McCain, Graham and Ayotte release statement on Iran

U.S. Sens. John McCain (R-Ariz.), Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.) recently released a statement about the Obama administration's diplomatic discussions with Iran.

The senators referred to Iran's recent diplomatic maneuvers as a charm offensive and that the U.S. must approach diplomacy with Iran with open eyes.

"We support the willingness of the Obama administration to test the credibility of the Iranian regime's diplomatic overtures," McCain, Graham and Ayotte said. "However, we are deeply skeptical about the real motivations behind Iran's charm offensive. We need to approach the current diplomatic initiative with eyes wide open, and we must not allow Iran to use negotiations as a tool of delay and deception. A real negotiation does not mean that the diplomats talk while the Iranians enrich."

The senators urged Secretary of State John Kerry to make it clear to Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif that the U.S. will not allow Iran to acquire the world's most dangerous weapon. In addition to kind words, the senators said the U.S. must see tangible, transparent and verifiable steps by Iran that it will end its pursuit of nuclear weapons capability.

McCain, Graham and Ayotte also asked Kerry to make it clear that the issue of nuclear weapons was not the only U.S. concern.

"We are also opposed to the Iranian regime's efforts to destabilize the Middle East - including its support for terrorist organizations and attacks across the region that have killed Americans; its commitment to the destruction of Israel; its attempts to assassinate Israeli and Arab officials; its oppression of the Iranian people; its threat to friendly Arab governments; its development of increasingly capable ballistic missiles; and its unwavering military assistance to the Assad regime, which has slaughtered more than 110,000 men, women, and children," McCain, Graham and Ayotte said.