GOP’s Cotton: Bombing Iran nuke sites could be done in ‘several days'

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Sen. Tom CottonTom CottonCruz offers bill to weaken labor board's power Overnight Finance: GOP offers measure to repeal arbitration rule | Feds fine Exxon M for Russian sanctions violations | Senate panel sticks with 2017 funding levels for budget | Trump tax nominee advances | Trump unveils first reg agenda Iran deal faces uncertain future under Trump MORE (R-Ark.), a vocal critic of the Obama administration’s interim nuclear agreement with Iran, said military action against the country’s nuclear infrastructure could be carried out in a matter of days.

“Even if military action were required — and we certainly should have kept the credible threat of military force on the table throughout, which always improves diplomacy — the president is trying to make you think it would be 150,000 heavy mechanized troops on the ground in the Middle East again as we saw in Iraq, and that’s simply not the case,” he said on Tuesday during an interview with the Family Research Council’s Washington Watch radio program first reported by BuzzFeed.

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Cotton said the campaign “would be something more along the lines of what President Clinton did in December 1998 during Operation Desert Fox. Several days air and naval bombing against Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction facilities for exactly the same kind of behavior.”

“For interfering with weapons inspectors and for disobeying Security Council resolutions, all we’re asking is that the president simply be as tough as in the protection of America’s national security interest as Bill ClintonBill ClintonOPINION | Dems need a fresh face for 2020: Try Kamala Harris Trump approval rating sets new low in second quarter: Gallup OPINION | How Democrats stole the nation's lower federal courts MORE was,” said Cotton, a military veteran and freshman member of the Senate Armed Services Committee.

Under the terms of the framework that was worked out last week, the U.S. and European allies would gradually lift economic sanctions on Iran in return for limitations on material and technology that could be used to make an atomic weapon. International inspectors would also be able to closely monitor Iran’s program.

Negotiators have until the end of June to hammer out a final bargain.

Cotton, who has vowed to do everything in his power to stop the accord from becoming a reality, ripped the interim guidelines. 

“There is no deal. There is no framework. There is only a list of dangerous U.S. concessions,” he said, adding that if the final agreement “would be a very dangerous setback for America” and its allies.

Cotton also ripped the administration's "wishful thinking" argument that Iran would stick to the tenets of the agreement when Tehran has a history of evading international rules and fomenting instability in the region.

“It’s thinking that’s characterized by a child’s wish for pony,” he said.