What possessed the forty-seven Republican senators to strike out in a move, specifically that letter to Iran, that would surely further divide the politics in this nation is beyond comprehension. Maybe they were trying to send a big “we’ll get even” with O & Co. over the poor manners and behavior shown to Prime Minister Netanyahu during his recent visit. Maybe they’re concerned about a successful deal and what it might mean for the future of oil. Who knows? Either way, surely they knew as soon as they did it, they’d likely made a mistake (at least, I hope they did). Now, though, they’re coming full circle on just how disastrous that letter has truly become. Worse, they’re also beginning to see the divide they’ve created, not only on a national, but an international level.
Reuters is reporting exclusively that there are now secret talks taking place that would end the Iranian sanctions. Sounds good, right? Not if you’re one of those 47 senators. Had they kept their pride in check and their mouths closed, they might could have prevented what’s now going down. The five senior members of the UN Security Council – Britain, China, France, Russia and the U.S. – are looking for ways to ensure any incoming U.S. president won’t be able to undo whatever it ultimately becomes, something those Pubs touted in their letter. They stated, “The next president could revoke such as executive agreement with the stroke of a pen, and future Congresses could modify the terms of the agreement at any time.” Turns out, a Security Council resolution indeed can prevent that from happening and it’s legally binding.
But let’s get to the heart of the matter, because this is where it’s going to sting.
First, let’s look at the list of 47 signatures:
Now, let’s look at who benefits from oil. The top Republicans who benefited financially from oil and gas companies, in order of the amount received and according to Open Secrets (You can see the entire list here). There are four who did not sign the letter in the top ten – three of them are Democrats and the one lone Republican who did not sign the letter is from Mississippi, Thad Cochran.
In other words, the Republicans who benefited most from the oil industry were more than happy to sign the letter. If you’re wondering why, consider this:
The announcement alone of an agreement with Iran that removes international sanctions would accelerate the current steady downward trend of the global oil price. Thus, the oil price would be affected even before increased physical supplies of Iranian oil reached the market. And more oil would gradually return to the market, helping keep global oil prices low and perhaps depressing them even further. Burdened by sanctions, Tehran has offered discounts to regular buyers such as China, India, Japan, South Korea, and Turkey. The end of sanctions would most likely mean that such consumers would pay a price more in line with global prices. Accordingly, this could create an opportunity for Saudi Arabia and other Gulf producers to increase their market share. The Washington Institute
One final point about Senator Cochran:
Thad Cochran’s biggest thorn (and the state’s as a whole) wasted no time in jumping on that and saying Cochran hasn’t taken a “principled stand in years”. This is exactly why voters chose experience over one who’s done little more than whined about his loss. You can read more about Senator Cochran’s decision here.