Bipartisan Skepticism Of Obama’s Iran Policy

Diplomats Concerned About A Nuclear Arms Race In The Mideast


‘Skepticism’ & ‘Concern’ Expressed Over Obama Administration Negotiations

10 DEMOCRAT SENATORS: “We remain deeply skeptical that Iran is committed to making the concessions required to demonstrate to the world that its nuclear program is exclusively peaceful by March 24 – the deadline agreed upon for a political framework agreement.  Considering Iran’s history in nuclear negotiations and after two extensions of the Joint Plan of Action, we are concerned that Iran is intentionally extending the negotiations to improve its leverage at the negotiating table.” (Sens. Menendez, Schumer, Blumenthal, Peters, Casey, Cardin, Coons, Manchin, Donnelly, & Stabenow, Letter To President Obama, 1/27/15)

  • SEN. BOB CASEY (D-PA): “Well, I was part of a letter that a number of Democrats signed. We worked together to send a letter to the president which outlined frankly our skepticism about the possibility of an agreement with Iran. I have real skepticism. We also outlined a number of our concerns.” (CNN, 1/29/15)

SEN. BOB MENENDEZ (D-NJ): “You know, I have to be honest with you. The more I hear from the administration and its quotes, the more it sounds like talking points that come straight out of Tehran. And it feeds to the Iranian narrative of victimization, when they are the ones with the original sin. An illicit nuclear weapons program going back over the course of 20 years, that they are unwilling to come clean on.” (U.S. Senate, Foreign Relations Committee, Hearing, 1/21/15)

SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER (D-NY): “A nuclear Iran is an unacceptable scenario.  I believe the only way Iran will voluntarily stop their march for nuclear weapons is if they know that tougher and tougher sanctions will be enacted if they fail to come a strong agreement that prohibits them from obtaining nuclear weapons. The only thing that brought Iran to the table were strong sanctions, not the goodness of their hearts. … If Iran does not come to an agreement by March 24th I stand ready to vote for additional sanctions.” (Sen. Schumer, Press Release, 2/12/15)

SEN. BEN CARDIN (D-MD): “The only successful outcome is where Iran is no longer a nuclear threat, where Iran has dismantled its nuclear infrastructure, limited its nuclear research and submitted to verifiable inspections without notice. This result is best achieved through diplomacy. … I am concerned about yet another extension of the negotiations without a commitment by Iran to a satisfactory agreement. An indefinite status quo – limited sanctions relief with no sign of a final agreement – cannot be the end result.  Additional time may very well be used by Iran to harden their defenses and their resolve to become a nuclear weapon state.” (Sen. Cardin, Press Release, 11/25/14)

SEN. CHRIS COONS (D-DE): “With the security of the United States, Israel, and our allies on the line in the P5+1 negotiations over Iran's nuclear program, I believe that no deal is better than a bad deal. In any agreement, Iran must fully submit to intrusive inspections of its illicit nuclear program, fully disclose its past military work, and dismantle any capacity to develop and build a nuclear weapon in the future. If Iran and the P5+1 reach a comprehensive agreement, it must definitively close all pathways toward an Iranian nuclear weapon. Congress must be closely consulted on a potential accord and should one be reached, any sanctions relief should only be granted as Iran demonstrates full compliance, with hesitation or backsliding met with swiftly reinstated sanctions. We cannot be afraid to walk away from the bargaining table if Iran does not agree to these basic terms.” (Sen. Coons, Press Release, 11/20/14)

REP. EDWARD ROYCE (R-CA), House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman & REP. ELIOT ENGEL (D-NY), Ranking Member: “As the deadline for a comprehensive nuclear agreement with Iran nears, we write to you to underscore the grave and urgent issues that have arisen in these negotiations.  While we hope the Administration is able to achieve a lasting and meaningful agreement, we understand that there are several difficult issues that remain unresolved. … In reviewing such an agreement, Congress much be convinced that its terms foreclose any pathway to a bomb, and only then will Congress be able to consider permanent sanctions relief.” (Reps. Royce & Engle, Letter To President Obama, 3/15)


Bad Agreement Risks ‘Appalling Consequences,’ ‘A Proliferated World’

HENRY KISSINGER: “Nuclear talks with Iran began as an international effort, buttressed by six U.N. resolutions, to deny Iran the capability to develop a military nuclear option. They are now an essentially bilateral negotiation over the scope of that capability through an agreement that sets a hypothetical limit of one year on an assumed breakout. The impact of this approach will be to move from preventing proliferation to managing it.” (“Kissinger On Iran,” Wall Street Journal, 2/9/15)

  • KISSINGER: “…if the other countries in the region conclude that America has approved the development of an enrichment capability within one year of a nuclear weapon, and if they then insist on building the same capability, we will live in a proliferated world in which everybody—even if that agreement is maintained—will be very close to the trigger point.” (“Kissinger On Iran,” Wall Street Journal, 2/9/15)

SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R-SC): “…one thing we should never allow to happen is for Iran to get a nuclear weapon. Do you both agree with that?” ZBIGNIEW BRZEZINSKI: “Yes.” BRENT SCOWCROFT: “Yes.” GRAHAM: “That would open up a nuclear arms race in the Mideast.” SCOWCROFT: “Yes.” GRAHAM: “The Sunni Arabs would want a weapon of their own, right?” SCOWCROFT: “That's right.” (U.S. Senate, Armed Services Committee, Hearing, 1/21/15)

US News’ MORT ZUCKERMAN: “What is most alarming about Iran is that the United States, in the person of President Barack Obama, seems to have lost its nerve to stop Iran’s final dash to be a nuclear military power, with appalling consequences for the Middle East sooner – and later with missiles that could reach the United States.” (“Obama Has Lost His Nerve In The Race To Stop Iran,” US News, 2/13/15)



Related Issues: Iran, Iran Nuclear Deal, Senate Democrats, National Security