Howard Dean: Obama should walk away from Iran talks

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Former Gov. Howard Dean (D-Vt.) on Wednesday said the Obama administration should leave Iran at the bargaining table and stop pursuing a deal over its nuclear program.

“Obama is right to try to get a deal,” Dean told a panel on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.” “[But] I’m worried about how these negotiations have gone.”

{mosads}“And I think that Joe is right, probably, to step away from the table,” he added, matching “Morning Joe” host Joe Scarborough’s position on the talks.

Dean’s remarks came after Scarborough argued the U.S. and its allies should suspend negotiations with Tehran for greater leverage later on. He did not expect the former Democratic National Committee chairman to agree with him.

“I think John Kerry and Barack Obama are far, far too eager for a deal with Iran, and could actually get a better deal if they walked away from the table and possibly came back later,” Scarborough said. “Why am I wrong, Howard?”

“I actually think you’re right about this,” Dean replied, prompting an outburst of surprise from Scarborough.

Dean said the U.S. already had the upper hand in talks with Iran. By holding out on finishing them, he said the White House could secure a better deal for U.S. interests.

“The United States is negotiating from a much stronger position than four years ago,” Dean said. 

“These guys are desperate to get rid of the sanctions,” he added, pointing out Tehran’s hunger for immediate economic relief.

The U.S. and its allies hope Iran will slow or stop its quest for nuclear arms if sanctions against it are lifted. Talks between the two sides on Tuesday missed a deadline for a tentative deal’s framework.

Iran has balked over the pace at which it will escape sanctions. The U.S., meanwhile, is concerned over the amount of time it can keep Iran from possibly building an atomic bomb.

The diplomatic wrangling in Lausanne, Switzerland, will now continue until a June 30 deadline for a final agreement. Britain, China, France, Germany and Russia are aiding U.S. efforts at striking an accord. 

Tags Barack Obama Howard Dean Iran
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