President Obama, after months of negotiating, was able to finally secure enough votes in Congress to pass the Iran nuclear deal. Barbara Mikulski, a democratic senator from Maryland, gave him the crucial 34th vote in the Senate. That’s the number required by the Constitution to sustain a veto.
The last time Iran was in the headlines to this degree was three decades ago. It was November 1979 and Rick Kupke – a communications officer and electronics specialist – was told to send a telegram: “Demonstrators are taking the embassy over.” He’d spend the next 444 days being held hostage. Kupke, a Texas resident, joins the Standard from Arlington. He says Iran may not be so trustworthy after all.
“I think a majority of people don’t actually believe that Iran will follow the negotiated deals,” Kupke says. “I was particularly interested in some news yesterday when the supreme leader of Iran, Ali Khamenei, made a statement that maybe the deal needs to be reviewed before the Iranian parliament. We don’t even know if they will legally follow through.”
Kupke was held with other hostages back in 1979 and 1980. He says of the 38 others whom he still keeps in contact with, the majority are against the Iran deal. It’s not about the extra provisions or the secret deals, he says. It’s that they don’t think the U.S. can trust Iran.
“[It’s] still number one state sponsor of terrorism in the world. Still a country that leaders still chant… ‘death to America,’” he says. “Thirty-six years later the leaders are still chanting the same hatred towards us. They still say ‘death to America,’ still refer to – I heard again – that we’re still the ‘Great Satan….’”
Kupke says the U.S. should have considered whether Iran will even follow the negotiated agreement or not.
“I don’t think that they ever will,” he says. “I’m not sure that their government and the supreme leader will even make a statement saying he supports it. So when they’re caught cheating down the road, he’ll have the backup plan of saying ‘Well, I never approved it.’”
The main thing that irks Kupke, though? Before the negotiating got into high gear, he and the other former hostages we told that the four American hostages currently being held in Iran weren’t central to the negotiations.
“Well, if Americans held hostage aren’t,” he says, “then I don’t understand what is the central part of talking to another country.”