Schumer Concerned European Partners Will Flaunt Iran Nuclear Inspections
New anti-Iran deal darling Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) admitted he was concerned the European parties to the Iran deal would do little to ensure a sound inspections regime out of business interests, the New York Post reported on Tuesday.
“You know, the Europeans, once they have these economic relationships with Iran — which we know they are very eager to have — are going to be reluctant to ask for an inspection, so I was troubled by that,” said Schumer following a speech at New York University, according to the Post.
Already, a German trade delegation traveled to Tehran (apparently before the ink on the deal even dried), as well as European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini and French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius, who said in the Iranian capital: “We are two great, independent countries.” France’s agriculture minister will lead a trade delegation to Iran in September. According to U.K. Telegraph, British BP CEO Bob Dudley spoke of the importance of the Iranian market in a recent earnings briefing.
Schumer has rejected the Obama administration’s Iran deal struck between negotiators from the U.S. and Iran, but also the U.K., France, Germany, Russia and China — all of which have signaled interest in resuming economic ties with the second largest country in the Middle East with some of the world’s most expansive reserves of crude and natural gas.
Schumer also questioned the viability of the inspections regime, saying detecting nuclear isotopes would not be enough to prove or disprove Iran’s working on nuclear weapons.
The Democratic senator — who was primed to become the next Senate minority leader — said he would be attempting to persuade his colleagues to join his opposition to the deal, though the Post noted he has done little work on that publicly since releasing a statement detailing his rejection on Thursday night.
But despite his opposition to a crucial Obama foreign policy piece, some in the Senate believe it will not alienate his support base.
“I don’t think it has any impact on the [Democratic] leadership race,” said Senate Minority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL) according to The Hill, adding, “I always expected him to be against the agreement. This didn’t come as a major shock or surprise.”