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Roby Suggests it’s Time to Walk Away From Iran Negotiations


By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

Monday, July 6, Congresswoman Martha Roby (R-Montgomery) said that the President Barack H. Obama (D) and Secretary of State John Kerry (D), “…are so concerned with settling on a deal, any deal, that they are not willing to walk away from a bad one.”

US Representative Roby said, “With all that’s been going on lately, I’m not sure enough attention is being paid to what I believe is one of the most important issues facing our country right now: the Iran nuclear talks. We could see a proposed agreement emerge out of Switzerland as soon as the next few days….In my column this week, I laid out my concerns and key points that I believe must be included in any deal with Iran. But, Secretary of State John Kerry and his negotiators have already conceded so much on major points like uranium enrichment, economic sanctions relief and inspection access, that I’m not sure a good deal is even possible.”

Rep. Roby continued, “The Obama Administration quietly announced yet another deadline extension to the negotiations last week. The fact that we keep extending the deadline tells you all you need to know about the priorities at play for the Administration. It seems that President Obama and Secretary Kerry are so concerned with settling on a deal, any deal, that they are not willing to walk away from a bad one as deadlines keep passing.”

Rep. Roby said, “Columnist Charles Krauthammer wrote a much more in-depth piece on the subject in The Washington Post. He writes, ‘The devil is not in the details. It’s in the entire conception of the Iran deal, animated by President Obama’s fantastical belief that he, uniquely, could achieve detente with a fanatical Islamist regime whose foundational purpose is to cleanse the Middle East of the poisonous corruption of American power and influence.’” 

The conservative Alabama Congresswoman concluded, “I encourage you to read the rest. It may well be time to walk away from a potentially bad nuclear agreement with Iran. I’ll keep you updated as we learn more.”

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On Monday, Secretary of State John Kerry said in his own statement, “This evening, my foreign minister colleagues are returning here to Vienna. And it is now time – there we go – it’s now time to see whether or not we are able to close an agreement. In many ways, this negotiation has been going on for literally a number of years. And over the past few days, we have in fact made genuine progress. But I want to be absolutely clear with everybody: We are not yet where we need to be on several of the most difficult issues. And the truth is that while I completely agree with Foreign Minister Zarif that we have never been closer, at this point, this negotiation could go either way. If hard choices get made in the next couple of days and made quickly, we could get an agreement this week. But if they are not made, we will not.”

Sec. of State Kerry continued, “So our teams remain very hard at work. In the coming hours and days we’re going to go as hard as we can. We are not going to be negotiating in the press. We’ll be negotiating privately and quietly. And when the time is right, we will all have more to say.”  “If we don’t get a deal, if we don’t have a deal, if there’s absolute intransigence, if there’s an unwillingness to move on the things that are important, President Obama has always said we’ll be prepared to walk away. It’s not what anybody wants. We want to get an agreement.” 

Sec. Kerry continued, “But I’ve said from the moment I became involved in this we want a good agreement, only a good agreement, and we’re not going to shave anywhere at the margins in order just to get an agreement. This is something that the world will analyze, experts everywhere will look at. There are plenty of people in the nonproliferation community, nuclear experts, who will look at this. And none of us are going to be content to do something that can’t pass scrutiny. Most importantly, President Obama has made it clear we have to close off the four pathways to the potential of a bomb. Our Iranian counterparts have been working hard. They’ve put in a lot of time. Everybody is negotiating hard. That’s what makes this difficult.” 

The Secretary of State and former Massachusetts Senator concluded, “But our hope is that we get an agreement that is fair, that gets the job done, and we can hold our heads high and show the world that countries can come together and make things happen. But we’re not there yet. I emphasize that. We have difficult issues still to resolve.”

China wants a deal. They want the Iranian economic sanctions lifted so that they can import Iranian oil. There are negotiations underway for an oil pipeline being built between the two Asian countries.  Russia also wants a deal. They want the sanctions lifted so that they can do billions of dollars in weapons sales with Iran, who badly needs to modernize its armed forces.

Israel is opposed to the negotiations because they fear that under the terms that are being discussed there is little in the deal to prevent Iran from being able to develop nuclear weapons covertly or rapidly whenever they decide to walk away from the agreement. Of course Israel does not have a seat in these negotiations.

Congresswoman Martha Roby represents Alabama’s Second Congressional District.

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(Original reporting by Fox News, the Blaze, and CNN contributed to this report.)

Brandon Moseley is a former reporter at the Alabama Political Reporter.

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