- The Washington Times - Monday, June 1, 2015

Members of the Iran task force, a committee of former government officials and nuclear specialists that helps advise Congress, warned that the nuclear deal President Obama hopes to nail down this summer will bolster Tehran’s influence in the Middle East.

“On every level, this is a disaster,” former Sen. Joe Lieberman said in a briefing Monday. “What we seem to be talking about now is a serial suspension of most of the economic sanctions in return for not the elimination or end of the Iranian nuclear weapons program, but a kind of dialing-down temporarily.”

Former Sen. Evan Bayh seconded the analysis of the Connecticut Democrat turned independent, but also acknowledged that the situation is challenging for the negotiating parties.

“One of the reasons it’s so difficult is because you’ve got to deal with the essential nature of the Iranian regime,” the Indiana Democrat said. “Are they willing to essentially change themselves? You have to be a little skeptical about that.”

Mr. Bayh said there just may not be an alternative to the deal on the table, which would lift Iranian economic sanctions in exchange for an essential freeze of Iran’s military nuclear programs for the next decade.

“You do encounter situations in life where there just are not great alternatives. This may be one of them,” Mr. Bayh said.

But, he added, “I think the status quo is better than a bad deal.”

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