Representative Ilhan Omar: ‘I Hope President Biden Seizes This Opportunity.’

Ilhan Omar calls on Congress to censure Donald Trump at a rally on Capitol Hill in April. (photo: Aaron P. Bernstein / Reuters)
The president-elect has a once-in-a-generation opportunity to reorient US foreign policy so this country truly means what it says.

By Representative Ilhan Omar  | The Nation |  Nov 20, 2020

In truth, these aren’t peace deals as much as they’re arms sale deals to human rights abusers. And they’re less about normalizing relations with Israel than they are about forming military alliances against Iran.

his month, we begin the transition away from a Trump era and toward a new presidency based on peace and cooperation. There is no area where this renewed vision is needed more than foreign policy. Trump has taunted, mocked, and burned bridges with our allies, while simultaneously cozying up to some of the most brutal dictatorial regimes around the world—especially those in the oil-rich Middle East. The damage done by the Trump administration runs deep, and it will take hard work and a clear understanding of the extent of the damage to fix it. With foreign policy primarily driven by the Executive Branch, President Biden has a tremendous opportunity to reorient our foreign policy in the region.

Trump began his presidency by backing out of the Iran nuclear deal, which had been a major feat in diplomacy with buy-in from all five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council—China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom, the United States—plus Germany and Iran. The deal was not only notable for the countries that it brought to the table, but for what it prevented: a nuclear-armed Iran that could threaten the United States and risk a global nuclear war.

Nearly every action taken under President Trump has made armed conflict more instead of less likely. Trump imposed crippling sanction after crippling sanction on the Iranian people—depriving them of much-needed medical supplies during a pandemic and further tightening the brutal authoritarian regime’s grip on power. He ordered the assassination of an Iranian commander—risking all-out war—earlier this year. As a result of these actions, Iran finally backed out of the nuclear pact that Trump himself had torn up in 2018—and now has 12 times more enriched uranium than would have been permitted under the agreement.

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