- Associated Press - Wednesday, September 9, 2015

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) - New Hampshire’s two U.S. senators stood with their parties on Wednesday - and against each other - on the deal aimed at preventing Iran from developing a nuclear weapon in exchange for relief from international economic sanctions.

Republican Kelly Ayotte told The Associated Press that the deal has a number of “fundamental flaws,” while Democrat Jeanne Shaheen argued on the Senate floor that it is the “best available option.” Republicans are pushing for a vote against the deal later this week, although enough Democrats support the deal to block one.

Ayotte, who has long been skeptical of the deal, said President Barack Obama’s administration gave too many concessions during the negotiations. The U.S. negotiated the deal alongside Russia, China, France, Germany and Britain. Ayotte said she is troubled that lawmakers cannot examine “side agreements” negotiated between the U.N. agency that inspects nuclear facilities and Iran.

Ayotte also said the deal inappropriately allows Iran to delay inspections and doesn’t require it to dismantle enough of the infrastructure that could aid in building a nuclear weapon. Sanctions relief could make it easier for Iran to finance terrorism, she said.

“The bottom line, for me, is I don’t believe this agreement is sufficient to protect our national security interests,” Ayotte said.

Shaheen, speaking on the Senate floor, said the agreement will effectively block Iran’s ability to obtain a nuclear weapon for more than a decade. She argued the deal is the most credible, non-military option available. Backing out of the deal would cause the U.S. to lose credibility among the rest of the negotiating countries, she said.

“I believe the choice is clear: Either we recognize that this agreement is the best available option, or we chase a fantasy agreement on our own as international sanctions collapse, Iran’s nuclear program continues unchecked, and our options for stopping it narrow,” Shaheen said.

Sign up for Daily Newsletters

Manage Newsletters

Copyright © 2020 The Washington Times, LLC.

Please read our comment policy before commenting.


Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide