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Former U.S. Senator Lugar Says Iran Deal Is 'Vital'

McConnell Center

Former U.S. Sen. Richard Lugar (R-IN) – a longtime leader on nuclear disarmament – says he’s worried about the spread of nuclear weapons throughout the Middle East if Congress kills the nuclear agreement with Iran. 

Critics of the Iran nuclear agreement – including Indiana Sen. Dan Coats (R-IN) – say the period it covers is too short. 

Coats, for instance, says by allowing Iran to continue any form of nuclear research for the next 10-15 years, the country will be significantly closer to developing a weapon by the time the deal expires.  But Senator Lugar says a 15-year delay of weapons development is vital.

“We’re at the threshold now of a situation in which Israel is in great peril but so is Saudi Arabia, so are other Middle Eastern nations that, in the event this deal does not go through, may demand the ability to create their own nuclear power,” Lugar says.

And Lugar says rejecting the deal isn’t so simple – he notes that Russia, China, Germany, France and the U.K. are part of the agreement too.

“The thought that somehow or other this is not good enough and therefore the United States rejects it and that therefore the rest of these counties would go along with this, it seems to me is soundly incorrect.  They’ve indicated they will not,” Lugar says.  “This is the deal.”

Brandon Smith is excited to be working for public radio in Indiana. He has previously worked in public radio as a reporter and anchor in mid-Missouri for KBIA Radio out of Columbia. Prior to that, he worked for WSPY Radio in Plano, Illinois as a show host, reporter, producer and anchor. His first job in radio was in another state capitol, in Jefferson City, Missouri, as a reporter for three radio stations around Missouri. Brandon graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia with a Bachelor of Journalism in 2010, with minors in political science and history. He was born and raised in Chicago.
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