Corker asks Obama administration to clarify U.S. stance on Iran sanctions
"I do believe the sanctions that we've put in place have created this moment," Corker said. "And I do know that the administration, in fairness, opposed some of those sanctions. And we had to sort of push the administration to the table. And yet, I will say the administration now is trying to take advantage of those. So I hope that together through intelligent testimony and thoughtfulness, I hope we'll move ahead in a fashion that shows a real strategy, that calls Congress to help push these negotiations along and push to ensure that what Iran does is real, it's not just talk."
The upcoming negotiations between Iran and the international community, which begin in mid-October, aim to disband Iran's nuclear weapons program. Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Wendy Sherman said in the event Iran fails to agree to end its nuclear weapons program, the Obama administration is prepared to support additional sanctions.
"We do believe it would helpful for you all to at least allow this meeting to happen on the 15th and 16th of October before moving forward to consider those new sanctions," Sherman said. "I want to be able to say to Iran...if you do not come on the 15th and 16th with that substantive plan that is real and verifiable, our Congress will take action and we will support them to do so."
Corker also noted the sanctions placed against Iran are partly due to Iran's stance on terrorism. He said in order for the sanctions to be lifted, Iran must also renounce terrorism.
"So I know that you're trying to negotiate some relief relative to the sanctions," Corker said. "But the fact is the way the sanctions law reads, they've got to not only dismantle their nuclear program, but they also have to renounce terrorism. And I just wonder how those negotiations are going simultaneously to these others."