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Marco Rubio to John Kerry: Release secret Iran deal letters

in Statewide/Top Headlines by

U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio issued a joint announcement along with Illinois U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk addressed to Secretary of State John Kerry, asking the nation’s top diplomat to release letters he sent to foreign officials regarding Iran sanctions as part of the recently proposed nuclear weapons deal.

The statement imploring Kerry to release the correspondence seemed to suggest their contents may include assurances that U.S. punitive measures would not seriously disrupt international trade.

“These letters appear to reassure these foreign governments that their companies may not be impacted if sanctions are reimposed in response to Iranian violations of the agreement,” read the senators’ call. “While Administration officials have claimed that this is not the case, we think it is important for the American public to be able to read your assurances to foreign governments for themselves as their elected representatives review this deal in the coming weeks.”

Kerry wrote to several foreign ministers in the runup to the Iranian nuclear deal currently before the Senate for ratification, including the governments of France, Great Britain, Germany, and China.

Rubio and Kirk argued those diplomatic exchanges should be made available for public scrutiny, despite customary national security exemptions for disclosure of such discussions.

Rubio hinted such a disclosure could help secure votes in favor of the deal.

“Given the conflicting interpretations hinted at by the deal’s various stakeholders, it would also ease congressional review of the deal if you were to receive assurances from the other members of the P5+1 about the guidance they will provide to companies about the inherent risks of investing in Iran due to Iran’s ongoing support for terrorism and use of its financial system for illicit activities and the potential for sanctions to snap back if Iran violates the nuclear agreement,” the letter concluded.

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Ryan Ray writes about campaigns and public policy in Tampa Bay and across the state. A contributor to FloridaPolitics.com and before that, The Florida Squeeze, he covers the Legislature as a member of the Florida Capitol Press Corps and has worked as a staffer on several campaigns. He can be reached at ryan@floridapolitics.com.

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