(CNSNews.com) – Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), a member of the Senate Armed Services and Select Intelligence Committees, told attendees at an event on Friday in Washington, D.C., that the United States shouldn’t be cooperating with Iran even as the Obama administration works feverishly to come to an agreement with the totalitarian regime to try to deter its quest for a nuclear weapon.
“I don’t think that you cooperate with the government of Iran,” Cotton, an Iraq war veteran, said at the Center for a New American Security event focused on U.S. foreign policy. “You don’t cooperate with the world’s leading sponsor of state terrorism. You don’t cooperate with a government with the blood of hundreds of Americans on its hands.
“You confront it in every effort it makes to challenge the West,” Cotton said.
On Tuesday, the State Department announced it has extended the June 30 deadline to July 7.
Cotton said Iran has a hand in much of the chaos in the Middle East, including supporting proxy groups in Syria, Lebanon, Yemen and Iraq.
Some others participating on the panel, including former U.S. Ambassador Nicholas Burns, praised the Obama administration’s efforts to find a diplomatic solution to Iran’s nuclear ambitions, but Cotton disagreed.
“I don’t think that we should cooperate with Iran,” Cotton said. “We should confront them, and the ultimate policy of the United States government should be regime change in Iran.
“We should have stood with the Iranian people in 2009,” Cotton said of the uprising that year by millions of Iranians who wanted to replace the Islamic state with a democratic state. “And we should stand with them again when they inevitably rise up against a totalitarian dictatorship.”
The U.S. and the other countries involved in the negotiations – Britain, China, France, Russia, the U.S. and Germany or P5+1 members of the U.N. Security Council – and Iran have decided to extend the deadline, which was originally set for Tuesday.
Cotton quoted Israeli President Benjamin Netanyahu at the event, who said the current agreement, or what’s known of it, “does not block the path to the bomb. It paves the path to the bomb.”
As CNSNews.com previously reported, on March 9, in an "Open Letter to the Leaders of the Islamic Republic of Iran," Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) and 46 other Republican senators explained that Congress must ratify international agreements negotiated by the president: "Anything not approved by Congress is a mere executive agreement," the letter said.
"The point we're making to Iran's leaders...is that if Congress doesn't approve a deal, Congress won't accept a deal, now or in the future," Cotton said on March 10/
But the Obama White House was furious: Vice President Joe Biden slammed Cotton and the 46 other Republicans for trying to undermine a sitting president in the midst of sensitive negotiations. Biden called it beneath the dignity of the Senate.
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