Senator Urges US to 'Walk Away' from Iran Talks

Republican Tom Cotton calls for new sanctions to stop 'negotiating out of weakness,' says talk extension shows Iran is 'calling the shots.'

Ari Yashar,

Secretary of State John Kerry and Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif
Secretary of State John Kerry and Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif
Reuters

Responding to the US State Department decision to extend Iran nuclear talks into Wednesday, Senator Tom Cotton (R-AR) urged Congress to "act immediately" while demanding that the US walk away from the talks in Lausanne, Switzerland.

"The best solution is walk away from the nuclear negotiations now and return to a position of strength," Cotton said in a statement released shortly before the end of the Tuesday deadline for reaching a nuclear deal outline.

The senator called to "reinstate existing sanctions suspended under the Joint Plan of Action, and Congress should act immediately to impose new sanctions. It’s time for the United States to regain the upper hand and quit negotiating out of weakness."

After two previous deadlines came and went, Cotton said the decision to extend the talks yet again "in the face of Iranian intransigence and duplicity proves once again Iran is calling the shots."

Strengthening that assessment is the assessment of an aide to Iranian President Hassan Rouhani who defected last week, and revealed the American negotiating team is just there to "speak on Iran’s behalf with other members of the P5+1 countries and convince them of a deal."

"Given the dangerous concessions by the Obama administration over the past week, one can only imagine what further concessions it will make in the next 24 hours to resolve these issues," said Cotton, who organized an open letter by Republicans in the Senate to Iran earlier this month. In it they warned a nuclear deal won't outlive US President Barack Obama's presidency, which ends in 2016.

The nuclear talks have reached a confusing point, with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov claiming an agreement was reached Tuesday night, even while Western diplomats deny that a deal has been reached.

If progress isn't made, White House press secretary Josh Earnest indicated Tuesday the US will walk away before the June 30 final deadline for a deal.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu warned on Tuesday that the deal being formed will leave Iran with its secret nuclear facilities and centrifuges used in enriching uranium, a key part of the process in developing nuclear weapons.




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