Crain's Chicago Business: Iran is likely to cave in the end, Chicago-area Rep. Adam Kinzinger says

The hawk in metro Chicago's congressional delegation says the U.S. is mostly doing the right thing with Iran, but concedes it could be a bumpy summer.

The hawk in metropolitan Chicago's congressional delegation says the U.S. is likely to avoid a military confrontation with Iran, but concedes that the combination of Iranian policies and President Donald Trump's unorthodox bargaining style could make for an unpredictable summer.

In an interview, Rep. Adam Kinzinger, R-Channahon, said he thinks the most likely outcome of the current test of wills is that either Iran comes to the bargaining table or that biting U.S. economic sanctions create political change there.

"The people in Iran aren't blaming Trump or (U.S. National Security Adviser John Bolton)," said Kinzinger, who has access to the latest info on what’s happening in Iran in his capacity as a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee. "They’re mad at the ayatollah," for wasting resources on international escapades.

The chances of actual conflict "are low," he said. Despite hardliners in both countries flexing their muscle, "They know they’ll lose a war to us."

That having been said, Kinzinger, an occasional Trump critic, suggested that he's not entirely happy with how things have been rolled out.

For instance, when asked if it's a good idea to personally sanction not only the Iranian leader but its foreign minister at a time when the U.S. clearly is trying to force Iran to the bargaining table, Kinzinger said he’s "mixed." Asked if the U.S. is pursuing the right policies, he replied, "For the most part . . . Some of the rhetoric I wouldn’t be using," though the rhetoric is excusable if Trump will back up what he says with actual actions. "I think he will."

Overall, the U.S. goal ought to be to get Iran to enter into a longer-term nuclear arms deal than the pact former President Barack Obama negotiated, and to get that country to promise not to use the proceeds from lifting economic sanctions on "foreign forays."

Do the crippling U.S. sanctions amount to an act of war and, if so, shouldn’t Congress consider declaring war?

“I have no problem if we want to go through that process,” said Kinzinger, a former Air Force pilot who still serves in the National Guard. But short of an actual ground invasion, bombing and related activities likely are covered by existing law, which allow the president to notify Congress within 60 days of what he has done.

Kinzinger currently is the only Republican who represents any portion of the Chicago area in Congress, though the GOP hopes to unseat Democratic newcomers Sean Casten of Downers Grove and Lauren Underwood of Naperville in the 2020 elections.

 

The original article can be found on the Crain's Chicago Business website here.