The Cable

Top Republican Senator Warns White House of ‘Breathtaking’ Nuclear Concessions

A moderate Republican now warns the United States is giving up too much in nuclear talks with Iran.


Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) has long been one of the more moderate voices within the Republican Party when it comes to the nuclear negotiations of President Barack Obama’s administration with Iran. With the June 30 deadline for a deal drawing closer, Corker is changing his tune — and potentially making it even harder for the White House to sell an eventual agreement to a skeptical Capitol Hill.

In a scathing letter to the White House, Corker blasts the administration for offering concessions to Tehran. He writes that he is especially concerned about reports that U.S. negotiators are backing away from an original demand that Iran submit to inspections of its nuclear sites at any time.

The Tennessee Republican didn’t sign a March letter penned by Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) to politicians in Iran, attempting to undermine Obama’s negotiating position. At the time, he said the letter didn’t help negotiators achieve a deal Congress could approve.

Now, he suggests blowing up the talks might be the best option.

“If Iran tries to cross these few remaining red lines, I would urge you to please pause and consider rethinking the entire approach,” Corker writes in the letter, which was sent yesterday.

“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.”

You can read the full text of the letter here.

Corker doesn’t pull support for the deal. But the fact that someone who has been open to an agreement is now compelled to warn the United States is making too many concessions is hardly a good sign that more-skeptical members of Congress would approve it.

Photo credit: Brendan Smialowski/Getty Images

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