Republican presidential hopeful Carly Fiorina said on Sunday that, regardless of how Congress votes on the Iran nuclear agreement, the rest of the world is already committed to implementing the deal.
"Even if Congress votes this deal down, and I sincerely hope they will, the rest of the world has moved on in terms of the money flow," Fiorina said on NBC's "Meet the Press." "[China and Russia] have wanted, for a very long time, to open the Iranian economy. They're in there. So are the Europeans.”
But Fiorina added that it is not too late for the U.S. to back out of its obligations to provide sanctions relief to Iran and declare new terms for the deal. "The new deal will be this: the United States of America will make it as difficult as possible for you to move money around the global financial system unless and until you open every military and every nuclear facility to real, anytime, anywhere inspections," Fiorina said she would tell the Iranians if elected president.
The current nuclear agreement between Iran, the U.S., the U.K., France, China, Russia and Germany provides for sweeping sanctions relief in return for Iran dismantling much of its nuclear infrastructure and committing to an unprecedented inspections regime. While declared nuclear facilities will be under 24/7 surveillance, inspectors must request access to undeclared facilities suspected of hosting illegal nuclear activity. The longest the Iranians can forestall inspections is 24 days.
Fiorina’s demands that Iran provide unfettered access to its military sites would likely be a nonstarter. And if the U.S. were to renege on its promise to provide sanctions relief to Iran, the Iranians would have little incentive to follow through with their obligations to significantly downsize their nuclear program and allow increased access to inspectors.
Though already approved in the United Nations Security Council, the nuclear accord faces a final hurdle in the U.S. Congress, where lawmakers will vote on whether to strip President Barack Obama of his ability to temporarily waive some sanctions on Iran. Obama needs one-third of either the House or the Senate to back the nuclear deal. With a vote expected in the Senate during the second week of September, the president currently has the promised support from 26 of the 34 Democrats he needs to protect the agreement.