During Iran-Iraq war evil America supported Suddam Hossain and killed millions of Iranian people. In 1989, America, is the only country ever, shot down Iran's civilian air plane, killing 290 people.
      In 2003,America invaded Iraq and killed 1,000,000+ innocent Iraqi people and 4,000,000+ Iraqi people were displaced.
      Now America is a failed state with huge debt. Its debt will be 22 trillion by 2015.

      October 3, 2013 at 1:53 am | Reply
    • j. von hettlingen

      Cyrus, Jason Miks wasn't the author, but Trent Franks, a GOP from Arizona. Read, before you rant.

      October 5, 2013 at 5:51 am | Reply
  2. tms5510

    Or maybe there were talking about Israel international violation

    October 2, 2013 at 11:50 am | Reply
    • Thinker23

      Hardly... What did Israel "internationally violate" in our opinion?

      October 2, 2013 at 11:55 am | Reply
  3. persia

    I think all "well informed" politicians and intelligence officials in Us and Israel already know well that it is impossible to attack iran without being badly "hurt"; the kind of damage that might even lead to "annihilation" for the smallest party, so don't listen to naive ideas of people who just can bark from far away and do nothing but spread pessimism

    October 2, 2013 at 12:37 pm | Reply
    • Thinker23

      No one (and I mean NO ONE) will attack PEACEFUL Iran for no reason.

      This means that force will be used ONLY in case there will be no other option to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons.

      In this case, however, Israel, the US and the rest of the world will have two options: deal with Iran TRYING to get nukes now or, alternatively, deal with Iran HAVING nukes later.

      October 2, 2013 at 3:20 pm | Reply
    • hifly3r

      The US took Saddam down in about a week. Iran will go the same way. The one thing the US learned is not to stay and rebuild. Marshall plans for Muslim countries don't work. Just knock it all down and walk away. Problem solved.

      October 4, 2013 at 9:45 am | Reply
  4. Cyrus1978

    Chicken hawks like Trent Franks who wrote this article show how out of touch they are with reality and the political developments around the world. He is implying that Iran will sit by and watch while being attacked by Israel as if Israel has the capability to attack Iran. Simply, Israel is no match for Iran and that is the reason why Natanyahoo has not attacked Iran 20 times over in the past 30 years.

    October 2, 2013 at 1:00 pm | Reply
    • Thinker23

      WHY would Netanyahu be willing to attack PEACEFUL Iran, in your opinion?

      October 2, 2013 at 3:22 pm | Reply
  5. John Smith

    America is the root of all terror. America has invaded sixty countries since world war 2.
    In 1953 America overthrow Iran's democratic government Mohammad Mosaddegh and installed a brutal dictator Shah. America helped Shah of Iran to establish secret police and killed thousands of Iranian people.
    During Iran-Iraq war evil America supported Suddam Hossain and killed millions of Iranian people. In 1989, America, is the only country ever, shot down Iran's civilian air plane, killing 290 people.
    In 2003,America invaded Iraq and killed 1,000,000+ innocent Iraqi people and 4,000,000+ Iraqi people were displaced.
    Now America is a failed state with huge debt. Its debt will be 22 trillion by 2015.

    October 2, 2013 at 3:50 pm | Reply
  6. WTCseven


    October 2, 2013 at 3:52 pm | Reply
    • Thinker23

      Sure it was... and the moon is made of Blue cheese.

      October 2, 2013 at 5:10 pm | Reply
  7. ✠ RZ ✠

    Lions and hyenas can be both amazingly beautiful and horrifically ugly. They are natural enemies making it completely impossible for them to live together in peace. And there is nothing peaceful that anybody can do about it other than keep them separated.

    October 3, 2013 at 7:38 am | Reply
  8. neda

    with this soft USA diplomacy, the terrorist start to trade nuclear and chemical weapons in the baghdad and kaboul streets very soon!

    October 4, 2013 at 9:18 pm | Reply
  9. ali

    The head of snakes are in Tehran supreme leader house!

    October 4, 2013 at 9:20 pm | Reply
  10. sgtrock101

    The more important question is how the hell did this rep ever get the idea his opinion mattered.

    October 7, 2013 at 3:08 am | Reply
  11. Abobakar Ibrahim

    Relations between some states and groups have become so toxic that if nothing is done about them it will put our individual and collective peace in jeopardy. It is sad when you look at relations between Isreal and hamas, al aqsa, some PLO factions, Iran etc. Throw in Hezbollah, al-qaeda, Taliban into the mix than you are talking about a deadly concoction.
    In forums like this we should brainstorm/discuss ways in which groups such as the abovementioned can be brought to the negotiating table. At the moment you have individuals and groups that say they want to kill and are not prepared to negotiate! how sad, so very sad. You have generation upon generation being brought up in lies and taught to hate and kill. Some by the time they reach their early teens are already overflowing with hatred.
    How can you want to wipe out People from their ancestral land, given unto them by God the Loving Almighty who has given different People and Nations Land to live in. A God who mentions clearly in the scriptures that he loves us all irregardless of tribe/race/nation etc. Folks we can do much better although some things defy logic like the bitter, degenerate conflict between sunnis and shias or groups like al-shabaab who used to cross into Kenya kidnapping tourists and causing chaos, thus teasing Kenya until kenyan soldiers were sent into Somalia. Now they claim during the Westgate mall siege that they did so because there are Kenyan troops in Somalia and they want them out. In other words they want to terrorise others without action being taken against them.
    Al-qaeda, Taliban, al-shabaab, Hamas and the lot want to keep on killing with impunity. They kill each other and their fellow muslims with a terrifying ferocity. I would like to ask why some do whatever evil, violent atrocities, obviously satanic inspired then say God willing?
    The works of God are obvious, they have a signature of LOVE written on them not strife, conflict and murderous nuclear weapons.

    October 7, 2013 at 5:08 am | Reply
  12. THORN

    The man's an ass and beneath the customary commentary. Shame on GPS

    October 11, 2013 at 6:54 pm | Reply

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