Rubio: It’s ‘wrong’ for Reid to stop sanctions vote

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) demanded Thursday that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) schedule a vote on increasing U.S. sanctions against Iran.

“There are 59 members of this chamber who have signed on to a sanctions bill and one person is preventing a vote on this and it’s wrong,” Rubio said on the Senate floor. “Why is the Majority Leader preventing that from happening? It is inexcusable and unacceptable.”

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The bill has 59 co-sponsors, including 16 Democrats. It would place new sanctions on Iran if it reneges on the interim nuclear deal or fails to reach a final deal that meets the Senate's demands. President Obama has vowed to veto the bill, saying it would derail negotiations currently underway.

Rubio said the only reason Iran came to the table was because U.S. sanctions have crippled the country’s economy. As part of negotiations, the administration lifted some sanctions in exchange for the Iran limiting its nuclear production. 

But Rubio said the administration should have demanded that Iran turn over processors and equipment in order to ensure Iran doesn’t return to developing nuclear weapons capability.

“I promise you if Iran is allowed to maintain any sort of enrichment capability … Iran will have a nuclear weapon and we will wake up to news that they have tested a devise.”

Rubio was one of several Republicans who sent a letter to Reid on Wednesday demanding a vote on the Nuclear Weapon Free Iran Act.