Sen. Marco RubioMarco RubioTrump: NM governor ‘not doing the job’ New Mexico GOP gov. won’t attend home-state Trump rally Rubio: 'It’s not that we lost, it’s that Donald Trump won’ MORE (R-Fla.) is calling on President Obama to walk away from negotiations on Iran's nuclear program, after the deadline to reach a long-term deal was extended until next week.
Rubio to Obama: Walk away from Iran talks
"If the president were serious about negotiating a deal that advances our security and protects our allies, such as Israel, he would walk away from the table and impose new sanctions on Iran until the regime comes to the table ready to negotiate seriously," Rubio, who is running for president, said in a statement.
His comments come after Marie Harf, a spokeswoman for the State Department, said the deadline for finalizing a long-term deal was pushed back from June 30 to July 7.
President Obama tried to assuage concerns on Tuesday, pledging to "walk away from the negotiations if, in fact, it is a bad deal."
But Rubio is the latest congressional Republican to voice his doubts, increasing pressure on Obama, as negotiators work to complete a long-term deal that would place new limits on Iran's nuclear program in exchange for sanctions relief.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellMitch McConnellOvernight Healthcare: House loosens pesticide rules to fight Zika | A GOP bill that keeps some of ObamaCare | More proof of pending premium hikes Senate votes to block financial adviser rule Reid defends embattled VA secretary MORE (R-Ky.) on Tuesday urged the administration to pause the talks, writing in a Politico op-ed that "entering into a bad agreement with Iran now would only make those problems worse."
Rubio added that, even without a finalized deal he knows the agreement "is not in the interests of the United States."
Sen. Mark KirkMark KirkVA chief 'deeply' regrets if Disney comment offended vets Senate GOP gears up for fight over Gitmo transfers Duckworth: VA secretary's Disneyland comment 'tone-deaf' MORE (R-Ill.), a lead supporter in Congress of increasing sanctions against Iran, said on Tuesday that the administration "should have the courage to walk away from a bad nuclear deal" if it doesn't meet "minimum standards."
Kirk said those standards include Iran disclosing any nuclear weapons activities, destroying its nuclear program and allowing for anytime inspections of its facilities, including military sites.
But other senators suggested they were willing to accept the extension if it was needed to reach a long-term deal.
Scott Ogden, spokesman for Sen. Angus KingAngus KingHouse, Senate at odds on new authority for cyber war unit House defense bill elevates cyber force, defying White House Overnight Cybersecurity: Obama signs trade secrets bill MORE (Vt.), said the independent senator "supports a short-term extension if that’s what it takes for the United States and its negotiating partners to reach an verifiable agreement with Iran that will leave the world a safer place.”
Negotiators have until July 9 to turn over a finalized deal to lawmakers or face a longer congressional review period. Rubio said Tuesday that, if a deal "ensures that Iran will be a nuclear threshold state, I am confident that a majority of both houses of Congress will join me in opposing it, which will lay the foundation for our next President to undo this disaster.”