Udall: Iran 'can't play for time solely' in nuclear negotiations

Udall is part of a bipartisan delegation of members of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence. Traveling with him are Sens. Barbara MikulskiBarbara MikulskiMikulski on Warren flap: Different rules apply to women It's not just Trump's Cabinet but Congress lacks diversity The Hill's 12:30 Report MORE (D-Md.), Richard BurrRichard BurrTop Senate Dem: ‘Grave concerns’ about independence of Russia probe Trump's pick for intel chief to get hearing next week A guide to the committees: Senate MORE (R-N.C.) and Mark WarnerMark WarnerTop Senate Dem: ‘Grave concerns’ about independence of Russia probe Dems worry too much about upsetting others. That needs to stop. Washington-area lawmakers request GAO report on DC Metro MORE (D-Va.).

The group met with Israeli, Egyptian and Palestinian Authority officials, including Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak.

Udall called the two candidates vying for Egypt's presidency next month — a Muslim Brotherhood candidate and deposed leader Hosni Mubarak's last prime minister — “fairly polarizing figures.” He said his visit made it clear that while the Mubarak-era ties with the United States are still valued, “people don't want us to put our thumb on the scale.”

Udall added that Israel has reached out to the Brotherhood to “send out feelers and make the case that the treaty has actually been beneficial to not just Egypt and Israel but to the region.” He made the case that the Suez canal is a “huge” revenue source for Egypt and could be adversely affected by any worsening of the relationship with Israel.

Regarding the violence in Syria, Udall said officials in the region are as unsure about the next steps as they are in the United States. 

“I didn't hear an easy way forward,” Udall said. “There's a lot of concern about what's happening to the people of Syria at the top of everybody's list, there's also concern still about arming the opposition whom no one really seems to know, even in the region. I do think the regional leadership has to take the lead.”