Guess what dominated the conversation on the Sunday morning political talk shows? If you guessed the coming Denver Broncos and New England Patriots game, you are wrong. The historic nuclear deal with Iran was on everyone's mind. Secretary of State John Kerry toured the big shows to sooth critics who think the U.S. and the five other countries made a mistake Saturday in Gevena. “Everybody has a right to be skeptical because there are indications that there are people in Iran who have wanted to pursue a weapons program," Kerry said on CBS’s Face the Nation. “That's why we don't take anything at face value. That's why you don't take it for granted.” Kerry explained the agreement doesn't mean the U.S. has forgotten who's on the other side of the negotiating table. “There's nothing built on trust,” Kerry said. “You don't have to trust the people you're dealing with, you have to have a mechanism put in place whereby you know exactly what you're getting and you know exactly what they're doing." During an appearance on CNN's State of the Union, Kerry responded directly to Israeli fears about the deal. “Israel is threatened by what is going on in Iran, but I believe that from this day, Israel is safer,” Kerry said. On ABC's This Week, Kerry assured members of Congress who believe the U.S. should increase sanctions instead of dealing diplomatically with Iran that they'll learn to love his hard work. "I believe Congress will recognize that this deal actually has a great deal of benefit in it," Kerry said. He also promised things will get very ugly, very quickly if Iran doesn't comply with the new rules. "The sanctions can be turned back up, [Obama] always has every other option available to him as commander in chief," Kerry said.
On Fox News Sunday, Tennessee Sen. Bob Corker said Congress could draft new legislation in response to Kerry's deal with Iran. "All of us want to see a diplomatic solution here. I think it’s now time for Congress to weigh in because people are very concerned that the interim deal becomes the norm," Corker said. The ranking Republican on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee promised to hold the White House accountable some how. "I’ve crafted legislation to hold the administration and the international community’s feet to the fire over the next six months to ensure that this interim deal is not the norm," he said. Corker also said both houses could seek additional sanctions. "I think there are going to be some people that want to impose additional sanctions, that’s another effort that we may well take part in," he said. Corker explained why he and other believe diplomacy is not the best option with Iran. "I think, from their perspective, they view this administration as weak," Corker said. "I think, from their standpoint, they see this as their window of opportunity to negotiate with an administration that has shown that it really doesn’t have a lot of the intestinal fortitude that other administrations have had."
Ever the reactionary, Rep. Mike Rogers also criticized the deal on State of the Union. “We’ve taken away the one thing that brought them to the table,” the Michigan Republican said. “We have just rewarded very bad and dangerous behavior.” Rogers believes Iranians were starting to break after years of crushing economic sanctions. Now, he says the diplomatic agreement will lead to violence and disruption. “What we are finally starting to do is impact the elite class in Iran. Finally, we were getting to the place where they were ready to bite,” Rogers said. “We may have just encouraged more violence in the future than we’ve stopped.”
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.
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