Sen. Marco Rubio unhappy with extension for Iran nuclear deal

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U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio is unhappy that deadlines for a nuclear deal with Iran have extended to the end of June, after the latest round of talks in Vienna failed to reach a comprehensive agreement.

Negotiations have been “tough,” with “substantial progress,” said Secretary of State John Kerry after announcing the extension this morning. Talks will reconvene in December, he added.

Rubio, a member of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, calls for increased pressure on Iran, as part of a strategy to force them to abandon its nuclear weapons program.

“Iran was only brought to the negotiating table through tough sanctions,” says the Florida Senator in a statement.

“Papering over what appear to be significant differences and once again extending talks with Iran will not achieve the goal of a nuclear-weapon-free Iran,” Rubio added. “During the course of these negotiations, Iran has received billions of dollars in sanctions relief, bolstering its economy.”

Rubio pointed to the regime’s “track record as the world’s foremost state sponsor of terrorism” and abuses of Iranian citizens. As shown by this latest round of negotiations, he says, it also appears that Iran’s leadership remains unwilling to give up their nuclear ambitions.

“None of this will change in the coming months unless we return to the pressure track that originally brought Iran to the table.”

Rubio warns that additional concessions will not bring Iran without nuclear weapons. He also promises to continue working in the Senate to increase pressure on Iran on all fronts – nuclear, terrorism and human rights.

Phil Ammann is a St. Petersburg-based journalist and blogger. With more than three decades of writing, editing and management experience, Phil produced material for both print and online, in addition to founding HRNewsDaily.com. His broad range includes covering news, local government and culture reviews for Patch.com, technical articles and profiles for BetterRVing Magazine and advice columns for a metaphysical website, among others. Phil has served as a contributor and production manager for SaintPetersBlog since 2013. He lives in St. Pete with his wife, visual artist Margaret Juul and can be reached at phil@floridapolitics.com and on Twitter @PhilAmmann.