With all that’s been going on lately, attention has turned from what I believe to be one of the most important issues facing our country right now: the Iran nuclear talks. This past week, the Obama Administration quietly announced yet another deadline extension to the multilateral negotiations over Iran’s nuclear capability.
Of course, the goal for the United States and our allies is to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon. However, recent reports out of Switzerland have raised concerns that our negotiators have already conceded too much on major points such as uranium enrichment, economic sanctions relief and inspection access.
The very fact that we keep extending the deadline tells you all you need to know about the priorities at play for the Administration. It seems that President Obama and Secretary Kerry are so concerned with settling on a deal, any deal, that they are not willing to walk away from a bad one as deadlines keep passing.
We have had extension after extension and concession after concession – to the point that I’m not sure a good deal is even possible.
As you know, a few months ago I traveled to the Middle East and visited the countries that would be directly dealing with a nuclear Iran: Israel, Jordan, Iraq and Saudi Arabia. These are our allies and they are rightly concerned that what is being brokered isn’t good at all.
We cannot forget how high the stakes are here. If a bad deal is ratified, we aren’t just talking about a nuclear-armed Iran; we are talking about setting in motion a chain of events that could lead to multiple countries in this very volatile region wanting to become nuclear as well. And, after seeing the international community reward Iran’s hostility and obstinance with a nuclear deal, who would blame them?
Republican U.S. Sen. Bob Corker of Tennesee, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, has been outspoken in his concerns and recently wrote a letter to President Barack Obama saying in part, “Walking away from a bad deal at this point would take courage, but it would be the best thing for the United States, the region and the world.”
I agree with Senator Corker that walking away from a bad deal would be the better option. No matter the outcome, I’m glad that Congress will have the final say over whether or not to lift sanctions on Iran.
We cannot allow President Obama and Secretary Kerry to put their desire for a “legacy” achievement above the best interests of our nation and our allies.
Martha Roby represents Alabama’s 2nd Congressional District. She is in her third term.