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Rubio: Keep Heat On Iran On Nuclear Talks

Oct 15, 2013 | Press Releases

Rubio: Keep Heat On Iran On Nuclear Talks
By Senator Marco Rubio
USA Today
October 15, 2013
http://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2013/10/15/marco-rubio-iran-nuclear-talks/2983891/

To successfully negotiate with someone, you need to understand and be honest about who is sitting across the table from you.

From Russia and Syria, to North Korea and now Iran, this has been a failure of the Obama administration’s foreign policy.

We would all like to wake up tomorrow to the news that Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has decided to abandon his nuclear weapon ambitions. But especially on matters of national security, we should not be guided simply by our hopes. We must be guided by reality.

The reality is that no matter how much Iran’s political leaders say they do not have plans to build a nuclear weapon, their actions say something else. They have dramatically increased their ability to enrich uranium, and they continue to spend millions of dollars on their nuclear program and on developing long-range missiles.

We hear all this talk about how Iran’s new president, Hassan Rouhani, may be a reformer, but he is also someone who has bragged about how he used negotiations to buy time to increase Iran’s enrichment capacity. And in the end, even if he is a reformer, he is not the ultimate decision maker. The ultimate decision maker is Iran’s supreme leader. And so far, no one has accused him of being a reformer.

The main reason why Iran’s leaders are making noises about negotiating with the world now is because, over the last few years, the United States and the European Union have imposed significant sanctions on Iran. Those sanctions are starting to hurt the regime.

It has made it more difficult for them to export terrorism around the world. It has hurt their effort to continue to buy parts for their nuclear and missile programs. The sanctions are also causing many Iranians to ask why their government is going to such great lengths to develop these capabilities.

As a result of all this, their plan now is very simple: they are trying to see if they can get these sanctions suspended or lifted, without having to give up too much. Then, at some point in the future, when the world has moved on to some other issues, they can quickly take the final steps to build a bomb.

That is why, as talks between the so-called P5+1 group of nations and Iran are about to restart, we are at a critical juncture. We should meet with Iran and see if they are serious, but we cannot put at risk the hard-earned leverage that took so long to assemble.

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