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Schumer explains opposition to Iran deal in first public remarks

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Veronica Volk
/
WXXI News
Sen. Charles Schumer called the Iranian regime, "ugly," "dictatorial," and "theocratic" during an event in Greece, NY.

Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) says leaders need to go back to the table to renegotiate the Iran deal, making his first public remarks about his decision not to support the agreement during a visit Monday to the Rochester area.

Schumer says the Obama administration's nuclear agreement with Iran has too many flaws. He says a 24-day delay for inspections doesn't offer complete security against nuclear development in Iran, and he's concerned about categorizing the country as a nuclear threshold state in ten years.

"If you believe the Iranian regime may change, then you say, 'Ok, it's a gamble.' But if you think they're going to be the same horrible regime they are now, you don't want the United States and the other nations of the world putting a stamp of approval on Iran being a nuclear threshold state," said Schumer.

The deal currently promises Iran relief from sanctions that have devastated the country’s economy, as long as it curbs its nuclear program and submits to inspections for a decade. The senator says he thinks the regime might use that money to cause political problems in the Middle East instead.

Schumer says he does not believe this position will threaten his leadership role within the Democratic Party.

The senator says renegotiating would be difficult, but he believes sanctions are strong enough to keep Iran invested in brokering a deal.