Rand Paul nixes new Iran sanctions during negotations

Just a few weeks ago, it looked like Congress was going to overwhelmingly pass new Iran sanctions while the Obama administration was still negotiating with the prospective nuclear nation over their enrichment program. That hit a brick wall this week as Senator Rand Paul became the first Republican to denounce the idea:

I’ve been for sanctions. I have voted for sanctions in the past, to try to get the Iranians to negotiate. I think while they’re negotiating, and if we can see that they’re negotiating in good faith, I don’t think it’s a good idea to pass sanctions while we’re in the midst of negotiations.

Now it looks like there may not even be a vote on new sanctions until this summer. Even under a Democrat-led Senate, it’s an entirely new thing for this kind of dithering and delay on Iran issues. However, coming less than a year after the failed Syria military intervention idea, it’s becoming clearer that the American people and even their representatives may be weary of perpetual global police action at our expense.

As to Rand Paul himself, this nudges him closer to Ron Paul’s notorious tolerance of Iran’s nuclear ambitions. Rand certainly doesn’t agree with his father that it’s none of our business if Iran gets nuclear weapons, but he also no longer agrees with the rest of the Senate Republican caucus that sanctions against Iran are always a good idea regardless of the circumstances.

As recently as 2012, this kind of maverick move might have doomed any chance Rand had of getting through the typically hawk-friendly Republican primary in the presidential election. Now it might even be an asset as the US moves away from its century-old interventionist default position.

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