Cotton: Congress Would Repeal Bad Iran Deal in Next Administration

Obama phoned Netanyahu yesterday to assure him that the U.S. continues to seek a comprehensive agreement that prevents the Islamic Republic “from acquiring a nuclear weapon and verifiably assures the international community of the exclusively peaceful nature of its nuclear program.”

According to the statement, Obama stressed the U.S.’ commitment to Israel’s security and the importance of close cooperation with Jerusalem on the issue. Congress doesn’t trust him and nor should Israel.

By Daniel Wiser, THE BEACON

Sen. Tom Cotton (R., Ark.) warned the Obama administration on Tuesday that Congress will hold a vote on any final deal on Iran’s nuclear program—and, if unable to prevent the president from lifting sanctions on Iran, would work with the next administration to re-impose them.

Cotton said lawmakers aim to soon bring legislation to the floor that would impose additional sanctions on the regime in Tehran if the current negotiations collapse. The bill would likely include language authored by Sens. Mark Kirk (R., Ill.) and Robert Menendez (D., N.J.) that targets Iran’s oil, gas, and banking sectors and requires the administration to certify that the regime is not sponsoring terrorist attacks against U.S. forces.

The measure garnered 59 co-sponsors in the last Congress, and some reports suggest that it could be close to acquiring a 67-vote veto-proof majority this year.

Cotton, one of several Republican hawks elected to the Senate in November, has promised to make Iran’s suspected nuclear weapons program a priority. He said at a Heritage Foundation policy summit that “sanctions are merely a means to stop Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons capabilities.” While the White House has said it could bypass Congress to cement a final deal and lift the vast majority of sanctions on Iran, Cotton said lawmakers will schedule a vote on ratifying the agreement—even if, in practice, they must wait for a new administration to repeal it.

If Obama vetoes the legislation imposing additional sanctions in the event of negotiations breaking down, the issue of financial penalties on Iran and the administration’s diplomatic strategy could become a key issue in the 2016 presidential election.

Presumptive Democratic nominee and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has said she supports the so-called P5+1 talks in Geneva to strike a deal with Iran, while potential Republican opponents such as Jeb Bush and Mitt Romney take a tougher stance.

Cotton called the ongoing negotiations—set to resume this week after two lengthy extensions—a “dangerous farce.” The administration has now conceded to Iran a right to uranium enrichment, maintenance of its Arak plutonium reactor, and the disconnecting of centrifuges rather than their dismantlement, he said. Tehran is able to access $700 million per month in sanctions relief as the talks continue.

If Iran obtains a nuclear weapon, other regional powers such as Saudi Arabia will likely follow suit, Cotton said. That makes it more likely that nuclear arms will one day end up in the hands of Shia or Sunni terrorists—a scenario Cotton described as “apocalyptic.”

“The West appeased Hitler at Munich out of fear and weakness,” he said. “President Obama capitulated at Geneva even though the United States was in a position of strength.”

Cotton also criticized the administration for removing the threat of force from the nuclear talks. He reiterated his proposal to provide Israel with surplus B-52 bomber planes and bunker-busting bombs that could target Iran’s nuclear facilities. The threat of an attack by the Jewish state would again apply pressure on Tehran, he said.

“The surest way to preserve peace is to prepare for war,” he said. “Thus, it may be up to Congress to restore the credible threat of force.”

January 14, 2015 | 1 Comment »

Subscribe to Israpundit Daily Digest

Leave a Reply

1 Comment / 1 Comment

  1. Cotton’s the man! But let’s get real, there is no “peaceful” objective to the Mullah’s nuclear project. They are drowning in oil and need nuclear power like a fish needs more water. It’s plutonium plant only has military utility. The parameters of the “deal” are built on a fiction and this will not end well.