Amid predictions that nuclear negotiations with Iran will "go down to the wire," critics voiced concern Monday that the White House is pushing a deal at any price.
Former New Hampshire governor and White House chief of staff John Sununu told Fox News that the Obama administration is sending "a bad signal ... by putting pressure on Democrats [in Congress] to try and set them up to accept whatever deal the White House brings to the table." Sununu, a Republican, said "it might mean they are not going to get the deal that they had hoped to get and are hoping to get support for a lesser deal."
Reports surfaced Sunday that Iranian nuclear negotiators had backed away from a tentative agreement to ship a large portion of their nation's uranium stockpile to Russia -- not an insignificant detail, according to Sununu:
"The whole deal hangs on making sure Iran's capacity to build a nuclear weapon is brought down to virtually zero for at least the period of 10 years and hopefully extended beyond that. Without that provision, it is foolish to say that anything significant was achieved."
Sununu said that the United States' Mideast allies are anxiously watching the negotiations.
"What makes everyone nervous is that the White House has directly and indirectly signaled that the president thinks this is his equivalent of Nixon going to China," Sununu said. "First of all, it isn't, even if he gets the deal. But secondly, with that mindset, everyone is nervous as to what he's going to give up to get some kind of an achievement that he can crow about."