With Iranian Prisoner Swaps, Joy Should Precede Criticism for GOP Candidates (and all of us)

Jason Rezaian

On Saturday, Iran released five American prisoners in exchange for seven Iranians held in the United States. The responses from GOP candidates have been predictable and it’s a little disconcerting. While I understand that this is “politically unfortunate” for them, this is a very good thing and should be addressed as what it is: a blessing.

Regular readers of this site should know that I’ve been militantly opposed to the Iranian Nuclear Deal and pretty much every aspect of how we have handled Iran during both Hillary Clinton’s and John Kerry’s reign at the State Department. I’ve also acknowledged that getting our citizens back should be the top priority and echoed what many candidates have said about them; there should never have been an opportunity for a lifting of sanctions as long as people are wrongfully imprisoned.

While we didn’t get our way in the manner that we would have wanted – having them released before the deal was even signed – they’re being released now and that should be the focus. This isn’t the time to criticize anyone. It’s not time for Donald Trump to point out that the deal was lopsided. It isn’t time for Marco Rubio to point out that this sends a message to others that kidnapping Americans can lead to negotiations.

In other words, it’s not the time for politics.

I really wish we would have seen at least one of the candidates come out and say that we’re overjoyed by the release of the prisoners, that so many prayers have been answered, and that it’s time to start the healing process for them and their families. If pressed on politics, that should have been shelved by someone, anyone. I realize that it’s an election year and a lot is at stake, but the prisoners are now released. Don’t taint it with political talking points.

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