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by
Bridget Johnson

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March 18, 2014 - 12:15 pm
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Eighty-three senators banded together today to demand that President Obama meet core principles, including clear consequences, in any final nuclear agreement with Iran.

The letter was spearheaded by Sens. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.), Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), Mark Kirk (R-Ill.), Chris Coons (D-Del.) and Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.).

The sheer number of senators on board serves as a warning call to the administration that they have the support to override a presidential veto on tougher Iran sanctions.

Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), who held up a sanctions vote at the request of the White House, was not among the signatories.

“For twenty years, Congress has consistently focused attention on the threat of the Iranian program and taken the lead in initiating sanctions.  Congress has repeatedly stated that preventing an Iranian nuclear capability is a key goal of U.S. foreign policy.  Nine separate pieces of sanctions legislation have passed Congress since 1996.  We appreciate your continued commitment to preventing Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons and your efforts to implement the sanctions, which isolated and pressured the regime into negotiations,” states the letter.

“We believe that Congress has a continuing role to play to improve the prospects for success in the talks with Iran.  As these negotiations proceed, we will outline our views about the essential goals of a final agreement with Iran, continue oversight of the interim agreement and the existing sanctions regime, and signal the consequences that will follow if Iran rejects an agreement that brings to an end its nuclear weapons ambitions.”

They requested that the administration insist on these “core principles” in a final Iran deal:

– We believe that Iran has no inherent right to enrichment under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

– We believe any agreement must dismantle Iran’s nuclear weapons program and prevent it from ever having a uranium or plutonium path to a nuclear bomb.

– We believe Iran has no reason to have an enrichment facility like Fordow, that the regime must give up its heavy water reactor at Arak, and that it must fully explain the questionable activities in which it engaged at Parchin and other facilities.

– We believe Iran must fully resolve concerns addressed in United Nations Security Council resolutions, including any military dimensions of its nuclear program.

– We believe Iran must also submit to a long-term and intrusive inspection and verification regime to achieve the goal described in the Joint Plan of Action of “reaffirm[ing] that under no circumstances will Iran ever seek or develop any nuclear weapons.”– Finally, we believe Iran must not be allowed during these negotiations to circumvent sanctions.  We view this period as one fraught with the danger of companies and countries looking to improve their commercial position in Tehran, especially given recent reports of rising purchases of Iranian oil.  Iran cannot be allowed to be open for business. As you have stated, we must come down on those who are undermining sanctions “like a ton of bricks.”

The letter makes clear that they expect Obama to come before Congress with a final agreement, since it would roll back sanctions approved by the legislative branch.

“Should negotiations fail or Iran violate the Joint Plan of Action, Congress will need to ensure that the legislative authority exists to rapidly and dramatically expand sanctions.  We need to work together now to prepare for either eventuality,” they wrote.

“Most importantly, Iran must clearly understand the consequences of failing to reach an acceptable final agreement.  We must signal unequivocally to Iran that rejecting negotiations and continuing its nuclear weapon program will lead to much more dramatic sanctions, including further limitations on Iran’s exports of crude oil and petroleum products.”

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Top Rated Comments   
Just love this, more bipartisan support to oppose B.O. and this time in huge veto proof numbers.

Seems he may have his pen and his phone, but he Senate and the House seem to have the numbers and now the guts to do what is right to oppose this affirmative action, unvetted, chicago thug, unpatriotic, irresponsible failure.
26 weeks ago
26 weeks ago Link To Comment
OMG I saw this story on ABC News!! (just kidding!)

Great work, as always, Bridget.
26 weeks ago
26 weeks ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (8)
All Comments   (8)
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This is nothing more than political cover. Obama's not going to sign a 'final agreement' and he has no intention of doing so. The 'interim' agreement isn't worth the paper its written on. Obama's purpose in arranging this 'understanding' with the Mullah's is to buy the Iranians time to get nukes. During his Senate confirmation hearings, SecDef Hagel inadvertently let slip Obama's Iranian policy; 'containment'.

But that's a joke too because 'containment' won't stop the primary consequence of Iran getting nukes. Which is nuclear proliferation into unstable, third world regimes and other future jihadist states. Once that happens, its just a matter of time till terrorists get them too.

Both Kerry and Obama are on record specifying what the consequences of Iran getting the bomb will be, so they KNOW all of this. It's just a dog and pony show for the rubes.

Obama wants Islamic terrorists to get their hands on nukes because a terrorist nuclear attack on a major US city will be the perfect excuse for declaring near permanent Martial Law. That's Obama and the left's end game because under martial law, Obama or a Pres. Clinton can legally suspend key provisions of the Constitution.
26 weeks ago
26 weeks ago Link To Comment
'bout damn time the senate did something useful.
26 weeks ago
26 weeks ago Link To Comment
Bridget - Thank you for doing what you can to keep the Iran threat in the news.

Unfortunately, this letter is a weak and pathetic gesture. Signing letters, telling AIPAC how they love Israel and saying "I support the troops" are cost free steps for gutless politicians to look like they are taking courageous stands.

The sad fact is that too many Democratic senators were unwilling to push for a vote on Kirk/Menendez's previous binding Iran sanctions legislation. It's also sad and true that Paul was one of only two Republican senators to refuse to support that legislation and that has not hurt him in the party. Finally, the leaders of AIPAC, that supposed pitbull of Jewish influence, are constitutionally incapable of holding Obama accountable for telling them he “has Israel’s back” but actually stabbing Israel in the back.
26 weeks ago
26 weeks ago Link To Comment
Thank you Bridget for keeping up with this extremely important story. Indeed, I think it's the *most* important story of Obama's second term -- there are far greater ramifications from this than whomever owns Crimea. That entire region is barely able to pay its bills.

The Iranians on the other hands are perfectly willing to starve their own people to pay for the latest greatest nukes they can. And upon getting them, they'll waste no time in using them either explicitly or otherwise.

I'd never thought I'd say this: but thank G-d for Congress!!
26 weeks ago
26 weeks ago Link To Comment
Just love this, more bipartisan support to oppose B.O. and this time in huge veto proof numbers.

Seems he may have his pen and his phone, but he Senate and the House seem to have the numbers and now the guts to do what is right to oppose this affirmative action, unvetted, chicago thug, unpatriotic, irresponsible failure.
26 weeks ago
26 weeks ago Link To Comment
Its not bipartisanship....

Senate dems want Iran to have a nuke just as much as BO...they know two things

1) Its a done deal, just like with North Korea...we will say "never" until they do, and then we'll say "well, whatever"

2) BO is a lame duck, so they can throw him under the bus...."I was against this all along but we cant go to war over it now, the President didnt listen to me, so he blew it"

With Clinton and Kerry as "statesmen" and a dome full of commies on the Left Asile, we expect what?
26 weeks ago
26 weeks ago Link To Comment
Eighty-three senators banded together today to demand that President Obama meet core principles...

Those 83 idiots need to understand that President Obama is meeting core principles - his.
26 weeks ago
26 weeks ago Link To Comment
OMG I saw this story on ABC News!! (just kidding!)

Great work, as always, Bridget.
26 weeks ago
26 weeks ago Link To Comment
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