Senator Asks Obama to Reconsider Iran Policy

Senator Asks Obama to  Reconsider Iran PolicySenator Asks Obama to  Reconsider Iran Policy

The chairman of the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee made a plea to President Barack Obama to reconsider the "breathtaking" compromises he is making in nuclear talks with Iran.

"Please pause and consider rethinking the entire approach. Walking away from a bad deal at this point would take courage, but it would be the best thing for the United States, the region and the world," Senator Bob Corker was quoted by the Hill as asking Obama in a letter on Monday.

"It is breathtaking to see how far from your original goals and statements the P5+1 have come during negotiations with Iran," Corker said in the letter, referring to the six major powers (the US, Britain, China, France, Russia and Germany), which are in talks with Iran to reach a settlement on a long-running dispute over its nuclear program.

"I understand the dynamics that can develop when a group believes they are close to a deal and how your aides may view this as a major legacy accomplishment. However, as you know, the stakes here are incredibly high and the security implications of these negotiations are difficult to overstate."

Corker said he was "alarmed" by reports that the US "may be considering allowing the deal to erode further," including over how much access the UN nuclear watchdog should have to Iranian nuclear sites.

Iranian officials have on many occasions made it clear that under any final deal Iran would not allow UN inspectors unlimited access to its facilities to avoid the risk of exposing national secrets.

"Regarding inspections, surely your administration and those involved in the negotiations will adhere to an 'anytime, anywhere' standard. No bureaucratic committees. No moving the ball. No sites off limits," Corker said.

He also expressed concern envoys might not push to have Tehran disclose its past nuclear activities. Iran denies its nuclear program may have any military objectives, saying the work is only for peaceful purposes.

"By not requiring Iran to explicitly disclose their previous (alleged) weaponization efforts on the front end of any final agreement, we will likely never know, in a timely fashion, the full extent of Iranian capabilities."

Iran is cooperating with the IAEA's probe into what it calls possible military dimensions of Iran's nuclear program.

Last month, Obama signed into law a bill authored by Corker that gives Congress 30 days to review any final deal, during which he could not lift congressional sanctions on Iran.

If Congress votes to reject the deal, the administration would have 12 days to veto the resolution of disapproval. Congress would then have 10 extra days to try to override the veto.