Tags: Iran | tom cotton | iran | congress | nuclear deal

Tom Cotton: Congress 'Will Kill' Obama's Iran Deal

By    |   Wednesday, 15 Jul 2015 12:19 PM

Now that Sen. Tom Cotton has gotten a chance to read the agreement announced with Iran, he says it's not as bad as it had appeared — "it is much worse."

"We have to remember who we are dealing with; Iran is anti-American," the Arkansas Republican told CNN's "New Day" host Chris Cuomo on Wednesday.  "They will get $100 billion in sanctions relief and lift the weapons embargo at a time they still sponsor terrorism. They cannot be trusted with nuclear weapons or threshold capacity. This deal puts them on the path to that whether in the coming months or years, or in eight to 10 years."

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The negotiations started two years ago, Cotton said, to stop Iran's enrichment capability, because "as long as they have enriching capability and testing new centrifuges and advanced research and development, they are mastering the process to develop the nuclear weapons."

And that doesn't matter if it happens now, or eight to 10 years from now, because the agreement is a "gamble" being made in the hope that Iran will change.

"Iran was trying to kill me and my soldiers in Iraq," said Cotton, who is a veteran. "We were lucky, but others were not."

And while President Barack Obama has said no deal is better than a bad deal, the one that has been approved is bad, according to Cotton.

"He said at the beginning of the negotiations that the basic approach was to dismantle Iran's nuclear program in exchange for dismantling the sanctions," Cotton said. "In fact, we are going to keep Iran's nuclear program in place. In fact, Western countries are going to help Iran develop advanced capabilities."

Even though two-thirds of Iran's centrifuges are to be taken offline, Cotton said that right now, the country is using only the most basic kinds of that equipment.

"In eight to 10 years, they will have advanced research and development," he continued. "It will help them master the process to enrich uranium. They don't need to develop it now, [so] they can wait eight to 10 years to develop it. Of course, they can do the same in a covert facility."

In the text of the deal, Cotton said, the West promises to help keep Iran's nuclear capabilities from being sabotaged.

"Imagine the fact we are going to help Iran develop their capabilities to protect what could be illicit facilities from the sabotage their facilities faced in the past," Cotton told Cuomo. "I think this is a bad deal."

He believes that as details emerge, Americans will repudiate the deal and Congress will reject it, even with the threat hanging over lawmakers' heads of Obama vetoing a rejection.

"That will give us a stronger negotiating position and the opportunity to reimpose sanctions that will be tougher, the kind of sanctions I and 400 others, and Democrats, voted on two years in the House, and the threat of military force," Cotton told Cuomo.

Cotton, an Arkansas Republican, later in the day also appeared on Fox News' "America's Newsroom," where he said that any lawmaker who votes for the deal "is putting his or her political faith in the hands of the Ayatollah, because if Iran sets off a nuclear weapon, the American people want to know who is responsible and hold them accountable.

"That is why I think, as more details become public, you will see Congress kill the deal."

On CNN, Cotton told Cuomo that the United States was "the weakest link" in the talks, and France's socialist government drove "the hardest lines."

"The sanctions were not eroding until President Obama decided to lift them two years ago," he said. "We could have enforced the sanctions. America has the strongest and biggest economy and access to the international world markets. Even China and Russia, in the end, though they might not have liked to go along with the sanctions, did in the early days after 2010 and 2011. They were beginning to work, but we let them out in 2013."

And when it comes to the use of military force, even Obama had said all along that the threat had to stay on the table, Cotton told Cuomo.

"I don't know if Iran believed them, but last week, the incoming chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff testified that the United States has the capability to destroy Iran's nuclear capabilities," he said. "This would not appear like what the war in Iraq looks like. We are talking the kind of action that President [Bill] Clinton took, for instance, in Iraq in 1998."

Just a few months ago, Cotton went on, Obama said that the United States spends $650 billion on defense a year, while Iran spends $30 billion.

"We have the ability to destroy their defenses," he said. "That is without question."

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Now that Sen. Tom Cotton has gotten a chance to read the agreement announced with Iran, he says it's not as bad as it had appeared - "it is much worse."
tom cotton, iran, congress, nuclear deal
Wednesday, 15 Jul 2015 12:19 PM
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