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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

US Congress Reacts to Nuclear Deal with Iran

by Amanda Scott July 14, 2015

Early Congressional reaction to the landmark nuclear agreement, signed with Iran, appears to be largely split down party lines with Democratic lawmakers appearing cautiously optimistic and Republicans questioning whether the U.S. gave too many concessions to reach a final accord.

U.S. Senator Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said he is deeply skeptical that the deal 'actually meets the goal of preventing Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon.' 'Congress will need to scrutinize this deal and answer whether implementing the agreement is worth dismantling our painstakingly-constructed sanctions regime that took more than a decade to establish,' said Corker, who authored the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act which gives Congress the right to approve or disapprove the final agreement.

'Iran continues to be the lead sponsor of terrorism in the world and relieving sanctions would make the Tehran regime flush with cash and could create a more dangerous threat to the United States and its allies,' Corker added.

Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) commended President Barack Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry for their leadership in the negotiations.

Pelosi said 'aggressive restrictions and inspections offer the best long-term plan to stop Iran from building a nuclear weapon.' 'Congress will closely review the details of this agreement.'

"The comprehensive nuclear agreement announced today appears to further the flawed elements of April's interim agreement because the Obama Administration approached these talks from a flawed perspective: reaching the best deal acceptable to Iran, rather than actually advancing our national goal of ending Iran's nuclear program,' said Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY).

House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) chided the Obama administration for 'abandoning' its original benchmarks such as affirming that Iran does not have a right to enrich and permanently dismantling the infrastructure of its nuclear programs.

'The American people and our allies were counting on President Obama to keep his word,' said Boehner.

'Instead of making the world less dangerous, this 'deal' will only embolden Iran – the world's largest sponsor of terror – by helping stabilize and legitimize its regime as it spreads even more violence and instability in the region,' he said.

Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) says 'it is now up to Members of Congress to work carefully through every detail, particularly given Iran's likelihood to exploit any ambiguity or loophole to its benefit and to the detriment of the security of America, Israel, and our allies in Europe and the Gulf.'

Barbara Boxer (D-CA), a senior member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee said she looked forward to hearings on the deal, which she called a 'historic, diplomatic breakthrough.'

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