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Key U.S. senator, Corker, 'alarmed' by reports on Iran talks

| Monday, June 15, 2015, 6:51 p.m.

The United States should abandon nuclear talks with Iran if Tehran's negotiators try to cross key “red lines,” Sen. Bob Corker wrote Monday to President Obama.

The Tennessee Republican, who is chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said he's alarmed by recent reports the administration may be backing off its original demand that Iran submit to inspections of its nuclear sites at any time.

The United States and five other countries are trying to cut a deal that would require Iran to limit its nuclear program to civilian purposes in exchange for relief from economic sanctions.

“It is breathtaking to see how far from your original goals and statements the P5+1 have come during negotiations with Iran,” Corker wrote.

“Under your leadership, six of the world's most important nations have allowed an isolated country with roguish policies to move from having its nuclear program dismantled to having its nuclear proliferation managed,” he wrote.

His criticism is the latest signal Congress may be reluctant to approve any deal reached by the June 30 deadline set by negotiators.

Corker said any deal should include unfettered access to all of Iran's nuclear sites and require Iran to disclose any previous efforts to build a nuclear weapon.

A spokesman for Obama's National Security Council said the administration is willing to walk away from the bargaining table if the deal doesn't include vigorous inspections and the ability to restore sanctions if Iran violates the terms of any deal.

“We agree with Senator Corker that no deal is preferable to a bad deal,” NSC spokesman Ned Price said.

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