Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., pre-emptively declared Monday on a conservative talk radio that any senator who votes for the historic Iran nuclear deal, which was announced early Tuesday morning, will face political peril if it lets Iran build a nuclear weapon. The deal will lift several economic sanctions on Iran in exchange for a suspension of Iran's nuclear program for the next 10 years with regulation from international authorities.
"Any congressman or senator who votes for this deal is voting to put their political fate in the hands of the ayatollah ... because if Iran gets a nuclear weapon in a year, or five years, or 10 years, the American people will want to know who supported the deal that gave them that nuclear weapon," said Cotton, 38, on the right-wing "Hugh Hewitt Show."
Cotton, an Army veteran of Iraq and Afghanistan who is the youngest member of the Senate after taking office in January, previously sent an open letter to Iran suggesting that President Barack Obama was not capable of forming a lasting deal with Iran and that any future president would reverse the lifting of economic sanctions. The letter had 47 fellow signatories and was widely criticized as undermining presidential authority in foreign affairs.
The full text of Cotton's response to the Iran deal this week can be found below:
"I suspect we’ll take up consideration promptly in the Senate, Hugh, but you should also think about the political consequences of this vote, because I can assure you senators and congressmen are thinking about it. This is not just any old vote. This is not like a vote for, say, higher taxes, or Democrats, you know, you wanted a little bit more money coming into the government, you’re going to face an attack ad or two next year, and then it’s all going to be water under the bridge. Any congressman or senator who votes for this deal is voting to put their political fate in the hands of the ayatollah for the rest of his or her life in the public spotlight, because if Iran gets a nuclear weapon in a year, or five years, or 10 years, the American people will want to know who supported the deal that gave them that nuclear weapon. And they will hold that person accountable. So that’s what every Democrat congressman and senator is going to be thinking about when they present this very dangerous deal to the Congress that they reach in Vienna."
Hear the audio clip below: