Critical of Negotiations - PAAIA

Critical of Negotiations

Critical of Negotiations/Administration

The following Senators and Representatives released statements which are a generally unfavorable or critical towards the negotiations between the P5+1 countries and Iran and the Iran Nuclear Deal:


September 8, 2015

Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV)

“Whenever I am able, I will choose diplomacy over war because the stakes are so high for West Virginia, which has one of the highest rates of military service in the nation.  But as I struggled with this decision, I could not ignore the fact that Iran, the country that will benefit most from sanctions being lifted, refuses to change its 36-year history of sponsoring terrorism.”


August 27, 2015—

US Representative Carolyn Maloney (D-NY)

“There are strong arguments for and against the agreement but, as a matter of conscience, I have decided to oppose it.”


August 23, 2015 –

US Representative Brendan Boyle (D-PA)

“As a member of both the House Foreign Affairs Committee and the Middle East subcommittee, I have participated in numerous hearings and attended classified briefings on this complex issue, including meeting with President Obama in the White House Situation Room. While I greatly admire the tireless work he has put into reaching an agreement, after much thought and consideration, I have concluded that I cannot support this agreement for three main reasons.”
August 18, 2015 –

US Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ)

“I know that, in many respects, it would be far easier to support this deal, as it would have been to vote for the war in Iraq at the time. But I didn’t choose the easier path then, and I’m not going to now.  I know that the editorial pages that support the agreement would be far kinder, if I voted yes, but they largely also supported the agreement that brought us a nuclear North Korea.”


August 17, 2015 –

US Senator Bob Corker (R-TN)

“Now that the Obama administration has reached what it believes to be an acceptable agreement, it is Congress’s responsibility to determine whether this agreement will be in our national interest, will make the United States safer and will prevent Iran from developing a nuclear weapons program. I do not believe that it will.”


August 15, 2015 –

US Senator Jeff Flake (R-AZ)

“While I have supported the negotiations that led to the JCPOA from the beginning, I cannot vote in support of this deal. The JCPOA does contain benefits in terms of limiting Iran’s ability to produce sufficient fissile material for a nuclear weapon for a period of time, particularly at its known nuclear facilities. But these benefits are outweighed by severe limitations the JCPOA places on Congress and future administrations in responding to Iran’s non-nuclear behavior in the region.”


August 13, 2015

US Representative Alcee Hastings (D-FL)

“After careful review, I have decided that I cannot support this deal. The goal of the recently concluded negotiations was to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon. The negotiators worked diligently, but in the end, the JCPOA allows Iran to remain a nuclear threshold state while simultaneously reaping the benefits of relief from international sanctions.”


US Representative Jim Himes (D-CT)

“I’ve arrived at the conclusion that the risk not doing the deal, that is the risk of walking away, significantly outweighs the risks of doing the deal.”


August 7, 2015

US Representative Brad Sherman (D-CA)

“A strong Congressional vote against the Agreement is the best way to make it clear that the Agreement is not binding on Congress, the American people or future administrations.”


August 6, 2015

US Representative Ted Deutch (D-FL)

“Too many issues I have long raised as essential to any nuclear deal with Iran are not adequately addressed in this agreement. I will vote against it when Congress reconvenes in September.”


US Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY)

“Advocates on both sides have strong cases for their point of view that cannot simply be dismissed. This has made evaluating the agreement a difficult and deliberate endeavor, and after deep study, careful thought and considerable soul-searching, I have decided I must oppose the agreement and will vote yes on a motion of disapproval.”


August 4, 2015

US Representative Steve Israel (D-NY)

“I tried very had to get to yes. But at the end of the day, despite some positive elements in the deal, the totality compelled me to oppose it.”

US Representative Nita Lowely (D-NY)

“In my judgment, sufficient safeguards are not in place to address the risks associated with the agreement.  Relieving UN sanctions on conventional arms and ballistic missiles and releasing billions of dollars to the Iranian regime could lead to a dangerous regional weapons race and enable Iran to bolster its funding of terrorists.   The deal does not explicitly require Iran to fully disclose its previous military work to the IAEA’s satisfaction before sanctions relief is provided, and inspectors will not have immediate access to the most suspicious facilities. There are no clear accountability measures regarding punishment for minor violations, which could encourage Iran to cheat.”

July 27, 2015—

Representative Eliot Engel is undecided on the Iran Nuclear Deal.

“Engel said he has concerns about the deal, but also said he remains undecided. “The thing that most disturbs me about the deal is that it doesn’t really prevent Iran from having a nuclear weapon — it postpones it 15 years,” Engel said. “Iran is essentially legitimized as a nuclear threshold state.””

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July 25, 2015—

Representative Mike Pompeo disapproves of secret side deals around the Iran Nuclear Deal.

““Kerry gave no indications they are seeking these documents and there is no indication he is the least bit worried he doesn’t have access to this. The Ayatollah knows what’s in the deal but we don’t,” he told us, referring to Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei.”

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July 24, 2015—

Senator Bob Corker does not like the IAEA’s inspection procedures under the Iran Nuclear Deal.

“Corker said the arrangement was like asking professional athletes to “mail in their own urine samples.””

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July 22, 2015—

Representative Steve King opposes the Iran Nuclear Deal.

“Congress is the last stop to avoid this, and if this Congress doesn’t shut down the president’s deal, then it paves the way for not just a nuclear Iran but for a very highly powered nuclear Iran,” Representative Steve King, Republican of Iowa, said the ambassador told them. “It changes the destiny of the world.”

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July 18, 2015—

Senator Bob Corker opposes Obama’s decision to take the Iran Nuclear Deal to the UN.

““This is exactly what we were trying to stop,” he said, referring to the legislation lawmakers passed earlier this year forcing the administration to hand over the deal so Congress could vote on it.”

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July 14, 2015—

Senator Kelly Ayotte believes the Iran Nuclear Deal falls short of accomplishing its primary goals.

“”While I will thoroughly scrutinize the full details of the Iran agreement, initial reports indicate the deal falls dangerously short of protecting our national security interests in several critical areas and ultimately fails to dismantle Iran’s nuclear program.”

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Speaker of the House John Boehner condemns the Iran Nuclear Deal.

“At the outset of these talks, the Obama administration said it would secure an agreement that affirmed Iran does not have a right to enrich and permanently dismantles the infrastructure of its nuclear programs.  It said that sanctions would not be lifted until Iran met concrete, verifiable standards.  And if these terms were not met, the president promised he would walk away.”

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Senator Ben Cardin distrusts Iran.

“It is in America’s national security interest that Iran is blocked from ever having a nuclear weapon. Congress has an obligation to vigorously and judiciously review the deal announced today with a seriousness of purpose. “

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Senator Susan Collins criticizes the Iran Nuclear Deal.

“The agreement with Iran announced by the President has serious ramifications not only for the stability of the region but also for our national security as well. Congress will begin a careful analysis of the details of the agreement, and it is important that we reach the right decision. In that regard, it was disappointing that the President threatened to veto any legislation disapproving of the agreement before his Administration has even met with Congress to explain its provisions.”

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Senator Chris Coons promises to promptly review the Iran Nuclear Deal.

“The United States must not allow Iran to develop a nuclear weapons capability.  A nuclear-armed Iran would threaten our national security, the security of Israel, and the stability of the entire Middle East.”

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Senator Lindsey Graham condemns the Iran Nuclear Deal, saying it’s akin to declaring war on Israel.

“My initial impression is that this deal is far worse than I ever dreamed it could be and will be a nightmare for the region, our national security and eventually the world at large.”

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Senator Orrin G. Hatch is not afraid to oppose the Iran Nuclear Deal.

“For decades, the Iranian regime has been dangerous in its aims and duplicitous in its quest for nuclear weapons.  Any deal that removes sanctions without robust means of ensuring the regime’s disarmament and compliance with its international obligations is worse than no deal at all.”

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Senator Mark Kirk believes the Iran Nuclear Deal will not deter Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons.

“I am gravely concerned that the nuclear agreement will condemn the next generation to living with an Iranian nuclear power in the Persian Gulf and ultimately endanger the security of the United States, Israel, and other regional allies over the long term.”

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Senator John McCain disapproves of the Iran Nuclear Deal.

“While I will thoroughly review all of the details of this agreement, all signs point to this being a bad deal. The most concerning concessions – on sanctions, sunset, inspections and verification, research and development, and Iran’s enrichment capability, among others – were made long ago. To those concessions, it now appears that the Administration has made still more, especially the repeal of the international arms embargo on Iran.”

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Senator David Perdue is extremely concerned about the Iran Nuclear Deal.

“Let’s be clear, this agreement is not final. Georgians and the American people, through Congressional representation, must sign off on the negotiated terms, and because of our bipartisan efforts Congress will have 60 days to do so. As a member of the Foreign Relations Committee, I will review this agreement with the utmost scrutiny to ensure we remain steadfast in our efforts to halt the expansion of nuclear arms now and down the road.”

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Senator Marco Rubio disapproves of the Iran Nuclear Deal.

“I have said from the beginning of this process that I would not support a deal with Iran that allows the mullahs to retain the ability to develop nuclear weapons, threaten Israel, and continue their regional expansionism and support for terrorism. Based on what we know thus far, I believe that this deal undermines our national security.”

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Senator John Thune is concerned about the Iran Nuclear Deal.

“Now that a deal has been struck, the onus is on President Obama to convince the American people that the contents of this deal are beneficial to the safety and security of our nation. I look forward to further reviewing details of the agreement, but I am deeply skeptical that it will stop Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon, and I am gravely concerned that the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism will soon have access to billions of dollars and other resources to finance its campaign for increased regional influence.”

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Congressman Albio Sires is skeptical of Iran Nuclear Deal.

“The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action announced by the P5+1 earlier this morning represents two years of intense negotiations and a decade of international pressure and sanctions that led us to this agreement.

While I support efforts to pursue a peaceful path to curb Iran’s nuclear ambitions I am deeply skeptical that the proposed agreement will actually prevent them from acquiring a nuclear weapon.”

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July 7, 2015—

Senator Bob Corker urges the President not to rush Iran Nuclear Deal.

“Conceding on any remaining redlines just to avoid further congressional scrutiny would only make matters worse, so I again urge negotiators to hold firm, take their time and be prepared to step back from the table,” he said on Tuesday.

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Senator Marco Rubio tells Obama to drop the Iran Nuclear Deal.

“The Obama Administration’s decision to extend nuclear talks with Iran for the second time in one week is just another sign that it is time for President Obama to walk away from the table. The stakes are too high for this diplomatic charade to continue. Iranian leaders continue to walk back previous commitments, even as they actively sponsor terrorism, pursue regional domination and hold American citizens hostage.”

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July 1, 2015—

Representative Kevin McCarthy tells Obama to walk away from Iran Nuclear Deal.

“Now that the deadline for the negotiations has passed, Obama should ignore the rhetoric that his legacy depends on an agreement and be prepared to reject a bad deal.”

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June 30, 2015—

Senator Mitch McConnell explains that the extended Iran Nuclear Deal deadline is a signal to reevaluate the U.S. stance.

“The Obama Administration recently announced another extension of nuclear negotiations with Iran after failing to abide by its own, already-extended June 30 deadline. President Obama and Secretary of State Kerry should use the opportunity to pause negotiations, take a step back and re-examine the point of the talks in the first place. Because, as a senior Democrat Senator recently put it, “the trend lines of the Iran talks are deeply worrying” and “our red lines have turned into green lights.””
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June 15, 2015

Senator Bob Corker highlights concerns with Iran nuclear negotiations.

In a letter to President Barack Obama today regarding nuclear negotiations with Iran, U.S. Senator Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, expressed alarm over recent reports that the administration might accept further restrictions on inspections of Iranian nuclear facilities and less than full disclosure of possible military dimensions of Tehran’s nuclear program if a final agreement is reached.

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June 3, 2015

Senator Bob Corker responds to Obama’s comments about the lack of a military solution to Iran’s nuclear drive:

“[The] Iranians have never ever, ever, thought this president would use the military option, ever, and I think [the Obama administration] ha[s] shown…they are doing everything they can to race to a deal, instead of sitting back and letting Iran come to them.”

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May 20, 2015—

Senator Mark Kirk issued the following statement amid reports that Iran has violated international rules:

“If the Administration won’t hold Iran accountable for ongoing violations during nuclear talks, how can we expect transparency and accountability after an agreement is signed?”

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May 14, 2015 –

U.S. House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) declared the following statement about the Iran Nuclear Deal:

“This is why Congress must have a role in reviewing any potential deal the president cuts with Iran. The American people are worried – and America’s allies are worried – that the White House will do anything to get one. So my colleagues and I have one goal: stop a bad deal. The bipartisan legislation the House passed today is the only way Congress will have that opportunity.”

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Representative Peter Roskam issued the following statement regarding the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act of 2015:

“This bipartisan legislation will prevent the Obama administration from lifting additional sanctions during the review period and will require that they fully disclose to Congress and the American people the details of any final nuclear deal with Iran—an important development that the White House has resisted at every step thus far. It will also enable Members of Congress to formally disapprove of any agreement that fails to permanently and verifiably end Iran’s pursuit of nuclear weapons.”

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May 7, 2015

Senator Tom Cotton released the following statement on the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act:

“A nuclear-arms agreement with any adversary—especially the terror-sponsoring, Islamist Iranian regime—should be submitted as a treaty and obtain a two-thirds majority vote in the Senate as required by the Constitution.  President Obama wants to reverse this rule, requiring opponents to get a two-thirds vote to stop his dangerous deal.

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Senator Ted Cruz released the following statement regarding votes on the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act:

“This bill was a missed opportunity. If Congress had acted to defend our constitutional authority – if Congress had adopted the Cruz-Toomey amendment – then we would be able to stop a bad Iran deal. Instead, the odds are now overwhelming that under these ground rules President Obama will negotiate, and Congress will acquiesce to, a terrible deal that allows Iran to acquire nuclear weapons and will endanger the lives of millions of Americans and our allies.”

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Senator Mark Kirk issued the following statement after the Senate passed the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act of 2015:

“This legislation builds on a bipartisan consensus that my colleagues and I have created and is another step in a long struggle to hold Iran accountable, not only for its efforts to get nuclear weapons but also for its aggression in the Middle East, its support of terrorism, and its human rights violations.”

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Senator Marco Rubio delivered remarks on the floor of the U.S. Senate urging passage of the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act of 2015:

“And they are a guided by a third, equally sinister motivation, and that is the open and repeatedly stated desire to destroy the state of Israel, to wipe it off the face of the earth. They haven’t said this once in passing. The supreme leader of Iran has said this on hundreds of occasions. In fact, every Friday in Iran at government-sanctioned religious events, they chant ‘death to America’ and ‘death to Israel.’”

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April 30, 2015 –

U.S. Representative John Boehner (R-OH-8) made the following statement regarding congressional review of a potential agreement with Iran.

“We’re getting closer to making sure Congress can review any potential agreement with Iran.   And Iran, by its words and its actions, is showing exactly why we need this type of accountability.”

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Senator Mark Kirk made the following statement:

“With or without a final nuclear deal with Iran, Congress can and will continue to hold Iran accountable for its nuclear and missile proliferation, sponsorship of terrorism, and human rights violations. While the President may temporarily waive sanctions against Iran, only Congress has the power to permanently lift all 14 Iran sanctions laws.”

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U.S. Representative Adam Schiff (D-CA-28) made the following statement about a potential agreement with Iran:

“If this agreement is not good enough to keep other nations near Iran from starting nuclear programs—Egypt, Turkey, and the Gulf states—if it’s not enough to stop a nuclear-arms race in the region, then we haven’t accomplished very much.”
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April 29, 2015 –

Senator Tom Cotton made the following statement in response to Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif’s comments about lifting sanctions:

“President Obama promised sanctions would only be lifted when Iran’s compliance with restrictions on their nuclear program were verified. But earlier today, Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif once again contradicted the President’s interpretation saying:

If we have an agreement on the 30th of June, within a few days after that, there will be a resolution before the UN Security Council under Article 41 of Chapter 7 which will be mandatory for all member states whether Senator Cotton likes it or not.”

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U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) made the following statement regarding Obama’s handling of the nuclear negotiations with Iran:

As the nuclear negotiations with Iran reach their final phase, President Obama increasingly finds himself at odds with reality. Although the United States has worked for years to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons while limiting Tehran’s attempts to be a regional hegemon, the president’s desperation to secure a deal ­- at whatever cost -­ places both of these goals at serious risk.”

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April 20, 2015

Senator Mark Kirk delivered the Weekly Republican Address focusing on Iran’s nuclear efforts:

“I’m here today to talk about my work to ensure that the next generation of Americans never has to hear about a nuclear war in the Persian Gulf.  Iran is the world’s biggest state sponsor of terror.  Iran’s Ayatollahs are now trying to build their own nuclear weapons.  Iranian leaders have repeatedly threatened to annihilate Jewish families across the state of Israel.”

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April 10, 2015 –

U.S. Senator Tim Kaine (D-VA) made the following statement regarding the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act of 2015 which would allow Congress to approve or disapprove of a potential deal with Iran:

“If you’re going to negotiate over a congressional act, Congress is going to be involved.”

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April 8, 2015 – 

U.S. Senator Tom Cotton (R-AK) made the following statement regarding strategy on Iran:

“This president has a bad habit of accusing other people of making false choices, but he presented the ultimate false choice last week when he said it’s either this deal or war.”

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April 7, 2015 – 

U.S. Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY) made the following statement regarding the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act of 2015 which would allow Congress to approve or disapprove of a potential deal with Iran:

“This is a very serious issue that deserves careful consideration and I expect to have a classified briefing in the near future. I strongly believe Congress should have the right to disapprove any agreement and I support the Corker bill which would allow that to occur.”

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April 2, 2015  –

U.S. Representative John Boehner (R-OH) made the following statement regarding the announcement of a tentative nuclear deal with Iran:

“The president says negotiators have cleared the basic threshold needed to continue talks, but the parameters for a final deal represent an alarming departure from the White House’s initial goals. My longtime concerns about the parameters of this potential agreement remain, but my immediate concern is the administration signaling it will provide near-term sanctions relief.  Congress must be allowed to fully review the details of any agreement before any sanctions are lifted.”

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U.S. Representative Louie Gohmert (R-TX-1) made the following statement regarding the announcement of a tentative nuclear deal with Iran:

“President Obama is exposing the American people to unparalleled danger for the sake of a claimed political deal by allowing one of America’s most committed enemies to move to the brink of possessing nuclear weapons. This desperate legacy ploy not only shatters U.S. credibility in foreign relations, it rewards one of the worst violators of human rights with the most powerful weapon the world knows.”

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U.S. Representative Ed Royce (R-CA-39) made the following statement regarding the announcement of a tentative nuclear deal with Iran:

“Congress has repeatedly made clear that an acceptable agreement must effectively block Iran’s ability to develop a nuclear weapon. 367 Members of Congress are on record stating that such a deal must last for multiple decades and include full disclosure of Iran’s past efforts to build a nuclear weapon, a dramatic reduction in the number of centrifuges, as well as intrusive inspection and verification measures.”

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April 1, 2015  –

Representative Martha McSally (R-AZ-2) made the following statement regarding the continuation of negotiations with Iran past the March 31stdeadline:

“We’re potentially [legitimizing Iran] having a nuclear infrastructure. We don’t know exactly what’s behind closed doors.”

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Senator Tom Cotton (R-AR) made the following statement regarding the continuation of negotiations with Iran past the March 31st deadline:

“You have to be willing to walk away from the table and to reapply leverage to Iran. And the fact that they’re not willing to do that, that we’re still sitting in Switzerland negotiating when three of our negotiating partners have already left just demonstrates to Iran that they can continue to demand dangerous concessions from the West.”

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March 30, 2015  –

Senator Mark Warner (D-VA) released the following statement regarding a possible agreement with Iran and congressional action:

“As the deadline approaches on negotiations for the U.S. and our international partners to reach a nuclear agreement with Iran, I remain hopeful we will see a tough, verifiable agreement, with intrusive inspections, which will prevent Iran from developing a nuclear weapon. I have consistently said Congress must have an opportunity to review any proposed deal, and I believe the Corker-Menendez legislation provides the appropriate avenue for Congress to weigh in on any agreement.”

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March 29, 2015  –

Senator Richard Burr (R-NC) made the following statement in regards to a possible deal with Iran:

“Well, listen, I think that’s better than a bad deal. And I have got a really bad feeling about what they might come with.”

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March 25, 2015 –

U.S. Senator Bob Corker (R-TN) made the following statement about obtaining information about the nuclear negotiations:

“I have sometimes picked up the phone and called some of these negotiators. But it’s fascinating how we end up picking up far more information about what’s happening in our own foreign policy than you know the administration shares. And I would say that I’m one of the few people around here that at least attempts to work with them.”

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