Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., blasted Secretary of State John Kerry for the nuclear deal brokered with Iran, asserting the United States’ top diplomat was “fleeced” by the Muslim nation. CNN outlined the details of the deal, made shortly after the two nations reached an agreement earlier this month:
The deal reduces the number of Iranian centrifuges by two-thirds. It places bans on enrichment at key facilities, and limits uranium research and development to the Natanz facility.
The deal caps uranium enrichment at 3.67 percent and limits the stockpile to 300 kg, all for 15 years.
Iran will be required to ship spent fuel out of the country forever, as well as allow inspectors from the [International Atomic Energy Agency] inspectors certain access in perpetuity. Heightened inspections, including tracking uranium mining and monitoring the production and storage of centrifuges, will last for up to 20 years.
The U.S. estimates that the new measures take Iran from being able to assemble its first bomb within 2-3 months, to at least one year from now.
Kerry reached the agreement with Iranian Foreign Minister Javid Zarif, as well as other foreign diplomats. It was endorsed unanimously Monday by the United Nations Security Council, before Congress had a chance to examine the details. This upset members of Congress on both sides of the aisle.
At a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on Capitol Hill Thursday, Corker excoriated Kerry for not getting a strong enough deal. “What I’ve seen our secretary do is, I know he’s developed a tremendous warmth with Iran’s foreign minister, Zarif, and he talks about it often,” Corker said. “But what I think you’ve actually done in these negotiations is codify a perfectly aligned pathway for Iran to get a nuclear weapon just by abiding by this agreement.”
I look at the things that they need to do, the way it’s laid out, and I don’t think you could more perfectly lay it out. From my perspective Mr. Secretary, I’m sorry, not unlike a hotel guest that leaves only with a hotel bathrobe on his back, I believe you’ve been fleeced.
Kerry hit back, noting it was “fantasy, plain and simple” to believe the U.S. could hold out for a stronger deal against the Iranians. “Let me underscore, the alternative to the deal we’ve reached isn’t what we’re seeing ads for on TV,” Kerry told the committee. Still, the former Massachusetts senator admitted the deal wasn’t perfect. “It isn’t a quote better deal, some sort of unicorn arrangement involving Iran’s complete capitulation.” he said.
h/t: Fox News
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