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Corker Opens Debate on Iran Nuclear Deal

Opposes Implementation of President’s Deal with Iran

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, reiterated his opposition to the Iran nuclear deal today when opening Senate debate on a resolution to disapprove of the agreement. Corker was the author of the law establishing the process for congressional review and a vote on the nuclear deal.

“I oppose its implementation,” said Corker. “Rather than ending it, this agreement allows the industrialization of the nuclear program of the world's leading state sponsor of terror, and it does so with our approval. Now, that is a large step from where we began these negotiations.”

He also warned about the consequences of providing Iran with $100 billion in sanctions relief, which amounts to 25 percent of Iran’s economy. 

“The president has even said surely…some of this is going to be used to sponsor terrorism,” said Corker. “And when we push back on violations of the agreement, [Iran] is going to be able to say, because most of the sanctions will be lifted at that moment, ‘We will just resume our nuclear program.’ So instead of us having leverage over them, they’re going to have leverage over us.”

Acknowledging statements from some Democrats who have suggested they may block a vote on the joint resolution of disapproval, Senator Corker reminded his colleagues that 98 senators voted to give the House and Senate the opportunity to review and vote on the nuclear deal.

“The American people deserve to know where we stand on this consequential agreement,” said Corker. “I don't know how we can be in a place where we have said to our constituents that we want to review and vote on this agreement, and then come up with a process where some now say, ‘No, we're going to filibuster it. We really don't want people to vote.’ It's my hope over the course of the next several days that cooler heads will prevail, and we will all be able to express ourselves with a vote on the deal itself.”

The Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act of 2015, which passed the Senate 98 to 1 and the House of Representatives 400 to 25 and was signed into law by the president. The law prevents the president from waiving or suspending congressional sanctions on Iran before Congress has the opportunity to review and vote on the agreement. Without the law, there would have been no limitation on the president’s use of waivers to suspend the sanctions Congress put in place; no requirement that Congress receive full details of any agreement with Iran; no review period for Congress to examine and weigh in on an agreement; no requirement that the president regularly certify Iran is complying; and no way for Congress to rapidly reimpose sanctions should Iran cheat.