Joe Lieberman: Iran Agreement Is a ‘Mistake’

Joseph Leiberman during a ceremony at the at the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services December 19, 2012 in Washington, DC. 
National Journal
Add to Briefcase
Matt Berman
Nov. 25, 2013, 9:23 a.m.

Joe Lieber­man may not be in the Sen­ate any­more, but the former Demo­crat­ic vice pres­id­en­tial nom­in­ee turned polit­ic­al in­de­pend­ent still has thoughts on the U.S.-Ir­an re­la­tion­ship. And he is not a big fan of the agree­ment an­nounced this week­end.

“Don’t treat your en­emies like friends un­til they prove that they’ve changed,” Lieber­man told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer on Monday. “Ir­an is an en­emy.” He called the in­ter­im agree­ment a “mis­take” for the U.S. and its al­lies.

The former sen­at­or from Con­necti­c­ut knocked Ir­an for hav­ing a “ter­rible re­cord of not keep­ing agree­ments and, frankly, of ly­ing,” and said he would have held out for a com­pre­hens­ive agree­ment.

“This prob­ably is a his­tor­ic agree­ment, but we won’t know un­til six months or bey­ond,” he said. Lieber­man con­tin­ued:

If it sets up the situ­ation for a com­pre­hens­ive agree­ment, which I doubt, then it’ll be his­tor­ic­ally pos­it­ive. If as I fear it cre­ate a new nor­mal where people de­cide, “Ir­an’s open for busi­ness again,” and yet they’ve giv­en up none of their nuc­le­ar in­fra­struc­ture really and are just as ready to break out and build a nuc­le­ar weapon as they were yes­ter­day, then this will be seen as a his­tor­ic­ally cata­stroph­ic agree­ment which really made the world much more in­sec­ure.

So, per Lieber­man, the six-month deal on Ir­an’s nuc­le­ar pro­gram is likely no good, more likely cata­stroph­ic. Pretty lousy news for Lieber­man’s old col­league, John Kerry.