Chambliss: Time for tougher Iran sanctions

Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.) said he wants to continue pushing tougher sanctions against Iran even as the administration hammered out a nuclear deal temporarily lifting those restrictions.

Appearing on ABC’s “This Week,” Chambliss contended that the Senate should pursue an even tougher economic crackdown on Iran now that diplomats have struck a six-month deal to slow that nation’s nuclear ambitions, in order to further force Tehran to strike a long-term agreement.

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“Now is the time to tighten those sanctions, let’s get a long-term deal,” he said. “Now is just not the time to ease sanctions when they’re working. We’ve got all the leverage in these negotiations and we’ve let them out of the trap.”

The late-night deal struck by U.S. and global diplomats with Iran would place new restrictions and oversight on Iran’s nuclear program in exchange for limited relief from economic sanctions. The initial agreement is meant to provide a basis for longer-term talks aimed at preventing Iran from developing a nuclear weapon.

Chambliss blasted the deal for permitting Iran to continue enriching uranium, even in a limited capacity that is more difficult to weaponize. He also criticized the agreement for not requiring the destruction of any existing Iranian nuclear facilities, although it did block the development of new sites.

“Nothing in the details that I have seen thus far … moves us in the direction of preventing Iran from developing a nuclear weapon,” he said.

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