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Cardin: Best option is 'strong agreement' with Iran

Sen. Ben Cardin, the top-ranking Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said Sunday that the best outcome for international talks with Iran is a "strong agreement" over that country's nuclear program that includes thorough inspections of military sites and covert activities.

"The best option is a strong agreement, but Congress will [have] independent oversight," said the Maryland Democrat, who helped draft the terms of the legislation that will allow lawmakers to review a deal, if one emerges.

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"We'll be able to see whether in fact we have open inspections, whether the sanctions relief is commensurate with the progress that Iran has made to give up their nuclear weapon program," he said.

Cardin was speaking on ABC's "This Week." World leaders are negotiating with Iran in Vienna ahead of a July 7 deadline.

Several Republican lawmakers expressed skepticism Sunday over how the talks are progressing.

"It was actually both the fact of sanctions in 2013 and the threat of even tighter sanctions that drove them to the negotiating table," said Sen. Tom Cotton of Arkansas, speaking on "This Week" before Cardin.

"That's why we shouldn't have let up those sanctions. We should have insisted on the very simple terms that President Obama himself proposed at the outset of this process," he said.

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