Senator Joni Ernst says she suspects Iran aims to gain a nuclear weapon and she has doubts about the framework President Obama last weekend called the “best bet” to contain and restrain Iran.
“We are approaching a very bad deal if the president continues down this path,” Ernst says.
The framework for a deal emerged last week after months of negotiations among leaders from Iran, the U.S. and key world powers. Iran wants international sanctions lifted that have crippled its economy. Critics of the deal say the Iranian government would use the economic windfall to prop up Syria’s dictator and finance terrorism. Ernst says Iran already has ballistic missiles and she suspects Iran’s ultimate goal is to get a nuclear bomb.
“I don’t believe Iran should be developing any nuclear capabilities,” Ernst says. “I don’t believe that what they’re doing is for a peaceful purpose.”
Ernst says an Iran armed with nuclear weapons not only would be a threat to allies in the Middle East, it would be a threat to the United States.
Iowa’s other U.S. Senator — Chuck Grassley — expressed skepticism about the deal on Friday, but Grassley said he would withhold a final judgement on any deal until it’s completed and he read it. Grassley and Ernst both say the president should submit any deal to congress for approval.
(Reporting by Pat Powers, KQWC, Webster City; additional reporting and editing by Radio Iowa’s O. Kay Henderson)