Republican Senator of Florida and 2016 presidential candidate Marco Rubio criticized the continuing negotiations and final work of a deal between the United States and Iran.
Speaking at the National Review Institute Ideas Summit in the nation’s capital, Rubio warned listeners about Iran’s negotiating tactics and President Barack Obama’s shaming of Republicans who have been opposed to the deal.
“The argument the White House uses is if you’re not in favor of this deal, you are in favor of war. I would argue that a bad deal almost guarantees war, because Israel is not going to abide by any deal that they believe puts them and their existence in danger,” Rubio said.
Just a day earlier, Rubio and freshman Republican Sen. Tom Cotton of Arkansas both upset Senate Republicans by threatening to undo the entire Iran negotiation bill with two separate amendments – one that would give Congress move oversight into the final negotiations and a second that would force Iran to recognize Israel as a legitimate state, The Washington Post reported.
Other Republican Senators, who have closely worked with Democrats on a bipartisan agenda to accomplish a final deal, were less than pleased with Rubio and Cotton’s actions.
“I sense the context of this debate has just changed,” said Republican Sen. Bob Corker of Tennessee.
Another veteran Republican Senator, John Cornyn of Texas, agreed with Sen. Corker’s assessment.
“Right now we’re a little balled up. It’s going to take a little while for everybody to cool down, keep talking and come up with a path forward,” he said.
Rubio also warned that Iran would “exploit any loophole in the deal they can find,” in regards to the relaxing of economic sanctions that have crippled Iran’s economy over the last decade.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Republican of Kentucky, will continue to debate the controversial amendments with his colleagues when lawmakers return to Capitol Hill on Monday.