Oklahoma U.S. Sen. James Lankford says sanctions against Iran are working and he predicts the country will eventually sit down and negotiate with the U.S. about nuclear weapons development.
“Iran will come to the negotiating table but it’s gonna take several years to get them there,” said the Republican Senator in an interview with OK Energy Today. “This is the nature of doing sanctions and trying to do it diplomatically which is the right way to be able to address the situation in Iran.
Iran continues to be blustery in its defiance of the U.S. sanctions. Its economy is suffering because of the country’s inability to sell oil worldwide.
“Sanctions take a while. Sanctions have been in place about a year. last time they came to the negotiating table, it was about two and a half years of sanctions before they actually came and said ok, we will actually talk,” explained the Senator.
“I would anticipate it will be another year before we get to a serious negotiation. In the meantime, a steady hand and a continual push is what’s gonna be needed before we get them there.”
The U.S. has increased its military numbers in the Middle East following Iran’s shootdown of a U.S. drone over the Strait of Hormuz. It led to increased tension with Iran.
“No one wants to see a shooting war with Iran. But Iran has continued to press the envelope as much as they can,” added Lankford. “They announced publicly to the world they’re enriching uranium beyond what would be needed for nuclear power. They’re clearly not just interested in power and haven’t been for a very very long time.”
He pointed out how Iran continues to sell oil to Syria in violation of the sanctions. But the U.S. received support when the United Kingdom recently seized an Iranian tanker that was in violation of the sanctions.
Lankford said the UK seizure sent a signal to the U.S. and the rest of Europe. He cited Total, the French oil company that has cooperated with Iran for a long time.
Click below to listen to Jerry Bohnen’s interview with Sen. Lankford.