Corker: US could ‘deal away’ lran leverage

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Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) on Sunday expressed concern that the U.S. was preparing to “deal away” its leverage in negotiations over the Iranian nuclear program by easing sanctions on the country.

“The [United Nations] Security Council resolutions call for a complete stoppage [of Iran’s nuclear program]…so you can imagine that Congress, that put these sanctions in place with the administration kicking and screaming all the way, pushing back against these sanctions, very concerned that we’re going to deal away the leverage that we have where we finally have Iran willing to sit down and talk about these issues,” Corker said on NBC’s "Meet the Press."

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“A partial agreement leads us down the same path we went down with North Korea, where just to get people to act right…you continue to reduce sanctions,” he continued.

“So, again, a lot of concerns about the approach. A lot of us want to see it resolved diplomatically. We know the sanctions got us here, and we’re worried we’re dealing away our leverage.”

The P5+1 negotiations in Geneva on the Iranian nuclear program fell apart over the weekend after the French said a proposal didn’t sufficiently curb the country’s nuclear capabilities.

Secretary of State John Kerry said Sunday the U.S. was in no hurry to come to an agreement, arguing that “no deal is better than a bad deal.”

Opponents of a deal, including many Republicans and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, say easing the economic sanctions against Iran is too great of a concession for only a “minor” reduction in Iran’s uranium enrichment.

“I think the president and I share the goal of making sure that Iran doesn’t have nuclear weapons,” Netanyahu said. “Where we might have a difference of opinion is on how to prevent it.”