Sen. Marco Rubio: Russia and China Should Not Dictate U.S. Foreign Policy

‘The Republican response is going to be very strong’

RUBIO: “I think Republican response is going to be very strong. I think the question is whether we can attract enough our Democratic colleagues to see this deal for what it is. Which is we have now made a third-rate autocracy equivalent to a world power, a threshold nuclear power, a country that can now, in about less than 5 years, begin to receive arms imports once again. And one of the leading in the sponsors of terrorism in the world will now have billions of dollars available to them to use for things like the sponsorship of terrorism. So our hope -- and by the way, we read these documents, there’s still not a lot of detail about the inspections. Are inspectors going to be allowed to go in anywhere, at any time to look at what Iran is doing? So, my hope is that we’re going to be able to convince enough of our Democratic colleagues to join us in this effort, without them we can’t stop it.”

MACCALLUM: “Well, the president obviously has a term that is ending. Many of these senators are going to be running for reelection. How powerful an argument is that? Hillary Clinton has already signaled that she is supportive of this deal. And many think that that might indicate that we are going to see everybody else fall in line as well on the Democratic side.”

RUBIO: “I hope not. This is a major issue of importance, this is not some domestic issue that we just come back next year and repeal. This is an issue that has long-standing consequences. If Iran becomes a nuclear weapons power, as I anticipate they will, over the next ten years, everyone who supported it, or voted for it, or allowed it to go forward, will have to answer to history for that, including many of my Democratic colleagues, and most certainly this president. So my hope is that we can convince Democrats that – that they don't want to be part of something like that and we can get their votes to stop this.”

MACCALLUM: “Yes. What do you make of the argument that, you know, continuing the sanctions and making them worse. A lot of people believe that was working the sanctions. And if we ramp them up it was going to – that China and Russia would never be on board with that plan. So basically China and Russia backed us into this situation where we couldn’t increase sanctions. Do you agree with that?”

RUBIO: “First of all, I don’t agree with that. And second of all, I don’t think the foreign policy of the United States should be determined by what Russia and China are willing to do. So ultimately for us for us it is what's in the national security interests of the United States. The Iranians are building long-range missiles, which aren’t even touched in this agreement. Why do you build intercontinental ballistic missiles? There’s only one reason you build them and that’s to put a nuclear warhead. And you know where they’re going to be aimed? They’re going to be aimed at the United States. Because they know that if they can create that capacity we can do anything to them because they now have a nuclear deterrent on us. And so that's what we should have been worried about, not whether the Chinese or Russians wanted to act as a responsible country… For him, this whole deal, you know what it is? It is an exhibit in his presidential library. That’s what he wants to be able to do, is say, ‘This is what I achieved, peace in our time, this big deal with Iran.’ Look at the press coverage of this issue. Some of it’s been glowing as some sort of historic deal. It’s ridiculous; a third-rate autocracy has now been given equality with a world power, the United States of America. They are now a nuclear threshold country on a deal signed with the United States and other global powers. That’s why they’re cheering in the streets in Tehran. That’s why they’re celebrating, you don’t see celebrations in America, you don’t see any celebrations in Jerusalem or Tel Aviv, because they know this is a one-sided deal.”

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