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GOP Senator Tom Cotton vows to block final Iran agreement

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
William [Bill] Kristol, the founder of the Emergency Committee for Israel

US Republican Senator Tom Cotton, known for his close links to a neoconservative group, says he will leave no stone unturned in order to sabotage a final nuclear agreement between the P5+1 and Iran.

The P5+1 group – the US, Britain, France, China, Russia and Germany – reached an outline of a potentially historic agreement with Iran this week over Tehran’s civilian nuclear work that would lift all international sanctions imposed against the Islamic Republic in exchange for certain steps Tehran will take with regard to its nuclear program.

"I'm going to do everything I can to stop these terms from becoming a final deal," Cotton told CNN on Friday, criticizing President Barack Obama for pursuing a diplomatic agreement with Iran.

According to reports, Cotton received one million dollars from the Emergency Committee for Israel, a neoconservative group associated with Israel lobby, just before the last US election. The group was founded in mid-2010 by William [Bill] Kristol, a US neoconservative political analyst.

US Senator Tom Cotton ( (L) is handed a paper from Senator Joe Manchin to a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on Capitol Hill on March 18, 2015 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)

He said the Republican-dominated Congress could frustrate the Obama administration’s efforts to strike a comprehensive agreement with Iran by June 30 by preventing the removal of Congress-mandated sanctions, imposing new sanctions and pushing for legislation allowing lawmakers to review any nuclear accord reached with the Islamic Republic.

At the end of eight days of intense nuclear negotiations in the Swiss city of Lausanne on Thursday, Iran and the P5+1 states issued a joint statement, saying that no Iranian nuclear facility will be shut down and that Iran will continue with its nuclear activities in all its nuclear facilities including Natanz, Fordow, Isfahan and Arak.

"It was not a framework [understanding], it was just a detailed list of American concessions that is going to put Iran on the path to a nuclear weapon, whether they followed the terms...or they violate the terms," Cotton said.

"Iran may not accept them in the first place because Iran has continued to string along our negotiators," added the freshman senator from Arkansas.

EU's foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini (2L), Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif (3L) and US Secretary of State John Kerry arrive for a statement at the Swiss Federal Institutes of Technology (EPFL) in Lausanne, Switzerland, April 2, 2015. (AFP photo)

Cotton suggested that instead of making a deal with Iran, the United States should take a military action against the Islamic Republic to halt its nuclear activities.   

"The alternative to this deal is a better deal with continued pressure through the credible threat of military force and more sanctions, and, if necessary, having to take military action," he said.

"There are grave reservations about the path the president is taking us down, on both sides of the aisle.”

In a bizarre move last month, a group of 47 Republican senators sent an open letter to Iran’s leaders, warning that whatever agreement reached with the Obama administration would be a “mere executive agreement” and that Congress could ultimately walk away from any deal with Tehran upon review.

The White House has denounced the GOP letter as an “unprecedented” and “calculated” attempt to interfere with the bIran nuclear talks.

Tom Cotton claimed that he had drafted the letter. However, independent analysts say the letter was actually written by William Kristol, his financier.


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