U.S. Sen. Bob Corker of Tennessee told a national TV audience Sunday that he was worried the Obama administration could "deal away" its leverage in negotiations with Iran by prematurely lifting sanctions without halting the Middle Eastern nation's push for a nuclear weapon.
Appearing on NBC's "Meet the Press," Corker, the ranking Republican on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said the lifting of sanctions as part of a partial agreement with Iran creates "a lot of concerns about the approach," his office said in a news release.
"The [U.N.] security council resolutions call for a complete stoppage [of Iran's enrichment activities]…so you can imagine that Congress -- that put these sanctions in place with the administration kicking and screaming all the way, pushing back against these sanctions -- [is] very concerned that we're going to deal away the leverage that we have where we finally have Iran willing to sit down and talk about these issues," Corker said.
"A partial agreement leads us down the same path we went down with North Korea, where just to get people to act right…you continue to reduce sanctions. So, again, a lot of concerns about the approach. A lot of us want to see it resolved diplomatically. We know the sanctions got us here, and we're worried we're dealing away our leverage."