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Bob Corker: Nuke Deal Lets 'Wealthy' Iran 'Work Its Will'

Bob Corker: Nuke Deal Lets 'Wealthy' Iran 'Work Its Will'
Sen. Bob Corker, chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee. (Win McNamee/Getty Images)

By    |   Tuesday, 18 August 2015 10:16 AM

The Iran nuclear deal will not make the United States safer or prevent Iran from developing a nuclear weapons program and Congress should reject it, said Tennessee Republican Sen. Bob Corker.

In a column for The Washington Post, the chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee argued that rather than end Iran's nuclear enrichment program, over time the deal will institutionalize the program for the world's leading sponsor of terrorism.

For one, he contends, the inspections process is deeply flawed. A number of secret agreements have been made by the United States and its negotiating partners with the aim of appeasing Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, implying at best a low commitment to forcing Iran to comply.

Corker said that perhaps a bigger issue surrounding the deal is the lack of a broader and clearly articulated policy for the Middle East. As a result, the U.S. will be relying on Iran to help achieve our goals in Iraq, Syria, and possibly elsewhere.

"This abrupt rebalancing could have the effect of driving others in the region to take greater risks, leading to greater instability. Iran was fully aware of this, which helped the regime continually erode the deal to its benefit, and it will become an impediment when we try to push back against potential violations of the agreement," he said.

"Iran, on the other hand, does have a regional strategy that this deal will boost and strengthen."

He noted that since the negotiations began after President Hassan Rouhani was elected in June 2013, Iran has co-opted the Iraqi security sector, reinforced its support of Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad, and "cemented Hezbollah as an expeditionary shock force."

Meanwhile, President Barack Obama reinforced the perception of U.S. disengagement in the Middle East after he decided to abandon his commitment to enforcing the red line in Syria, choosing not to conduct an offensive against the Iranian-backed Assad regime.

In 2014, Iran filled the power vacuum after the chaos in Syria spread into Iraq and the Islamic State overran the region.

"Many say now is the time for the United States to push back against Iran. The best way to do that is for Congress to reject an agreement that strengthens Iran with hundreds of billions of dollars over the next decade, removes the conventional weapons and ballistic missile technology embargoes on Iran and allows for a U.S.-approved, industrial-scale enrichment program for which Iran has zero practical need," he said.

"We have more leverage than we will ever have, but under this deal that leverage will flip in approximately nine months, when most major sanctions are relieved. Iran will further deepen its regional strength."

Corker said that the agreement "ties our hands" from stopping Iran's efforts. The country will threaten to accelerate its nuclear development, particularly having received relief from sanctions which will be fueling its economy and the new bridges it will have built with our partners for doing business.

He said that throughout history, Congress has rejected or altered hundreds of international agreements, many of them multilateral, so it is not right for the administration to say there is no other deal than the one currently before Congress.

"The administration has repeatedly stated that this agreement is about ensuring Iran does not get a nuclear weapon. Therefore, the agreement should be one that allows us to maintain leverage and ensure it is enforceable, is verifiable, and holds Iran accountable," he wrote.

"This deal does not do that and instead leaves the United States vulnerable to a resurgent Iran wealthier and more able to work its will in the Middle East."

He concluded, "Congress should reject this deal and send it back to the president."

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The Iran nuclear deal will not make the United States safer or prevent Iran from developing a nuclear weapons program and Congress should reject it, said Tennessee Republican Sen. Bob Corker, the chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee.
iran, nuclear, deal, congress, reject
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2015-16-18
Tuesday, 18 August 2015 10:16 AM
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