June 17, 2015

Corker on Fox News: Secretary of State John Kerry Letting U.S. Demands in Iran Nuclear Negotiations Erode

Says Iran’s Refusal to Accept Anytime, Anywhere Inspections a “Deal Breaker”

WASHINGTON – Today in an appearance on Fox News’ “America’s Newsroom,” U.S. Senator Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said Secretary of State John Kerry is letting previous U.S. demands in Iran nuclear negotiations “erode” as a June 30 deadline nears for concluding a final agreement with Iran.

“[I]f we can negotiate a strong deal that keeps Iran from getting a nuclear weapon, that's the best for us and for the world. But what's happening right now…is John Kerry and his team are letting this deal erode away as they try to close it,” said Corker. “Two of the issues that from day one have been so important are…anytime, anywhere inspections and also understanding what were the possible military dimensions of their [nuclear] program prior to 2003.”

Corker called Iran’s refusal to accept intrusive inspections of its nuclear facilities, including military sites, as part of a final agreement a “deal breaker”.

“[I]t is a deal breaker based on what the administration has said from day one. Again, what we are beginning to hear is that the administration is weakening. They are caving to these demands,” said Corker. “So these few remaining red lines are very important, and the one that I think people on both sides of the aisle will be concerned about is if we don't end up having anytime, anywhere inspections. As you’ve mentioned, the Ayatollah has said that’s not going to be the case. So again, I'm just pushing to try to make sure that they [the negotiators] hold where they have been.”

In a letter to President Barack Obama on Monday, Senator Corker expressed alarm over recent reports that the administration might accept further restrictions on inspections and less than full disclosure of possible military dimensions of Iran’s nuclear program if a final agreement is reached.

On Tuesday, Secretary Kerry also stated that the administration is “not fixated” and would not insist Iran disclose past military aspects of its nuclear program.

Responding to Secretary Kerry’s statement, Senator Corker said, “It is exactly these kinds of statements from the secretary that cause me to have the concerns I have regarding the direction of the nuclear negotiations.” Corker added, “At every juncture, the secretary and his aides seem way too willing to accommodate Iran. From day one, all involved have emphasized the significance of Iran providing a full accounting of its previous weaponization activities, and by not holding firm on this issue, it appears yet another redline will be crossed. The stakes for our country and the world are enormously high, and I again urge the administration not to be afraid to walk away if Iran insists on crossing remaining redlines that are essential to a verifiable agreement.”