Ron Paul expressed support for President Obama's nuclear deal with Iran in two interviews this week, saying in one that the agreement was "to the benefit of world peace."
The former Texas congressman's position stands in contrast to that of many Republicans, including his son, Kentucky senator and current presidential candidate Rand Paul.
Speaking to Ed Berliner of Newsmax TV's "The Hard Line" on Wednesday, elder Paul said that "[o]ur foreign policy is basically driven by the military industrial complex, and if they can sell something, they will keep stirring the pot."
"There's something to be said about moving in the direction of at least talking to people," Paul said "instead of saying, 'All right, you're scoundrels, we'll keep our $100 billion we've taken from you and all options are on the table, like if you don't do what we tell you, we're allowed to use our nuclear weapons against you.'"
"The tone has been changed" by the deal, said Paul."It's to our benefit; it's to the benefit of world peace."
In an appearance on The Michael Berry Show on Friday, Paul said Americans have "been conditioned to distrust and hate the Persians," but claimed that Iran's actions on the world stage are comparable to those of the CIA.
"We have learned and been conditioned to distrust and hate the Persians, and that they're gonna kill us," said Paul. "But there's no history to show that Iran are aggressive people. When's the last time they invaded a country? Over 200 years ago!"
"We're the ones who are all around the world, and yet everybody won't pay much attention to that," he continued, adding Iran's support of terrorist groups is comparable "to what our CIA does."
"If you compare what they're doing, and their involvement — and I would say ours is probably 99% of the interventions around the world," Paul argued, "we're in 160 countries, and Iran is, you know, involved with Hezbollah and the others, trying to protect their interests."
Paul told Berry that the threat posed by Iran was overstated.
"We build up fear that the Iranians are coming," said Paul. "It's a third world nation! They have no air force, no navy, nothing! No missiles! And yet, people are intimidated to say: 'Well, we gotta threaten 'em — if they don't come clean we've gotta drop a bomb on 'em.'"
"I think it's all war propaganda, and it's driven too often by the military-industrial complex," he added.
Later in the interview, Paul pointed to a comparable agreement supported by Ronald Reagan.
"Reagan did another deal with the Soviets, at the height [of the Cold War], and they had 30,000 missiles!" said Paul. "And if the Republicans had done what Obama just did, the Republicans went 'Oh, okay.'"
"They didn't say boo about Reagan doing it!" Paul concluded. "And yet that was even a bigger gamble — but it was the right gamble to make."
Here's Paul on Wednesday:
Ilan Ben-Meir is a political reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.
Contact Ilan Ben-Meir at email@example.com.
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