United States Senator Ben Sasse is leery about the framework for a nuclear deal with Iran announced by the Obama Administration.
“I think it’s really dangerous. I’ve not tried to make any headlines on this and I mean to say this humbly, but it’s really hard to figure out what the president is doing,” Sasse tells Nebraska Radio Network in a telephone interview. “We have had a bipartisan consensus of Republicans and Democrats in this country for 36 years that a nuclear Iran is a horrible idea.”
Sasse says the Obama Administration seems to have conceded Iran will eventually develop nuclear weapons and is now just trying to manage its nuclear weapon development.
“Iran with a nuclear weapon will mean the end of the nuclear nonproliferation treaty,” according to Sasse. “It would spawn an arms race in the Middle East where Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Turkey would all be trying to get the bomb. And I believe if you have nuclear weapons in the Middle East they’ll ultimately will be used and we’ll regret the negotiating from a position of weakness that we see right now from the administration.”
A final agreement has not been reached. Negotiations with Iran began 12 years ago. Along with the United States and Iran, Britain, France, Germany, Russia, and China have been involved in the talks.
The framework agreement gives the parties three more months to hammer out the details and negotiate technical points.
President Obama has hailed the agreement as a “historic understanding.”
Sasse says the framework falls far short.
“This is going to get Iran to a nuclear threshold state over the next decade,” Sasse says. “It makes no sense and Republicans and Democrats, for 36 years, have been united in believing the U.S. should never allow Iran to become nuclear and that appears to be what the president is now willing to accept.”
Sasse says Iran now has 19,000 centrifuges and it appears the framework would allow the country to maintain 6,000. Sasse says Iran should have none.
Sasse is also critical that the framework offers no discipline for Iran conducting nuclear military research illegally, that it allows Iran to convert an underground research facility into a nuclear research center, and that it gives Iran too much control over inspections of its nuclear facilities.