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Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) said Wednesday that if he’s elected president, on his first day in office he’d reject any deal the White House strikes with Iran over its nuclear program if it continues to allow the country to enrich uranium.
In an interview on Hugh Hewitt's radio show, the host asked Walker whether he would “disown” any agreement between the U.S. and Iran that allows for uranium enrichment if he wins the presidency in 2016.
“Absolutely,” Walker said. “On Day 1.”
“The concept of a nuclear Iran is not only problematic for Iran, and certainly for Israel, but it opens the doors,” Walker continued. “I mean, the Saudis are next. You’re going to have plenty of others in the region ... going to want to have a nuclear weapon if the Iranians have a nuclear weapon.”
Walker’s remarks come as negotiations between a U.S.-led coalition and Iran resume Thursday over the country’s nuclear program. Administration officials have said the emerging deal could lift some sanctions on Iran if the country reduces its nuclear centrifuges from 10,000 to 6,000.
“This is something that just escalates right before our eyes,” Walker said. “And the fact that this administration began these discussions essentially conceding that they’re going to allow enrichment to go forward with the Iranians just shows you that they don’t have the same level of concern that I think I and Senator [Marco] Rubio and many others out there have, that a nuclear Iran is a problem for the entire world, not just for Israel.”
A group of 47 Republican senators sent a controversial open letter to Iran earlier this month stating that any nuclear program deal President Obama strikes with Iran could be at risk once he leaves the White House.
Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), the letter's author, has openly solicited signatures from all the potential GOP presidential contenders. At the time, Walker expressed support for the move to challenge Obama’s negotiating authority but stopped short of signing on to the letter.
"Republicans need to ensure that any deal President Obama reaches with Iran receives congressional review,” Walker said at the time. “Unless the White House is prepared to submit the Iran deal it negotiates for congressional approval, the next president should not be bound it. I will continue to express that concern publicly to the President and directly to the American people."
Secretary of State John Kerry is leading a team of international negotiators racing to finish the outlines of a deal before a self-imposed deadline at the end of March.
Republicans are watching the negotiations closely and openly criticizing the president for negotiating what they believe will be a bad deal that preserves Iran’s ability to build a nuclear bomb.
The White House has said any deal it reaches with Iran will not require congressional approval.
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