Hours after Sen. Pat Toomey and former Gov. Tom Ridge called on the Obama Administration to re-impose sanctions on Iran, Democratic Senate candidate Joe Sestak again threw his full support behind the Iran nuclear deal.
The two Republican heavyweights accused Secretary of State John Kerry of living in a “delusion” for telling the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that Iran is in full compliance with the deal, and called on Pres. Obama to suspend more than $100 billion in sanctions relief.
On Tuesday, former three-star Navy Admiral Sestak acknowledged that Iran had violated U.N. Resolution 1929 by test-firing ballistic missiles last fall and urged Pres. Obama to apply appropriate sanctions for the violation.
However, Sestak called it a separate issue from the nuclear deal and criticized his Republican opponent for “exploiting this violation to undermine another agreement – an agreement we have that increases American and Israeli security.”
“Iran has met its end of the deal,” Sestak said. “For us not to meet our end, or word, of the deal to unfreeze assets will harm American and Israeli security.”
In September, Toomey voted against the nuclear accord between the U.S. and Iran – along with the United Kingdom, China, Germany, Russia and the European Union, which is designed to prevent Iran from acquiring and maintaining materials and equipment needed to create nuclear weapons.
Sestak said the nuclear deal is already a success, to a certain extent, with nuclear centrifuges being dismantled and placed into storage ahead of schedule and the U.S. shipping out 25,000 pounds of nuclear material by the end of 2015.
Iran no longer has the ability to create a nuclear bomb within 60 days, with assembly now likely to take over a year, Sestak said. If sanctions relief for Iran is suspended, the only option will be to send our military to another war in the Middle East, Sestak said.
Though he is an ardent supporter of the Iran nuclear deal, Sestak emphasized that the U.S. should not take them on their word.
“Ronald Reagan said trust and verify. I say verify before you trust,” Sestak stated. “I trust the Iranians as far as I can throw them.”