Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellSenate GOP eyes Oct. 26 for confirming Barrett to Supreme Court GOP noncommittal about vote on potential Trump-Pelosi coronavirus deal Overnight Health Care: Trump takes criticism of Fauci to a new level | GOP Health Committee chairman defends Fauci | Birx confronted Pence about Atlas MORE (R-Ky.) is pressing the Obama administration to pause its nuclear talks with Iran, fearful that rushing to strike a deal will undermine American leverage.

McConnell urged the administration in an op-ed published in Politico to ease off the gas pedal, echoing senior Senate Republicans who have voiced misgivings about the negotiations' trajectory in recent days.


He wrote that President Obama and Secretary of State John KerryJohn Forbes KerrySeinfeld's Jason Alexander compares Trump dance video to iconic Elaine dance This time, for Democrats, Catholics matter President's job approval is surest sign Trump will lose reelection MORE should “take a step back and re-examine the point of the talks in the first place.”

The Senate leader argues a pause in the negotiations would allow time for the international powers known as the P5+1 to reach consensus on the basic parameters of a deal.

Specifically, McConnell says such a deal should establish “complete agreement” on inspections of Iran’s nuclear facilities that should be allowed “anytime, anywhere;” require Iran to disclose its previous nuclear research; and phase in any sanctions relief.

“Entering into a bad agreement with Iran now would only make those problems worse,” McConnell writes. “And yet, that seems exactly what the Obama Administration intends to do. It seems intent on muddling toward an unacceptable deal with Iran instead of pausing for a thoughtful reexamination of the P5+1’s bottom line.”

He warns the current course of the negotiations will allow Iran to demand additional concessions on verifications and disclosures related to its nuclear research.

“I hope the Obama Administration will make the right decision now and press pause before heading further toward a bad deal with Iran,” he writes, pledging Congress will review any deal under the Iran Nuclear Review Act passed earlier this year.

Other senior Senate Republicans have warned the Obama administration not to rush into a deal.

“What’s going on is John Kerry and Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaJacobin Editor-at-Large: Valerie Jarrett's support for Citigroup executive's mayoral campaign 'microcosm' of Democrats' relationship with Wall Street Obama to stump for Biden in Philadelphia On India, the US must think bigger MORE are desperate. They’re desperate to the point where they continue to concede and concede and concede,” Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman John McCainJohn Sidney McCainBiden and Schumer face battles with left if Democrats win big Trump digs in on conspiracy theory over bin Laden raid At 97, Bob Dole is still fighting for his country MORE (R-Ariz.) said Tuesday in an interview with radio host Mike Broomhead on 550 KFYI in Phoenix.

“We are on the verge of an international crisis because I believe John Kerry will agree to anything,” he added.

The State Department announced this week that talks would be extended to July 7, after negotiators failed to meet a June 30 deadline.

The talks have been complicated by recent statements by Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, rejecting critical demands by Western powers, such as the phasing in of sanctions relief.

Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob CorkerRobert (Bob) Phillips CorkerCornyn: Relationships with Trump like 'women who get married and think they're going to change their spouse' Trump excoriates Sasse over leaked audio Has Congress captured Russia policy? MORE (R-Tenn.) has cautioned the administration not to give away too much to meet an arbitrary deadline.

“I fear that the administration may again provide the green light for a slow and measured nuclear development program that does little to deter Iran from laying the foundation for a weapons program after it reaps the benefits of sanctions relief,” Corker said last week.

“I believe we would be so much better off if we just continued to negotiate and not rush to some artificial deadline on June 30 and try to shortcut some of these very important issues,” he added.

New Jersey Sen. Bob MenendezRobert (Bob) MenendezWatchdog confirms State Dept. canceled award for journalist who criticized Trump Kasie Hunt to host lead-in show for MSNBC's 'Morning Joe' Senators ask for removal of tariffs on EU food, wine, spirits: report MORE, a senior Democratic voice on foreign policy matters, also raised concern about the state of talks.

He wants the administration to insist on the ability to slap sanctions back on Iran if it violates the terms of any accord.

“For me, the trend lines of the Iran talks are deeply worrying, our red lines have turned into green lights, leaving snapback as one of the few tools available to demand Iranian compliance with an agreement,” he said in a statement Thursday.

President Obama on Tuesday said he is prepared to “walk away” from a bad deal. He said the agreement must cut off Iran’s path to a nuclear weapon and allow international inspections.

“If we can’t verify that, if the inspections regime is inadequate, then we’re not going to get a deal,” he said.