Iran will sign no deal on nuclear weapons with the U.S. and other powers unless it is to their advantage, Alabama Sen. Richard Shelby said Monday.
Speaking to hundreds in a Washington Update breakfast at the Von Braun Center, Shelby reiterated a position by Senate Republicans that any deal Obama makes with Iran will last only until the president leaves office in January 2017.
"The administration's chasing a deal," Shelby told the audience. "They're desperate for a deal. They want to say they've got a deal with Iran. There's a lot of skepticism politically, including me. I don't believe Iran is going to sign any deal or cut any deal that's not to their advantage."
Shelby, along with fellow Alabama Sen. Jeff Session, was among a group of 47 Senate Republicans to sign a letter to the Iranian government stating that any deal with Obama would last only until the president's term ends.
Congress wants to sign off on any deal with Iran, Shelby said.
"If they cut a deal, which we'll see in the next few days or hours, will it be a worthy deal?" Shelby said. "Obviously, the president doesn't think it would be so worthy to bring to the Congress of the United States like a treaty.
"He wants to it government to government - executive to executive, which doesn't bind the Congress and doesn't bind the American people. It's like an executive order."
This world will be a dangerous world – more dangerous than it is today.
The U.S. and five other powers negotiating with Iran have set a Tuesday deadline for the deal to be completed. Those talks, ongoing in Switzerland, have not been finalized.
The ramifications of a nuclear Iran would dramatically change the dynamic in the Middle East, Shelby said.
"I don't know how much faith you have but that would set off an arm's race like you've never seen in the Middle East," Shelby said. "If they get nuclear weapons, which clearly they're determined to get, Saudi Arabia will have to have them, Egypt will have to have them. It never stops.
"This world will be a dangerous world - more dangerous than it is today. I hope that deal doesn't come through. If it does, Congress is going to speak on it and I believe we will turn it down. Thank God (Republicans) are in control of the Senate and the House."