September 27th, 2009
11:15 AM ET
5 years ago

Corker: 'Table couldn't be set better' for talks with Iran


WASHINGTON (CNN) – Senators on both sides of the aisles are expressing their support for tough economic sanctions against Iran as the United States prepares to join five other global powers in nuclear talks with the Middle Eastern country.

Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tennessee, said Sunday on CNN’s State of the Union, that the revelation late last week by the United States of a previously undisclosed Iranian nuclear facility set the stage for tough and possibly productive discussions between the U.S., Iran, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Russia, and China set to begin October 1.

“I think the P-5-plus-1 meeting that is set up this week is the right venue,” the Tennessee Republican told CNN Chief National Correspondent John King, “I think the table couldn't be set better for that meeting. . . . I think we should be very tough on them.

“The fact is, the world community is now, I think, more united than ever to confront Iran. And this is information we've had for some time. I think making it public this week and Iran actually coming forward and saying that it was true certainly turns the table. And I think we have a tremendous opportunity for the first time in a long time for a breakthrough.”

Corker was agreeing with Sen. Evan Bayh, D-Indiana, a member of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, who also said Sunday the United States should take a tough approach with Iran.

On the eve of talks, Bayh advocated for “more sticks, frankly, at this moment than carrots” in dealing with Iran.

“We've tried a variety of inducements to the Iranians over the years,” Bayh told King, “Frankly, none of that has worked. What they respect more than anything is strength. They're contemptuous of weakness . . . So I think it needs to be mainly stiff economic and financial sanctions, with the possibility of other options lurking in the background if they don't change their behavior. That gives us the best chance of getting them to give up their [nuclear] program.”

Bayh also said that for sanctions to be effective, the cooperation and the participations of Russian and China was necessary. China, in particular, could play an important role, Bayh said, because it supplies some of the refined gasoline Iran needs. And the Indiana Democrat suggested that placing an embargo on Iranian oil exports might be an effective means to imposing economic sanctions on the country for its illicit nuclear program.

Both lawmakers also said military options should remain on the table but Corker noted that moving militarily to take out Iran’s nuclear capability could quickly unify a country that has become divided after this summer’s protests over Iran’s elections.


Filed under: Bob Corker • Evan Bayh • Iran • State of the Union
soundoff (31 Responses)
  1. analytical

    Gates is being diplomatic. He is working for Obama now

    Obama is doing a very bad job....firstly there was not an analytical approach to the healthcare issue.
    No specifics even until his last speech. he was only trying to put a political victory ...to say that he complete something...when actually he is leading the country the wrong way...no plan to contain or reduce costs...just talk
    the war of necessity...Afghanistan is in a bad shape
    Social Security is in shambles
    banks are still closing
    the esconomy will recover ...the question is whether it will be back in better shape...no...he is putting the country in deeper deficits.
    What a disgrace

    September 27, 2009 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  2. victim of republican greed

    Diplomacy is a nasty word to a right wingnut. They are so upset that we did not invade Iran. Obama has done so much in 9 months to get the leaders of the world on our side.

    September 27, 2009 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  3. Howard

    Wait a minute, during the campaign Obama was just going to sit down and talk with Iran and all these problems were going to go away. Can't he just go there and apologize for a bunch of stuff and then they will like us?? I am not sure who was more naive, him or the people who voted for him. Now, there is 2nd nuclear site plus missiles that can reach Europe. Maybe he needs to go do a fist bump with Adminijad.

    September 27, 2009 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  4. NO SURPRISE HERE

    The party of no is not going tp give any credit even if credit is earned to Obama. Do not forget Corker beat Harold Ford in Tenn. by running an advertisement with a white woman and black man to incite the already racial bias in Tenn.

    September 27, 2009 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  5. james

    The world community is now more united. Yes! That's what change looks like. I agree with RG that for the first time in a generation, Americans are beginning to see what diplomacy looks and feels like. It's much better than sending soldiers off to die for nothing. It also costs us a whole lot less money. And, we don't have to be afraid every time our President and VP speak to us like children by telling us how fearful we should be. Now we'll get to see a respectful President that acts like a powerful leader and not like a bully. And, we'll get what we want. Pay attention folks, this is good history in the making.

    September 27, 2009 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  6. Firozali A. Mulla

    A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
    The most miserable pettifogging in the world is that of a man in the court of his own conscience. -Henry Ward Beecher, preacher and writer (1813-1887)”
    “Mr. BROWN now can you please stop reprinting. we have to go and give her the GPS please enough of waste of paint no result, no one buys this crape, no one has money, I want to see Tom and Jerry, Fleet Street is closed, I do not see DOW or FTSE. No idea who took this. Read on and stop this now.” Yes, your worship, the teeth, sorry the teeth, has toffee stuck in them
    A priest, a doctor, and an engineer were waiting one morning for a particularly slow group of golfers.
    Engineer: What's with these guys? We must have been waiting for 15 minutes!
    Doctor: I don't know but I've never seen such ineptitude!
    Priest: Hey, here comes the greenskeeper. Let's have a word with him.
    Priest: Hi George. Say George, what's with that group ahead of us? They're rather slow aren't they?
    George: Oh yes. That's a group of blind fire fighters. They lost their sight while saving our club house last year. So we let them play here anytime free of charge!
    (silence)
    Priest: That's so sad. I think I will say a special prayer for them tonight.
    Doctor: Good idea. And I'm going to contact my ophthalmologist buddy and see if there's anything he can do for them.
    Engineer: Why can't these guys play at night?
    The boat race: US vs. Japan
    The Americans and the Japanese decided to engage in a competitive boat race. Both teams practiced hard and long to reach their peak performance.
    On the big day they felt ready. The Japanese won by a mile. Afterward, the American team was discouraged by the loss. Morale sagged. Corporate management decided that the reason for the crushing defeat had to be found, so a consulting firm was hired to investigate the problem and recommended corrective action.
    The consultant's finding: The Japanese team had eight people rowing and one person steering; the American team had one person rowing and eight people steering.
    After a year of study and millions spent analyzing the problem, the consultant firm concluded that too many people were steering and not enough were rowing on the American team.
    So as race day neared again the following year, the American team's management structure was completely reorganized. The new structure: four steering managers, three area steering managers and a new performance review system for the person rowing the boat to provide work incentive.
    The next year, the Japanese won by two miles. Humiliated, the American corporation laid off the rower for poor performance and gave the managers a bonus for discovering the problem.
    An optimist sees the glass as half full.
    A pessimist sees the glass as half empty.
    An engineer sees a glass which is twice as big as it needs to be.
    I thank you
    Firozali A. Mulla

    September 27, 2009 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  7. Blue

    Corker makes my skin crawl. He is from TN and I'm from TN and he is totally out of touch. I would not believe anything that came out of his mouth. He did beat Harold Ford, Jr, but I doubt if it were a fair election.

    September 27, 2009 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  8. vic nashville , Tn

    Because of Obama presidency world is coming together

    Time for republicans to learn from Obama

    September 27, 2009 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  9. A Democrat of 51 years who has finally got smart to their foolishness.

    When they talk with Iran they better remember all the terriost attacks againest the U.S. an their allies over the past forty years. This country will be the beginning of the third World War.

    September 27, 2009 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  10. Jesse

    It pains me to read comments from Howard and analytical.
    I'm sorry Howard and analytical, but I'm going to have to disagree with you...
    – Obama has outlined already in an Address to Congress a healthcare plan that seems to work very well in theory, I would suggest that you watch the speech again, with an Obama speech, you have to listen to EVERY SINGLE LINE because he works tirelessly on what to say. I also understand that in theory and in practice are two entirely different things, but this is exactly why he is calling on Congress to work on a bill that will work in practice.
    – Obama has brought back Paygo, so you just need patience, the country has gone through some crazy deficits this past decade and I still think we're going to uncover things that were held from the American Public that will help explain the condition we're in.
    -I'm sorry Howard, but we cannot just trust Ahmadinejad, the man may have rigged his election so that he is back in power.
    -Also, Obama has changed the missile defense system in the Czech Republic and Poland(? I can't remember the other country), so instead of having a few HUGE missles to defend the U.S, we can have many that can protect Europe and Russia. This decision was made based on the recent intelligence that Iran has been making more short to medium range missiles, not the huge ones that can reach the U.S that President George W. Bush was trying to protect us from

    with all of that being said, I agree wholeheartedly with James, I am a 20 year old College Student who spent my whole adolescence under President Bush. I don't think the media can conceive how badly the Bush Administration has ruined the image of the GOP party for my generation

    September 27, 2009 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  11. Fed Up

    France will not do a darn thing. They will turn tail and run as soon as Iran says boo.

    September 27, 2009 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  12. jules sand-perkins

    I wouldn't offer Iran one more carrot, and I'm not so sure about economic sanctions.
    One can speak very softly indeed if he carries a really big stick.
    How did that song go..."bomb, bomb..."
    Bomb–something like that.

    September 27, 2009 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  13. 2010 is going be wonderful

    Iran TODAY gave Obambi the finger by setting off missiles, oooow, they are so afraid of Obambi's teleprompted words, oooow scary.

    Monty Python's skit where the Englisg cop (A bobby) is chasing the criminal armed with a little billy club and while he is getting away the bobby yells at him, "stop or I will say stop again" and that shep is the Obambi foreign policy.

    "I vehemently/strongly/harshly condemn ......................) save it, they all all start the same.

    September 27, 2009 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  14. Kate in SW Fla

    I don't know why this thread got into halthcare, but here's the thing. People really need to get over this idea that somehow President Obama is out to snooker us, that he is really planning some smackdown to this country, rather than tryjng to fix problems that other Administrations just kicked down the road. Iran was unleashed by the ruinous policies of the previous Administration. Period. Now the rest of the world has to try and clean up the mess. Just like in Iraq. Just like in Korea. Just like in Afghanistan.

    September 27, 2009 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  15. DEMONcrats are RATS

    Senator Bayh is such a handsome man, with good, middle-of-the-road politics. That's one Democrat I could support in a national election. Too bad he's not crazy enough for the nutroots.

    September 27, 2009 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  16. Kate in SW Fla

    Oh, and Howard, do you think that this installation was built in 9 months? This is the kind of idiocy that has kept us from solving all kinds of problems. North Korea – last 9 months? Afghanistan – last 9 months? Iraq – last 9 months? Health Insurance disaster – last 9 months? Insolvent Social Security and Medicare – last 9 months? Lowest High School graduation Rate in the Industrialized world – last 9 months. You know I could go on and on. The fact of the matter is, Obama is willing to try, and all the loser Republicans who let us get into this predicament, should shape up and try to HELP!!!

    September 27, 2009 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  17. g

    just another member of a dying party try to breath

    September 27, 2009 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  18. g

    just another member of a dying party try to breath say good night corker

    September 27, 2009 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  19. Mike O

    Yes; we've seen just how well diplomacy has worked with Iran. Now from two diametrically opposed administrations. "Tough talk" has been so effective.

    When Iran either sets off a nuke in testing or the Israelis hammers the sites form the air, maybe even the liberals will realize how long the Iranian leadership has been laughing at the world's efforts to 'rein them in'.

    September 27, 2009 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  20. Mike in MN

    Obama knew about this secret site months ago. It should have been revealed then. A more united support could have been achieved months ago. Precious time has been lost and wasted.

    September 27, 2009 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  21. Mike, Syracuse, NY

    So Blue, if Corker was agreeing with Democratic Senator Bayh, and everything Corker said was a lie, that means everything Bayh said was a lie too. That's called 'logic', try it some time.

    September 27, 2009 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  22. T Mckinley

    Oh no, no, no! We're going about this all wrong!

    We should tell the rest of the world that we don't need them, and start bombing and invading Iran immediately!

    They want us to invade them. They want us to impose a western-style democracy on them. We would be greeted as liberators!

    Never mind how many American soldiers would die. Never mind how many Iranian civilians would die. Never mind how many billions of $$ it would cost the American taxpayer.

    Forcing our ideology and way of life down everyone's throats at the point of a gun is not only our right, but also our responsability.

    This is how a "real American" thinks. I'm sure that every neo-con right-winger reading this post would absolutely agree with me.

    September 27, 2009 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  23. PK California

    The world community is coming together for peace! It's time the US came together and united for the same goal! We have never had a better opportunity to find peace in the world. Let's not blow it with political stubborness!!!!!! No matter what your personal opinion is, we must present a united front! If other countries can do it, why can't we?

    September 27, 2009 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  24. NICE REAL NICE

    yeam we can talk all day with iran,

    the question is still this...

    will iran listen to TALKING? by anyone, any group anywhere? have they ever, will they ever. we WILL SEE

    September 27, 2009 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  25. Chris from NC

    Out of all the negative posts on here, not one person has acknowledged the saying that you should "keep your friends close and your enemies closer." The U.S. used this approach during the Reagan administration in dealing with the Soviets. Yes, we did build up our military - and they did, too - but dialogue goes a whole lot further toward achieving any goal. Thankfully, at least there is one sensible Republican that isn't letting his party pull his strings.

    September 27, 2009 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
1 2