Tags: Barack Obama | Iran | War on Terrorism | Tom Cotton | Jeffrey Goldberg | Iran | nuclear

Report: Cotton's Iran Letter Could Undermine GOP's Efforts

Image: Report: Cotton's Iran Letter Could Undermine GOP's Efforts
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By    |   Wednesday, 11 Mar 2015 02:41 PM

The United States could be blamed if negotiations with Iran end up collapsing after Republicans signed off on a letter warning that a deal could be soon reversed by right-leaning American lawmakers and undermine their desire to avoid an agreement that allows Iran to obtain nuclear weapons, warns an opinion piece in The Atlantic on Tuesday.

The talks are giving the West "the best, and least bloody, opportunity possible to keep the Iranian regime far from the nuclear threshold," writes The Atlantic's Jeffrey Goldberg, and there is still a chance that Iran Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei could end up stopping the talks after balking at conditions that come from them.

"Remember, as weak as this still-theoretical deal seems to some people, the conditions laid down by the West may be seen by the viciously anti-American ayatollah as too humiliating to accept," said Goldberg, and could break up over the issue of sanctions.

Iranians want to see the sanctions removed immediately after the deal is completed, but the West wants to phase them out gradually, notes Goldberg.

The talks could collapse for other reasons as well, and "it’s vitally important for President [Barack] Obama to be able to argue to America's sanctions partners in Europe and Asia that the U.S. did everything possible to strike a deal, and to keep Iran at the table," said Goldberg.

And if that happens, the United States will need to keep and strengthen a coalition formed to enforce sanctions, but if allies believe the United States ended the leadership, the sanctions could face troubles.

"It is not in the best interest of the United States to provide Iran any excuses to walk away from the table, and to provide Russia, China, and America’s various European and Asian allies with arguments against strengthened sanctions," said Goldberg.

Already, there are signs that Iran may try to blame the collapse of negotiations, including a statement from Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, saying that "It is very interesting that while negotiations are still in progress and while no agreement has been reached, some political pressure groups are so afraid even of the prospect of an agreement that they resort to unconventional methods, unprecedented in diplomatic history."

Cotton and the others who signed the letter have come under fire by Democrats, who have labeled them as being traitors for sending the document to Iran's leader, but Sen. Tom Cotton maintains the letter was written because "we’re making sure that Iran’s leaders understand if Congress doesn’t approve a deal, Congress won’t accept a deal ... Because we’re committing to stopping Iran from getting a weapon."

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The U.S. could be blamed if negotiations with Iran end up collapsing after Republicans signed off on a letter warning that a deal could be soon reversed, warns an opinion piece in The Atlantic on Tuesday.
Tom Cotton, Jeffrey Goldberg, Iran, nuclear, senators, letter, sanctions
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2015-41-11
Wednesday, 11 Mar 2015 02:41 PM
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