Washington, 20 Jun – US Senator Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, chided on Friday the Obama administration over comments by Secretary of State John Kerry on Tuesday that the US would be prepared to accept concessions regarding full disclosure of Iran’s past attempts to develop a nuclear weapon, including permitting sanctions relief before those issues are fully resolved.
“Last year, the administration assured our committee that the questions and concerns regarding Iran’s previous weaponization efforts would be resolved before a final agreement is reached and any sanctions relieved,” said Corker.
“Secretary Kerry’s comments this week and efforts to walk them back have only raised further doubts about the administration holding firm on demands that Iran come clean about past military aspects of its nuclear program.”
“The administration should walk away and make good on their promise that no deal is better than a bad deal if there is anything less than full disclosure up front from Iran and the ability to conduct inspections anytime, anywhere.”
State Department spokesperson John Kirby appeared to reiterate similar concessions regarding demands that Iran reveal past military aspects of its nuclear program, Corker said. Kirby also suggested sanctions relief could occur “as” Iran begins meeting those obligations after a final agreement.
Last year in testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, US lead negotiator Wendy Sherman assured the committee that possible military dimensions of Iran’s nuclear program would be resolved “before” a final agreement and “all the sanctions…will remain in effect until those concerns are addressed”.
Iran and the P5+1 states – Britain, China, France, Russia, the US and Germany – have a self-imposed deadline of 30 June to reach an agreement limiting Iran’s nuclear program in exchange for relief from economic sanctions.