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Corker: Congress Must Decide if Iran Deal is in Nation's Interest

Image: Corker: Congress Must Decide if Iran Deal is in Nation's Interest

By    |   Saturday, 08 Aug 2015 12:17 PM

Approving or disapproving the nuclear deal with Iran isn't a matter of deciding whether rejecting the deal means war but whether "Congress believes this deal is in our national interest," Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker said Saturday.

The deal has "profound implications" for the safety and security of the United States and its allies, the Tennessee Republican, who helped push for a bill to force President Barack Obama to submit the deal to Congress for evaluation before it becomes official, said in Saturday's GOP address.

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But while evaluating the deal, Corker said, it's important to understand the "character and nature" of the Iranian regime, and to remember that it is the same one that remains the leading state sponsor of terrorism and is responsible for the deaths of hundreds of U.S. troops in Iraq.

"The Iranian Supreme Leader applauds those who chant 'death to America' and we know they threaten the State of Israel as they stoke violence and instability throughout the region," said Corker. "That is why the stakes of this nuclear deal are so high and the consequences are so great."

He pointed out that through the years, Iran has repeatedly violated international agreements with its nuclear program, including building covert facilities and working on a nuclear weapon, and the United States imposed sanctions that brought Iran to the negotiating table.

In 2012 President Barack Obama promised he would only accept a deal ending Iran's nuclear program, which both Republicans and Democrats still back, said Corker. Instead, Corker said, the new deal "allows them to industrialize it over time, with our approval."

Further, the agreement allows almost a month of advance notice before inspections, and won't allow for a single U.S. inspector on the ground, but relies on a United Nations arm to do the inspections.

"Even worse, there are two secret side deals — we can’t ever see — that appear to restrict inspectors’ access to key sites," said Corker.

The deal also allows major sanctions to be lifted after just nine months, and Iran will be allowed access to $100 billion of cash in just a few months, and over the next decade will gain hundreds of billions of dollars, said the senator.

"Iran will go from a weakened state to an economically-robust country, without being forced to change any of its roguish, destructive behavior," said Corker.

But even though Obama has said often that the deal is a choice between acceptance or going to war, it's not, said Corker.

"Throughout the negotiations, the Administration routinely asserted that ‘no deal is better than a bad deal’ and threatened to walk away if necessary," said Corker. "So clearly there was always another option for the White House — and it wasn’t war."

Further, Corker said, Army Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, has told the Senate that it was never his military advice that the United States either make a nuclear deal with Iran or face the prospect of war.

"The administration, Iran, and our partners have known for several months that Congress would have a role to play in whatever the United States will accept in the final agreement, he said. "Unfortunately, the Administration has tried to undermine the spirit of the law by going straight to the UN for approval in hopes of pressuring Congress to accept it."

Corker urged Congress to not be intimidated, but instead, members should ask themselves if they believe the deal will keep Iran from developing a nuclear weapon, if it will make the United States more safe, and not take its decision lightly in September over whether to approve the deal.

"It could be one of the most consequential votes we cast in our time in public service," said Corker. "There is perhaps no greater geopolitical issue facing the world today than preventing a nuclear-armed Iran."

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Approving or disapproving the nuclear deal with Iran isn't a matter of deciding whether rejecting the deal means war but whether "Congress believes this deal is in our national interest," Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker said Saturday.
corker, gop address, iran, nuclear, deal
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2015-17-08
Saturday, 08 Aug 2015 12:17 PM
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