Rep. Duncan Hunter: Be Realistic on Iran

The California Republican compared bartering at a marketplace to being dishonest during negotiations.

Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-Calif.
National Journal
Jordain Carney
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Jordain Carney
Dec. 4, 2013, 9:54 a.m.

Rep. Duncan Hunter, a mem­ber of the House Armed Ser­vices Com­mit­tee, took a strong stance against the in­ter­im deal reached last month with Ir­an over its nuc­le­ar pro­gram dur­ing an in­ter­view with C-SPAN on Wed­nes­day.

“I don’t think this does any­thing, frankly, ex­cept give them kind of a leg up and some cov­er in the in­ter­na­tion­al com­munity,” the Cali­for­nia Re­pub­lic­an said, re­fer­ring to the agree­ment.

Hunter, like a ma­jor­ity of House mem­bers, voted to in­crease sanc­tions against Ir­an earli­er this year.

“Don’t be con­fused with what the ad­min­is­tra­tion would like you to be­lieve about this deal, and the real­ity of it,” he said. “I think they are so in love with the idea of just say­ing that they did something here, wheth­er it works or not, that they’re blind to the real­ity.”

Asked if he thinks it is in­ev­it­able the United States will go to war with Ir­an, Duncan replied: “I sure as hell hope not.”

But, he ad­ded that if it does hap­pen, it should not be through boots on the ground, but “tac­tic­al nuc­le­ar devices, and you send them back a dec­ade or two or three”¦. But that’s still a huge un­der­tak­ing.”

Hunter stressed that the United States should not trust the Ir­a­ni­an gov­ern­ment and sug­ges­ted that Middle East­ern cul­ture breeds dis­hon­esty dur­ing ne­go­ti­ations.

“It is part of the Middle East­ern cul­ture to get the best deal that you can when you’re ar­guing.”¦ That’s part of Middle East­ern cul­ture,” Hunter said, when asked if all Middle East­ern coun­tries are will­ing to lie in ne­go­ti­ations. “I think Ir­an is the epi­tome of that, be­cause they have lied over and over and over.”

Pressed on his state­ment, Hunter ad­ded, “Not ne­ces­sar­ily all Middle East­ern coun­tries. I know that’s a big gen­er­al­iz­a­tion. They do busi­ness dif­fer­ent than we do busi­ness in the West. They have mar­kets, they like to barter”¦. They like to do whatever they can and say whatever they can to get the best deal.”

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