- The Washington Times - Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Sen. Tom Cotton, along with several of his Republican Senate colleagues, urged President Trump and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson Wednesday not to recertify the Iran nuclear deal.

“The law Congress passed to hold Iran accountable requires the secretary of state and president to certify that this deal is in vital national security interest of the United States,” Mr. Cotton said on Fox News. “I simply wouldn’t certify that if I was the secretary of state or president.”

The Arkansas Republican has been a vocal critic of the Iran nuclear deal, which must be certified every three months by the secretary of state as necessary to national security interests. The beginning of a new three-month cycle arrives next week.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and President Trump must both agree it is vital to security interests.

“This is not in the vital national security interest. It undermines those interests,” Mr. Cotton said. “That certification is coming due on Monday and I suggest to the president and secretary of state that they not make it.”

Mr. Cotton and fellow GOP Sens. Ted Cruz, David Perdue and Marco Rubio sent a letter to Mr. Tillerson as well, saying Iran has not only violated the terms of the agreement, but also progressed towards nuclearization.

“Iran has engaged in persistent violations in an attempt to weaken the agreement’s strictures and gain advantages beyond the agreement’s existing loopholes as it progresses toward an industrial nuclear-weapons capacity,” the senators stated in their letter.

They cited several violations, including Iran’s refusal to allow international inspectors to access their research and military facilities, and exceeding limits on water stocks needed to create a plutonium pathway for nuclear weapons.

The recertification is due Monday. The Trump administration previously granted a 90-day recertification in April, but both Mr. Trump and Mr. Tillerson have been highly critical of the deal.

• Sally Persons can be reached at spersons@washingtontimes.com.

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